Wednesday 4 July 2007

I can't remember, tell me what's his name?

We've done Santa.

We've done Spanish Cardinals.

We've done the Flintstones.

We've done Biggles.

We've done Star Wars.

It's one of the biggest decisions of the year and it simply cannot be rushed.

Well, if I have achieved nothing else today, I reckon that the thorny issue of what fancy dress we are going to wear on the Saturday of the Trent Bridge test match has now finally been decided.

Yup. We're going to do "Zulu".

Well, we're going to do the British soldiers from "Zulu" anyway. I don't imagine that anyone is that keen to go as a Zulu warrior (which if memory serves me correctly is a costume that consists of a grass skirt and some grass leg warmers).

It's a pretty simple costume to put together too: red jacket, pith helmet, medals, white straps.... perhaps even a sabre or service revolver or two.

Most importantly of all, it's a costume that allows plenty of scope for ludicrous facial hair.

What do you mean it might be a slightly culturally insensitive choice for a game against India? Surely it's clear that we're aiming for the British Army on the Cape, not the British army on the sub-continent?

To my eyes that's a wholly different set of atrocities, isn't it?

And we get to pretend to be Michael Caine all day too. Who could object to that?

Altogether now: "Stop throwing.....those bloody spears.........AT ME!"*

* yes, I'm aware that Caine doesn't actually say this in the film. But everyone thinks he does, and that's what matters.




    Actually, I'm not sure that works.

    Anyway, it's inspired. I just hope if you end up on telly again that it's not taken the wrong way and you end up doing a confessional interview with Davina McCall.

  3. ...although that's coming from someone who was *that far* away from going to a 1940s themed dinner as Hitler last week, so I'm not in the best position to comment.

    1970s Bernard Manning, perhaps? Velvet jacket, sovereign rings and a pint constantly on the go?

  4. I was thinking (as one does) about the whole issue of fancy dress and cultural sensitivities at cricket matches, and it dawned on me that there is not a single test playing nation where you could dress up as a colonial era British soldier and not upset someone. Let's have a look shall we?

    India? Pakistan? Bangladesh? Sri Lanka? Zimbabwe? South Africa? Australia? New Zealand?


    Oh well. Some people were probably upset when they saw 9 drunken santas on the telly in August too. Going as Gunga Din probably wouldn't be too sensible....


  5. So, what was wrong with the Wizard of Oz again?

    Plenty of strange facial hair on that lion...

  6. I look forward to the piccys mate.

  7. i realize I could wiki this, but could you perhaps explain what the reason is for the costumes?

  8. J - I'm not sure it will be on wiki, but it's really just a bit of fun. For a long, long time in the late 1980s and 1990s, England were really, really bad at cricket. During that time, the fans pretty much stuck with the team, but at some point it became traditional to get all dressed up on the Saturday of a test match. It's so much a part of the furniture now that there's even a prize given in the tea interval (don't you love a sport that stops for meals?) for the best costumes on the day. For some unknown reason, we've never actually won the bloody thing (the year we went as Santa we were especially robbed!).

    Why do we do it? Getting on telly isn't really our prime motivation, believe it or not. It's just a really funny day. Once you've tried it, and you've experienced the reaction of everyone in and around the ground to you, it's like a drug and you want to do it again. It's actually also a lot of fun thinking up a theme that we can do each year. We used to think it up at the wind powered cafe in the Green Fields at Glastonbury, but this year we've got a slightly different crowd going and a couple of regulars can't make it, so it didn't happen. The important thing with the theme is that you should try to make an impact as a group, and be something that people will 'get' straight away.

    Hopefully "Zulu" will do the trick and it won't upset too many people.

    hey ho.

    Anyway, it's a fun day. You don't get to watch much cricket... but it's a fun day.


  9. God, I'm 33 now.

    I thought we might be able to gracefully let it go this time around, but people just seem mad for it every year.

    What can you do?



  10. remember, Trent Bridge is a 5 minute walk from where I live. For me it's very much a "home" fixture. For a long time now (and actually before I moved here) it's been the one test that we all make a real effort to get to. I suppose I feel a certain amount of pressure to make sure everyone who comes is as happy as possible.....

    And I love it, obviously.


  11. Michael Caine. A British God.

    I got his autograph when he was doing a sigining of his autobiography at W. H. Smiths. Lovely man.

  12. Look forward to looking for you in the crowd - the mrs will be in her now obligatory costume as "pregnant woman" probably looking enviously at my "slightly inebriated husband" outfit.

  13. Hmmm. There's been a last minute outbreak of political correcteness, and it looks like we might have to save this one for the South Africans next year and do something different for this one.

    My vote is for Swedish Chef, incidentally.