Xavier Toby

Seagull sees stars at Big Bash

Because it was #StrayaDay this week, we have a special addition of Xavier Toby’s “Most Aussie thing to happen this week” – the Big Bash seagull incident, something that still has XT laughing…


At a KFC Big Bash match last week, a seagull was doing absolutely nothing wrong – maybe just looking for chips, hot chips or french fries, depending on where you’re from – when it was suddenly and outrageously clocked by a cricket ball at extremely high velocity, and flattened.

It was fair dinkum out cold.

Thousands breathed in sharply, fearing the worst for the poor bird.

Fielder Rob Quiney delicately carried it from the field. Well, as delicately as an Aussie sportsman can hold a possibly dead bird. Think of a dog at a barbecue running around the backyard with a stolen sausage.

Anyway, he placed it delicately(ish) behind the boundary rope, waved for someone to help (do they have vets at the cricket now?) then went back to the Big Bash.

He was the only one though, as a couple of deliveries later, what followed was the biggest roar from any crowd at any event on any night for a very long time.

The seagull was up!

Every camera switched from the pretend action (cricket) to the real action (groggy bird).

The seagull was visibly breathing in very deeply, and proceeded to stumble around for a few minutes on legs that must’ve felt like squashed chips (or hot chips, or French fries, or potatoes for the purists).

Next, the seagull was back in the action. The ball and two fielders approached. The seagull, sensing its moment, made an attempt at revenge, mistaking its saviour for its attacker and flew for Quiney’s ankles.

A near miss!

Another huge roar from the crowd!

Only in Australia can a bird widely regarded as a rat of the sky and pigeon from the beach, so quickly enter the hearts and minds of thousands, just for being belted.

There’s nothing Australian about succeeding.

What is far more respected is doing what you do, then copping one. Instead of whinging, wallowing or otherwise complaining, if you then just get on with it, along with a cheeky swipe at your attacker, well that’s the way to become an Australian hero.

This seagull should run for Prime Minister.

That’s not saying much though. At this stage, I’d vote for anyone else apart from our current Prime Minister. Let me pronounce something that I think we can all agree with:

“I wish our Prime Minister was a seagull.”

In further seagull news, it was released into Yarra Park, and is apparently doing okay.

“You could be looking at just soft-tissue injury, it could be a fracture,” said Dr Colin Walker of the Melbourne Bird Veterinary Clinic. “You could be looking at some internal injury as well, but birds are fairly tough. Most things are repairable. If it was soft-tissue or internal, the fact that it’s still alive would carry a pretty good prognosis.”

All great news, considering this bird has a long flight ahead of it.

To Canberra.

Xavier Toby

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian. His debut comedic non-fiction book about six months on a mining site 'Mining My Own Business' is available through UWA Publishing (http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/books-and-authors/book/mining-my-own-business). For more writing, upcoming performance details and some embarrassing photos check out his website.

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