So he was unprepared for the call when it came. His thoughts were far away from the wet autumn night. He was back in the height of the summer, with his bat arcing to its high follow through having dispatched the ball effortlessly to the distant extra cover boundary. Dream on.
As soon as he picked up the phone he could tell that the caller was displeased. The voice was female, it was icily calm. Oh no, he thought, Mrs FB is about to give him what for again for leaving his kit in that place where she is bound to trip over it again?
But the strong Germanic inflection told him it was not Mrs FB. But his feeling of relief did not last long.
|Don't you wrong number me Her Fantasy Bob........|
Fantasy Bob tried to clear things up. 'Frau Merkel,' he said, 'I fear you have the wrong number. This is Fantasy Bob not President Obama.'
'Pah,' the ear piece rattled, 'Don't you wrong number me. Fantasy Bob, Fantasy Obama - is all the same. I know you are buggering me Fantasy Bob. Listening to all my conversations. Trying to see what selection will be turning out in crunch league match against Carlton All Stars Fourth XI at the weekend. Well I tell you it won't work. We have mystery leg spinner that will make you like monkey - not that that is difficult.'
The voice took a breath and continued in an even more emphatic tone. 'Don't you try to soft soap me like you soft soap Frau FB. German cricketers will not tolerate it. It is time for action. We sat back when you took our wonderful German biscuit and renamed it the Empire biscuit. No longer. Unless we have a no buggering agreement, we will stop supplies of German biscuits reaching your cricket club tea tables. Henceforth.'
There was a pause.
'Do I make myself clear?'
FB had to time to respond for the line went dead immediately.
It was the henceforth that did it. Fantasy Bob sprang into action. Strings had to be pulled. Favours had to be called. Promises had to be made. Obama. Cameron. Hollande. Yes they had all heard the conversation.
Yes they wanted to help. But they needed something in return. For a moment the prospect of a deal was slipping way. Then FB came up with the goods - yes he promised the leaders of the free world, they could turn out next year for the All Stars whenever the fancy a game. Just stop the spying.
It was a near run thing but through his swift action, FB is confident that he can assure all cricketers that supplies of German Biscuits are secured for seasons to come.