TfL Pirates @ Parliament Hill
9 May 2017
He’d had one of his moments. An idea born of long days and hard nights in the office basement, and a whip crack of inspiration while looking deep into the eyes of a badger he’d found with a google image search. He’d called a meeting, although there were no meeting rooms available so it was held in the canteen. He explained. Audience on their feet, he took his leave and set out for The Heath.
Arriving in time to see his companions in various states of undress, he took to the cricket field with the enthusiasm of Pamplonian cattle, eager to gore his cream clad opponents. With 10 fellow herdsmen scattered randomly about the pasture, he watched as three took turns to run and throw. Tom was rhythmic, sending one opposition back to the side of the field where he removed some extraneous garments and sat, cowed. Lawrence pawed at the ground before his charge began he noticed, but it proved ineffectual. Chris threw the most but was ponderous. He thought the tiny red missile must have decided it had been punished enough, because it took shelter in the perimeter foliage several times. But as when Tom threw, the team’s hands were large and steady, and cradled the ball twice for Jones.
When his turn came, he eschewed running and simply threw. His balls came and went before he or the stick-wielding foe had the time or inclination to be noteworthy. Next came a new face. Creased and weather-beaten, not like a handsome Galician surfer but pale like the detritus from a recently dislodged English cliff fragment. Peet threw fast, and the ocre acorn stayed largely within the perimeter. More opposition made the unsteady amble back to their base camp. To finish, a twin dessert of Scotch and the Revolver. The Revolver was supposed to spin, but aimed it gun-barrel straight. The Scotch hit the mark though, and thanks to low levels of hitting skill and big bobbo wilkinson’s pasty hands downed three fingers and gave a shaken fisted send off to the last of the enfeebled matadors.
He used the break to swipe left on a few more no-hopers, and once play resumed was asked to action a decision. As officiating man, he looked to his left as everyone else looked at the batter, his orange headwear dipped. The cheering and celebrations from the opposition, roles now reversed, momentarily startled him from the recollection of the badger-based excitement earlier in the day. Unaware of how to respond, he looked at the capped crusader and slowly and unsurely unfurled the index finger of his right hand.
At the same time, but also in the linear version, he watched Rav and Niall use their bats and their legs to some effect. Both went back to the side of the field with no corresponding glee from the fieldmen. Peet did the same, having shouted ‘no’ at von Dutch and caused his turn to end without satisfaction. Safely ensconced back by the bags, he knew that with six scores remaining to win, and double the number of throws to hit, his hands shouldn’t have to feel the coarse rubber around the hard handle, not this time. But Revolver swung and missed, and wiklinson did not swing and missed, and he was, in fact, required. Protective equipment around the most valuable and uninsured body parts, he took small steps towards the centre of attention. If I can do the badgers he said, willing positive energy into his mind and out through his limbs, I can do this. And, in the final telling, George Clarkson was the hero of all our stories.