The Devil stopped to stare at me
Along the corridor
Which leads to ‘Radiotherapy’—
He paused beside a door,
Then wagged his claw in mockery,
And leering, turned to go,
False-flagged, he flew an e & b,
His suit was Savile Row.
‘O Prince of Lies,’ I cried, ‘that blot
Disgraces your lapel,
Is there no imp who know what’s what,
No valets down in hell?’
‘You’ve swung no bat to wear that tie!’
He bowed with mirthless grace,
‘Nor have you passed exams to ply
Your business in this place.’
‘When Fate’s consultant begs to play,’
He said, ‘then heed my call,’
A mocking laugh— ‘but not today!’
And strutted down the hall.
The MCC once ruled the world of cricket. The initials stand for Marylebone Cricket Club, a London cricket club founded in 1787 which helped codify the laws of the game. MCC club colours of red and gold are affectionately known as ‘egg and bacon’ (e & b) and only a member of the club may sport the club tie, blazer or badge. Even today, the prestige of belonging to the MCC is so great that many members place their children’s name down for membership at birth.