7 Reasons That a Cricket Bat is Preferable to a Baseball bat
Hmm. What’s the best bat to keep around the house, you’re probably wondering. Well, I have both, and it’s definitely the cricket bat. Here are seven reasons why.
1. Perception. When you stroll down your nice, quiet unremarkable street with a cricket bat tucked under your arm, you fit in. To passers-by and onlookers you are that nice chap (or chapess) from number 29 on his way to participate in a genteel and respectable game which involves a break for tea, and a lunch which perhaps involves a home-made cake or two on a picturesque village green somewhere.
2. Perception. When you stroll down your nice, quiet unremarkable street twirling a baseball bat you do not fit in. In fact, you are a harbinger of evil, bristling with menace and exuding undiluted violence. Suddenly, in a scene reminiscent of a cheap western, everything will become silent. Young women shield young children behind their voluminous skirts; old women scuttle away in terror; middle-aged women…er…er…(I’ve never even seen a middle-aged women in a cheap western, why is that?); men (of all ages) suddenly become incapable of eye contact, because there’s a madman with a baseball bat on the rampage. Never mind that in your other hand you’re carrying a mitt and a baseball because the people have seen the bat and the panic-stricken-nitwits have been rendered incapable of rational thought. They will blindly assume that you’re off to break someone’s kneecaps or smash a car’s door-mirrors. And that won’t help you get an invite to your next-door neighbour’s birthday party. It may, however, stop trick-or-treaters visiting.*
3. Certainty. Cricket bats, like some of the more successful and big-headed practitioners of the game itself, are doughty, resolute and they stay where you left them. If you put a baseball bat on the dining-room floor, however, it does not. The baseball bat is an inherently flighty creature and, like a hollow-headed flibbertigibbet, it will just disappear from where you left it, merrily rolling away without a care in the world. Eventually, of course, it will turn up, usually while you’re stumbling around in the dark or when your wife is entering the room carrying a glass of orange juice, a plate containing two cheese and real-ale-pickle sandwiches and an apple. Or something.
4. Arms-length. Ever had to pick something up that you really didn’t want to pick up? Something that you wanted to keep at further-than-arms-length? Something with many legs, perhaps, or with steam emanating from it. A cricket bat is ideal for such an eventuality owing to its flat blade. A baseball bat is not. In fact, there’s no way that you’ll be able to carry your friend’s pet “hamster” that you’re looking after or that god-awful smelling bowl of onion soup on a baseball bat.
5. Flour. I have never returned home to find my cricket bat covered in flour. I have, however, returned home to discover my baseball bat covered in flour on several occasions. And, as I’ve tucked into the pie that my wife has prepared for me, I’ve often thought, funny that. I didn’t leave it anywhere near the flour cupboard.**
6. Air-guitar. Try miming along to the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion or Led Zeppelin using a baseball bat and you’ll look like a pillock. Do it using a cricket bat and you’ll look like an eminently sensible and respectable chap (or chapess), suitable for a post in the foreign office, perhaps, or as a school governor. No matter how bad the music or the miming, if you use a cricket bat you’ll always maintain a thin veneer of respectability. Until you fall off the table.
7. Visitors. When you entertain foreign guests from non-cricketing nations in your house, a baseball bat is just a bat for baseball. A cricket bat, however, is a strange thing of wonder which they will enquire about. And fairly soon you’ll find yourself explaining – at length – to your blankly-incomprehending friends the finer points of the game of cricket. And they’ll love you for that. Really. And, after several hours talking about cricket, you may even find that they close their eyes in concentration as you explain the finer points of leg-spin.
*Topical top tip.
**The flour cupboard is not exclusively for flour. It contains other things such as; homemade blackberry vodka, homemade limoncello, half a packet of raisins, three packets of linguine, a jar of treacle that may or may not pre-date the Crimean war and a sake jug.