Swooping Friarbird no match for Virender Sehwag wannabe
THANK GOD for 'The Falcon'.
And that's not a car or a bird.
In fact, it's the make of a trusty cricket bat I keep next to my desk at the QT.
But this story does relate to a bird, a terrifying creature of the heavens which attacked me yesterday morning as I was making a leisurely stroll across the road from our office at West Ipswich to grab a coffee.
It loomed large in my field of vision, like an overgrown pterodactyl from Jurassic Park, as it swooped on an alleged journalist minding his own business.
My feathered foe, a Noisy Friarbird I am now told, came straight for my melon and collided with my cheek, which came up redder than it does after a night on cleanskin Shiraz.
Startled, I fell to the ground scuffing my blue chinos and straining a ligament in my left knee.
The Friarbird came for me again as I ran back to the QT office at a rate Usain Bolt would have been proud of...or maybe not.
My colleagues were soon listening to my tale, amused to say the least.
I returned to my desk, but there was no sign of my glasses.
This is not unusual, as I lose them every day on multiple occasions.
But alas, they were nowhere to be found.
Aha. A moment of illumination. The spectacles were knocked off by the bird.
So with 'The Falcon' in hand, I went back to the scene to retrieve them.
The dive-bomber was there.
The glasses were there, on the concrete.
But I was also there, armed to the teeth with 'The Falcon', with trusty QT photographer Rob Williams by my side.
The swooper came in for the kill, but was thwarted by a Rick Pontingesque pull through midwicket.
Then Friarbird, or 'Leatherhead' as I have nicknamed my winged warrior, came in low.
So I unfurled a late cut Victor Trumper would have had scribes in the 1900s waxing lyrical over.
An overhead smash from the kit bag of Aussie one-day specialist Glenn Maxwell followed as Leatherhead tried a cunning manoeuvre.
And then, the coup de gras. As the wobbly old warbler wafted towards my hip, I unleashed the Virender Sehwag flick - a stroke the great Indian opener played with masterful control in his pomp.
The bird, pooped and deflated, withdrew to the telegraph wires.
I, chest pumped out, retreated to the safety of the QT office with a new-found respect for Leatherhead.
And for all you do-gooders and animal liberationists out there, and I know you don't like me much, the bat didn't come within a bird's beak of my combatant.
But 'The Falcon' had saved me.
The bat had previously been confiscated by a former head honcho at the QT after he took exception to some of my well-timed cover drives, à la the great Sehwag, that sent a rubber ball at catchable height past the 'fielders' in our office at their computer terminals.
That old GM was big on occupational health and safety, not my forte.
Thankfully I was able to save the bat, but not my putter which he once broke over his knee, from its planned demise.
Williams, who loves nothing more than to take the Mickey out of yours truly, knows how all my life I've wanted to bat like the great Sehwag.
He had some advice for me, as we perused his pictures of the alleged journo in action, about how I should approach the next confrontation with Leatherhead.
"Next time you go over, keep your elbow up," Williams chortled.
"You look like Sehwag there in that pic on the bottom right - real wristy like you've just flicked it around the corner.
"But I doubt Sehwag had a high pitched squeal when the ball came down the pitch to him."
That statement, in truth, made my day.
Virender Sehwag, my hero.
The Falcon, my saviour.
And now, spectacles in place, I can see again.