Blind, Deaf and Clueless: The Mandibular Block and Park Cricket Finals

Finals Time in Park Cricket

It’s that time of year where the weather is simply marvellous and all the park cricket associations play their finals. I usually avoid doing finals as by the end of the season I am sick of cricket but, since I am no longer the education officer, president, or even on the umpire’s committee, I have put my name forward to be an ‘autumn umpire’.

Things change a bit in finals. The teams that finish lower on the ladder have to win to progress, so if there is a bit of weather around, it is now the top side that wants to pack up, go home, and automatically progress to the next round. You see bad weather is a bugger for the umpires so I thought I would give you the drum from an umpire’s perspective.

Now most of you know I am a dentist, the practice of which has taught me some essential skills to handling wet pitches and complaining captains.

Lower injections, or more correctly mandibular blocks, can take quite a while to work. About ten percent of people take half an hour for this injection to work. If you don’t want to cause unnecessary pain to a patient you have to adopt certain practices.

It usually happens like this. You administer the local anaesthetic (LA) and after waiting a few minutes you start up and the patient says, “Ouch, I can feel that.” Inexperienced dentists do two silly things next. They administer another cartridge of LA and they stay hovering over the patient. They wait five minutes or so, and try to start again. “Ouch, I can feel that.” This happens several times

My technique is to explain to the patient that 10 percent of people take at least half an hour to go numb, and then, most importantly, I go out of the room and have a cuppa, read the paper, and have another go at that extreme Sudoku that I was doing before this patient interrupted me. Being less junior (short term memory loss stalks us all) than I once was, I instruct Sarah, that if I forget I have someone in the surgery, could she come and get me after an half an hour.

Last week I had a game where we had some wet patches on the pitch. There was no way we could play for at least 90 minutes but the inexperienced umpire, and the two captains, suggested we have another look in 30 minutes. I am pleased all three were not dentists.

What happens when you go out with no possibility of play for ages is that you build up unreasonable expectations, and provoke annoyance at these bloody umpires that don’t want to start the game.

We started two hours late, but the pitch played perfectly, and was in no way dangerous.

The forecast is for rain on Saturday and Sunday so it is quite appropriate that Dr Hill will be at Walker Street east for the Parkville verses Old Camberwell Grammarians.

Spectumur Agendo gentlemen.

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