Jim's Excuse

Each year a few Allstars deliver last minute excuses for being unable to attend the reunion match. Their levels of contrition and plausibility vary. However, sometimes they are worthy of the invitation they decline.

There follows a verbatim transcription from electronic mail intercepted by Graham Jackson:

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Higginbotham
Sent: 28 June 2004 07:21
To: Jackson, Graham
Subject: Allstars


It is with earnest and heartfelt apologies that I feel compelled to write to you in order to seek pardon for my inability to attend the Allstars Reunion. I have for long advocated that it is not necessarily the winning at sport that counts but the participation therein that counts. Sport is the cornerstone of what has put the Great into Britain. It engenders a spirit of solidity, caution, integrity, honesty and efficiency. These are qualities that are present in many countries but in Britain they are part of our national characteristics. Napoleon in his particularly unmannerly Gallic way referred to us as a nation of shopkeepers. I prefer to call us a nation of ethical sportsmen, where it is better to lose heroically than to win by any means possible. Success is measured by ones conduct on the field of sport and not necessarily by results. This is solely attributable to our education system with its compulsory games, its systems of prefects (of which I was one) and its insistence on tight shorts and cold showers.

If I have in anyway broken the moral code of sporting bonhomie, I apologise unreservedly.

I have, however, a prior engagement. As you have probably heard the Surrey village of Dorking, of which I am a noted resident, has kicked off an ambitious plan to recreate the decisive battle of the English Civil War at Naesbury, albeit some 300 miles from its original site. By way of raising the profile of the event (and as part of my ongoing campaign for the village's mayoral office) I have sponsored the planting of a commemorative bush. I am required on the morning of the Allstars event for the official bush planting, trimming and of course the usual glad-handing and photographs.

My regards to Mince and Sid and all the other usual miscreants.


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