The Freak wandered in to my hotel room. The door was open. I was writing at the desk in the corner. He flicked a black envelope onto the bed.
“Thanks”, I said. “What do you expect me to do with that?”
“It is not addressed to me. How do you know it’s mine?”
“Hotel reception said so.”
“Who delivered it?”
I opened it. Inside was a black postcard. I turned it over and read it:
“Greetings from Islamic State.
The dust of the old city of Palmyra is on my lips.
The dust of the halcyon days of West Indies cricket is on yours.
Raise the Frank Worrell Trophy high.
It is nothing but old tin just like Palmyra is nothing but old stone.
The Freak pounded the bedroom floor with his spiked feet uttering a variety of base oaths. I had no idea his vocabulary was so colourful. His use of synonym was particularly instructive.
In the end he penned an open letter to the women fighters of Kurdistan offering them sponsorship and training to form a Kurdish cricket team when things settled down. He continued to mutter to himself about wasted talent as he left for a late afternoon net session with the red ball.
There goes a man, I surmised, with a clear knowledge of Australian citizenship – to wit, to walk (not piddle) upon the ashes of English cricket if he can get a game.
My own riposte to IS is perhaps less practical. I had a spare postcard of a sunny beach and banana chairs in the shade of coconut palms. It could have been anywhere, and probably was. It just happened to have Barbados scrawled across the top corner.
I addressed it to the IS loons as follows and posted it on social media:
“To whomever it may concern,
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.