The Eyes of the Henderson
(The following is an excerpt from a confidential report by the Five Eyes intelligence alliance)
The existence of the JBFC or the Jakarta Bintangs Fight Club has been suspected for some time but it was only with the reassignment of infiltrator Detective Sergeant Sam El Maghraby to the Northern Territory of Australia that the Five Eyes have been able to complete a report (even one of this scant depth of analysis) into the machinations of this violent underground organisation.
As individuals, the members go to great length to avoid identification, taking on totemic animal names like First Nations people (Turtle, Quail, Lions); or becoming exclusively known by their functional role in the organisation (Doctor, Sniper, Prowler etc); or being taxonimised according to a physical trait: Stretch (height), Chewie (loud eating habit) or Webby (feet).
Others yet have avoided detection by the Five Eyes by adding a ‘y’ to their surname. These fiendishly clever schemes have meant that many Bintangs have escaped surveillance up until the defection of their protector Sam El Maghraby. This is even more support to the precept that further staggering amounts of taxpayers’ money should be poured into the coffers of espionage agencies and bracing legislative amendment should be introduced until all laws pertaining to the right of the state to intrude into citizens’ affairs are brought in line with legislation existing pre 14.06.15 (being 14 June 1215, the day before the Magna Carta was signed). Only pervasive surveillance and unremitting expenditure will keep the public safe from threats such as the Bintangs.
The extent of the trans-border infiltration of the Jakarta Bintangs Fight Club is evidenced by the provenance of the squadron sent to battle the Malaysian forces in Kuala Lumpur on ANZAC Day. A cadre of isolated cells came from the city of Jakarta, flying on different planes to avoid detection, some wearing cunning disguises such as a bucket hat to avoid Forehead Recognition Software. Still others joined the core forces from their lairs in other parts of the Australia Asia Pacific Theatre of Combat: the Prowler, Doctor Terror and the Dutchman (“van Kills”) came from Australia, Webster from the already deeply compromised scorpion’s nest of Patthaya Thailand and Ralph Moir who reportedly swam from Singapore due to his pathological fear of air travel.
Things had hitherto been tense at the club, Jokes and payback had gone too far. First Ben Corbett had assassinated Gough Whitlam based on Ben’s sincerely held political beliefs. Then the operatives called Quail and Kenyon assassinated Malcolm Fraser as payback to Ben. Vincent Halim and Franky then proceeded to assassinate Lee Kuan Yew to make some arcane point which no one really understood and it took coach Bray to intervene to tell everyone to stop being so petty and focus on the upcoming game.
On 25 April 2015, after convening under cover of dark at a military shrine followed by a fortunately incident free incursion into sovereign New Zealand soil (the New Zealand ambassador’s residence), the Jakarta forces engaged Malaysia. On this occasion it was a game of AFL football. What next, I ask you, what next?
A wise man, skilled in the ways of horticulture and metallurgy, once said “Silverware does not grow on trees”. Rarely have truer words been spake. The 2013 East Asia Football League cup was no mangosteen. It was, or would have been, an enduring symbol of football mastery over a season if a clear and simple path to winning it had been delineated and enforced from the beginning. However a storm of controversy swept the cup away into a maelstrom of dispute never to be resolved. Each side knows they are right but on the fateful morning of 25 April 2015, and probably forever, that debate can be shelved. You might as well debate the merits of Jobe Watson’s Brownsugarlow Medal with the normally rational Dave The Butcher Edwards. That is, if you could find him.
Anyway, this is no Toastmasters’ Convention. This is hard edged AFL football under the blazing equatorial sun. 2013 was then and this is now or it was now at 10 am on 25 April when one of the strongest Bintangs teams ran out onto the high school sports field to engage the formidable Malaysia Warriors for the 2015 Batik Cup.
There were 2 dozen of us, a raging impassioned coach and captain to whip us up and pulling the strings of player rotations, the football smarts of 2 VFL games of Brenton Harris and the out of the box fresh and edgy millennial thinking of Rod Dirk Diggler (I didn’t say this millennium).
The first quarter was a cracker.
Both sides throw the kitchen sink at each other, and when that was fended off, the absolutely splendid de Gabriele-designed Lazy Susan from David O’Shea’s dining room ensemble creating an impression of minimalism through lines which are unbroken and decoration conspicuous by its absence.
Malaysia struck first, dobbing the first goal. The Eyes of the Henderson narrowed. Hardened. Then he attacked the ball with the ferocity of Boko Haram but with considerably more understanding of the benefits of book learning on the path to self-actualisation. Lyons roared and cleared time and again and before Mick Lewthwaite could say “gee, guys, it would be good if Lee van Gils, fresh from his carpentry practise in Western Australia, could dob an ice cool long bomb to overtake club icons Matthew Stephens and Chris Bandy to become outright 7th in the Bintangs all time goalkicking list, followed swiftly by JP tapping on to Wizard for a 6 point snapperoo”, lo and behold it happened.
Adam Bray was basically Satan on Sleds zooming from last line to centre and back and pinged a hapless Warrior holding the ball in the square to save a certain goal. Loren Moir was manifesting a physical resemblance to the Mickey Rourke character in Sin City I & II and doing as much damage up forward.
But Warriors fight and they hit back twice with two goals. Still it was the Tangs with the last word. DOS sidestepped about 420 kilos of Warriors to Pope John Paul of the Bintangs forward line who blessed us with a 6 point sacrament right on the bell. 3.0 to 4.0.
The second quarter continued the theme of toughness at and gracefulness with the ball. Matt Jolly, no stranger to these attributes, was a supply line to the forwards and the cavalry to the besieged back line. The Henderson’s Eyes turned red, reflecting the colours of the Sherrin that he smashed out of danger so often. In terms of kicks per gram, prowler is rarely beaten and wasn’t yet again. Malaysia were good, really good, and kept pegging back with goals despite the ceaseless endeavours of a fully engaged Bintangs side. Quail was everywhere and disposed cleanly and we know how much that counts. New Bintang Chris Perez was dauntless but against a team like the Warriors, we were going to need more. Some luck would help but luck was to be no lady that morning.
Always true to his words, Adam Bray ran an extra 20 metres to close a gap and lay a tackle but it was to be a fateful run as in the collision he suffered a sickening snap of the knee. Drip, coach and one of only 11 B.J Morgan winners in history, was out for the day. And longer. We all knew that.
We went into half time with 5 goals on the board, thanks to a great long bomb by Wodonga’s finest Matthew Stephens Award winner Tim Donkey Simpson and precisely polished play by the man who ripped the Vice Captaincy from Simpson’s hands with his Edge of Belgravia designer Tasekiso Series kitchen tongs representing just as much an effective cooking tool as a piece of art and a much envied key to inspired cooking, Dave O’Shea.
Some men are born smothers, some achieve smotherosity, some have smotherosity thrust upon them. Andrew Henderson fulfils the first rubric.
Henderson’s smothers and Lyons’ clearances kept the Warriors at bay when it was most sorely needed. This let Quail thrive and DOS blaze. DOS goaled when Bintangs goals were as scarce as vestiges of mercy in Ben Corbett. To prove this, Ben flattened his opponent and put through an absolute pearler of a goal. Van Gils acted as though the Sherrin was his long lost iPhone stolen by a Jakarta taxi driver and grabbed it as frequently as possible. Disposed of it about as much as well.
One goal down half way through the third and the Bintangs were showing they could match it with anyone up to then. But then the dam burst. It was havoc but the Malaysians were Warriors and unleashed the Dogs of War. The Warriors rallied and went to the last break 4 goals up.
But then they came out and buried Jakarta in the 4th. Buried. Even Brenton Harris with his Memoirs of a Geisha sunscreen look turned a whiter shade of pale.
Guess it wasn’t to be.
ANZ Jakarta Bintangs 7.5.47
Malaysian Warriors 16.7.103
GOALS: O’Shea 2, van Gils, Kenyon, Donkey, Corbett, Wizard
BEST: Henderson, Quail, Lyons, van Gils, Halim, O’Shea, Jolly, Prowler