I’ve gone and got myself in trouble.
However, as I’ve lived my life thus far with a motto of ‘If I keep digging I’m bound to come out the other end sooner or later’, I’m going to share with you what has landed me in hot water.
I should point out, first, the elephant in the room. As you can tell, I’m sharing this story with you purely as a distraction technique.
Yes, the cricket season is two weekends away. And yes, that little fact plagues my every waking thought.
I try to write articles and suddenly find instead that I’m writing fielding positions... if we don’t have a third man I can put in a second slip...
I go to brush my teeth and find I’m using the toothbrush as a bat handle – I wake up with my duvet at the foot of the bed, having kicked it away as I went for a sharp second run in a dream.
Yes, the fact that we are so close you can almost touch the arriving season, hasn’t escaped me.
I need to ignore it here because I’m not sure my fragile grasp on decorum while so palpably excited can handle it.
So I’ll tell you why I’m in trouble.
About a month ago, we had a committee meeting over at Airedale Cricket Club and club secretary Kenny couldn’t make it.
I volunteered to take the minutes. Then I got bored writing them up, so had a bit of fun before submitting them as an official record.
Here are some edited highlights of those minutes. Some names have been changed to protect my position in the club.
Meeting was opened at 7.46pm by CHAIRMAN T CROSSLEY.
The time is relevant mainly because N Ahad and M H****s had been sitting there, tutting, since bang on 7.30pm, when the meeting was supposed to start.
CHAIRMAN T Crossley gave his report, saying that as it was his first, he’d keep it short. No-one pounced on this opportunity for a joke.
Now here’s where it got interesting.
M H***s is our new treasurer and the first woman we’ve ever had on Airedale Cricket Club committee.
The gist of her report is that she wasn’t quite prepared for the shower she discovered when she agreed to join us. Our finances are ‘all over t’shop’.
There was all sorts of discussion about sponsorship and various different bank accounts – it all made very little sense to me. The upshot is our new treasurer, the approximate height and temperament of a large rottweiler, is going to be whipping our finances into shape. Eg: I’m no longer allowed to just hand over the money I collect from subs in a brown bag whenever I remember to bring it from home.
I sort of tuned out but picked it back up when the new treasurer said: “Who insures you? It’s so expensive.”
P Feather, according to my notes, simply repeated these words. Good on him for joining in.
CHAIRMAN T. Crossley made some sort of admission which was something to do with one of our bank accounts. I didn’t quite understand, but I worked out this was a bad thing because our new treasurer looked like she was going to glass him.
Ah, balls. There was much discussion of balls (obviously, nothing’s ever straight forward).
There was much grumbling about the fact that us cricketers simply do not take care of our balls.
To this end, T Crossley was going to keep all balls and hand them out, like a mother with sweets, on a Tuesday night through the season.
Until we come up with a catchier title, this makes our Chairman also the Man-in-Charge-of-Balls.
M Cox said something like “Me and my dad need to get the sides down for the rest of the score hut.” I’m sure this makes sense to most of you.
K Smith, our esteemed and much-loved President, sporadically got up to ask if we were on Any Other Business because he wanted to shout at us about something.
By the time we got to Any Other Business he’d forgotten what it was.
T Cox said we need a fresh door for the electric meter and it seemed like Alan Hayes was going to be asked to knock something together. We also want a padlock for the door (presumably in case anyone wants to steal our electric meter. Because that could definitely happen).
There was a discussion like you wouldn’t believe about changing electric suppliers which, after about 20 minutes, arrived at the conclusion that we’d leave things as they are.
That’s why I love this club.
M Cox said that we need a decent first-aid kit. By this point I’d started playing with the fire.
The meeting threatened to boil over when it came to discussing nets arrangements.
Basically, M Cox asked T Crossley what had been done about them. T Crossley essentially said ‘oh, was I supposed to book them’ (he had had a very busy month). M Cox then went into a long explanation about why his school wasn’t an option any more. He could have summed it up a lot better, but, I’ll be honest, I like listening to Matt’s explanations of stuff. I just think he’s funny.
We finally got to Any Other Business.
I was eyeing the door, thinking about my bed when M bloody Cox started a long, long discussion about possible members that he’d like to sign up but can’t.
P Feather started talking about Bonfire Night. Remember this was in February. His eyes lit up, it seems, when he saw the turn-out at Riddlesden’s Bonfire Night do, where they had about 200 people.
He’d clearly been pondering their success all winter and you could almost hear him thinking ‘this time next year, we’ll be millionaires’ when he was spelling out his plan for some massive bonfire night down at ours.
This was before, sensibly, M Cox pointed out that would be utterly mental and the health and safety involved would probably shut us down. P Feather went off to come up with another hilarious money-making scheme.
All of this fun had to come to a (blessed relief) end, so we closed the meeting at 9.24pm.
Although it felt like midnight.
Of the following day.
And those are a true account of my minutes. Admittedly, they have been heavily edited... but true nonetheless.
Item number one on the following month’s agenda was a motion that I never be allowed to take minutes again.
It was passed unanimously.