Cricket, that ever-so-civil sport of the Continent, plays a major role in the book Netherland by Joseph O’Neill. It’s a sport that unites immigrants trying to make New York City home; to one, it represents his American dream. It’s also a model of behavior reflected in the saying, “It’s not cricket.” After a player pulls a gun on the field and the other players talk him down, the umpire gives an inspirational speech about what it means to play cricket in their adopted country. The gun incident, he tells the teams, is not cricket.
Now that’s a saying we should adopt. I’m gonna try it out in the grocery store when a rule breaker rolls in to the 10 Items or Less line with a cart full of food. “Excuse me, ma’am, that’s not cricket.” If someone interrupts me: “Hey, man: not cricket. And when someone cuts me off in traffic, I’m gonna yell out the window, “That’s not cricket.” But then, I guess that wouldn’t be cricket.