Once upon a time
Once upon a time, there was an exciting cricket match at a big school in a small island.
The lads were divided into two teams: the Indies, and the Percies. “Indies” stood for “Independents”, while “Percies” was short for “Perceived as Having Political Affiliations”.
Denys and David
Each team had one outstanding batsman, Denys for the Indies and David for the Percies. In a spirit of good sportsmanship the official rule book was amended so that if a batsman scored 20 or more runs, he would have to retire. Both teams agreed.
The Indies batted first. Denys masterfully attacked the bowling, and within a few overs he had smacked his fourth four. The next delivery was short, and Denys pulled it through midwicket for four. Denys retired with the satisfaction that the Indies had a good total, and it looked like they might win.
Then something unusual happened. The Percies went to the School Master, and said:
“We were really enjoying Denys’s fine knock. It was so terrible that he had to retire. Let’s change the rule book so that it never happens again!”
The School Master thought to himself:
“The Percies are truly a noble bunch - they care so much for Denys and for cricket.”
Then he said:
“A change of the rules seems like a good idea.”
So the Percies decided to change the rule book and allow a batsman to score 30 runs before being required to retire.
David Routs the Bowling
The Percies went into bat and before long, David was on 24, and the Percies were 5 runs short of the Indies total. Next delivery David struck the winning blow by lofting the ball high over the bowlers head for six.
After the match, David was applauded as a hero and no one protested. No one except a lad from a neighbouring school. He had wandered in late just in time to see the last innings. The Percies called this lad Iggrunt (igg-runt), as they did not consider him knowlegeable. Iggrunt might have appeared to be ignorant, but he had an enquiring mind. When he was told about the rule change, Iggrunt called for the rule book. The School Master chased him off, scolding him for his impertinence and telling him to mind his own business. The other lads were more helpful. Unfortunately, it seemed that the Percies had been changing the rule book anytime they felt it was necessary. Several rule books were produced, but each one was different.
Many were furious with Iggrunt! How dare he question the players? Even some of the Indies did not really care which rule book they used, they just wanted to play. However, Iggrunt had created suspicions amongst the Indies. There was contention.
Suspend the Rule Book(s)
Just when things were really getting bad, the School Master jumped into the fray. He thought, I know a good way to settle this.
“OK, let’s suspend the rule book! I mean let’s suspend all of the rule books.”
The Percies did their best to reassure everybody. The loss of the rule books was deemed a minor detail, but many people knew that it would not be cricket without rules. Some people even predicted chaos, but then again, some people are just iggrunt.
All the rule books were dumped into the Greenland Landfill, and everybody lived in strife and contention ever after.
Disclaimer: Fictional story. The character named “The School Master” is a literary construct created to fill a void in the plot. Any resemblance of “The School Master” to any person is unintended. Iggrunt is a composite of several characters, both male and female. Read “rule book” as “constitution“. There are many hidden messages besides the obvious.