Out for a duck when bowled a frogs' legs puzzler in pub cricket [Derby Evening Telegraph (England)]
(Derby Evening Telegraph (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) FUNNY what can start a friendly argument over a pint.
I was asking if anyone had ever played pub cricket.
It works like this: you are driving along and every time you pass a public house, whoever is batting is credited with a run for every leg appearing on the inn sign.
Thus, the Horse and Jockey would count for six runs.
But if there are no legs - at the Rose and Crown, for instance - then you are out and the next person goes in to bat.
As I was explaining this, someone said that they had recently seen a pub called the Frog and Toad.
"So that would be four runs, then " they inquired.
And, without thinking, I said: "No that would be eight."
And this is how we came to debate the number of legs possessed by a frog. Or, for that matter, a toad.
The group was evenly divided on the matter - the person with the casting vote could only come up with the fact that, two or four, he'd heard they tasted like chicken - and so one had to turn to Google (well, why waste time thumbing through an encyclopaedia these days ) and I have to concede that a frog (or a toad) has indeed only two legs.
That much was evident from a diagram of a frog's skeleton that clearly indicated fingers, palm, wrist, lower arm, upper arm and elbow, as well as knee, ankle and toes.
Why am I bothering to tell you all this Well, apart from the fact that it has now got me halfway through this week's column, to illustrate that when men foregather on licensed premises, it isn't necessarily to engage in vacuous chat about football or the new barmaid, but sometimes to explore loftier matters.
Indeed, we debate all manner of subjects, many of them to do with our own fair city.
The plight of the Hippodrome is often discussed (my well-known passion for its reopening prompted one wit to wave under my nose a spoof petition calling for its demolition). The completion of the inner ring road seems to be universally approved by the car drivers among us (that being everyone except me, of course), while I always champion the cause of the Cathedral Quarter, argue it is about time the city council did something about the eyesore that used to be a police station on the banks of the Derwent, and also wonder if there were ghosts before ghost walks.
I was also telling them about an e-mail I received from Stephen Marley, a distinguished Old Bemrosian, cult science fiction and fantasy writer and video game designer.
I preceded Stephen at Bemrose by one year and he was kind enough to recall: "In my first week, in September 1957, it was you who directed me to the tuck shop down the road."
That sounds like me. I was a helpful child.
Funny thing is, at the time I think I was on my way to biology to dissect a frog. Finally, a plug for the switching-on of Mickleover's Christmas lights. It's happening a week tomorrow, November 29, at 6.30pm outside HSBC bank on the Parade.
Local playwright Don Shaw, aided by stars from the Assembly Rooms panto, is doing the honours and there'll be a band, food and everything. I'll be there.
"If there are no legs - at the Rose and Crown, for instance - then you are out."
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