“Trying to write cricket bats”

As implied earlier, I’m experimenting with a new tag line for the blog. The source is the same (Stoppard’s The Real Thing), the allusion hopefully a little more explicit if also more obscure. For those of you who didn’t try to memorize the cricket bat speech during your arrogant sophomore year of college, here’s the context, as the main character criticizes a badly-written script:

Henry: Shut up and listen. This thing here, which looks like a wooden club, is actually several pieces of wood cunningly put together in a certain way so that the whole thing is sprung, like a dance floor. It’s for hitting cricket balls with. If you get it right, the cricket ball will travel two hundred yards in four seconds, and all you’ve done is give it a knock like knocking the top off a bottle of stout, and it makes a noise like a trout taking a fly…
What we’re trying to do is to write cricket bats, so that when we throw up an idea and give it a knock, it might … TRAVEL… (picks up script) Now what we’ve got here is a lump of wood roughly the same shape trying to be a cricket bat, and if you hit a ball with it, the ball will travel about ten feet and you will drop the bat and dance about shouting “Ouch!” with your hands stuck into your armpits. (indicating the cricket bat) This isn’t better because someone says it’s better, or because there’s a conspiracy by the MCC to keep cudgels off the field. It’s better because it’s better. You don’t believe me, so I suggest you go out to bat with this and see how you get on.

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