When Carlton top management contacted him in secret shortly before Christmas and said, 'Listen, FB, time you did something for the club rather than witter on about all that rubbish on that internet type thingy', FB stood to attention and awaited orders.
Deep Throat went on, 'We need you to do a bit of scouting for next season's overseas amateur. Strictly hush hush. You know we've come close to some good players but we're still in the hunt. So when you get to Australia, see if you can pick up a fast scoring bat who can bowl a bit. It would be good if he had a Aussie name like Rod or Bart or something.'
FB was overcome with dizziness at the weight of this responsibility. So much so, that he could not bring himself to point out immediately that his New Year trip was not to Australia, but to Austria, a country critically short not only of the 2 letters, a and l in an important place, but also of any reputation as a nursery of quality cricketers. But when FB came to his senses, Deep Throat had vanished into the emptiness of the underground car park. FB's subsequent attempts to reach Deep Throat simply summoned a voicemail message which said only ' Remember, a fast scoring bat who can bowl a bit.'
|Map of Austria|
|Ken - ready to go surfing|
Strangely, or maybe not, Australian accents were very prominent in the resort. Far more than in previous years. As well as Ken, a couple of other instructors, and many barstaff (surprise) and visitors were strewthing and g'daying all around. Evidently the population of Australia had been fleeing the country before the Ashes humiliation.
But perhaps Carlton's management had called it right. This could be a fertile recruiting zone. FB therefore tried to fulfill his commission. Regretably he failed. Most of those he approached over the Gluhwien simply said. Strewth, mate, we're Oz, we can't play cricket.'
FB may have to go skiing in India next year if he is to be a successful scout.
|The overseas amateur|
The germknodel is a steamed yeast dough dumpling with spiced plum jam/sauce in the middle. It is served either with melted butter or, as here, vanilla sauce (custard to you and FB). It is then sprinkled with crushed poppy seeds and sugar. Test Match Quality. Food of the Gods.