I am a generously proportioned individual.
This is the plain, unvarnished truth. When out shopping for apparel, I do not deign to so much as even glance at the M’s, let alone the pitiful S’s. In fact, I evince some modicum of interest only when we are in the plurals where the X’s are concerned. All of which is to say that on the shrinking flower, brooding ape scale, I lie on the outermost regions along the right.
But still, a couple of days ago, you could have struck me down with one of the petals from said shrinking flower.
There I was, reading the newspaper in the morning, downing my first cup of caffeine, when I read that an Australian cricketer was upset because he had been sledged.
For those of you blissfully unaware of the stereotypes in cricket, here is some background. An Aussie cricketer upset at being sledged is like the leader of the free world being upset because somebody else was being stupid. It’s like Bollywood being upset if somebody makes a movie with a weak plot line. It’s like an Indian restaurant being upset because somebody served up a spicy oily dish. It reeks, in other words, of hypocrisy.
Said cricketer, I went on to read, was upset because the offender had dared to make a comment of a personal nature. Sledging, our brave Australian warrior seemed to suggest, was not just fine but bloody well expected. Getting personal, the self same warrior ventured to make clear, was crossing the line.
This mythical creature (the line, not the brave Australian warrior), I must make clear, exists only in the mind of the Australian cricket team and its management, but is applicable to every known atom in the universe.
It is defined thus: everything said and done by the Australian team lies on this side of the line, no matter how close, and everything said and done by the opponent lies on the other.
Not only is this is Eternal Truth, but you will earn the undying wrath of the brave Australian warriors, if you dare disagree with it. Some South African player didn’t get the memo, apparently, and that set our brave Aussie warrior off.
Here’s the problem, however: asking an Australian cricketer to set the rules of what is fair and what is not when it comes to sledging is a little like asking OJ Simpson to write down the sections of the law pertaining to murder.
There is, not to beat about the bush, definite conflict of interest.
All of which is not to say that the South African player didn’t say something nasty and mean. He may well have – but that is missing the point. For an Australian player to complain about it though, is taking things into the domain of the surreal. Something like a Member of Parliament chiding their child for being unruly in class.
These days, the cricket field is reduced to being the kind of place that would make a drunken sailor blush like a sixteen year old girl, and I say what I do not to defend the alleged perpetrator of the sledge in question. All I want to do as a long suffering viewer of the asinine behaviour of the Australian team is say the following:
Was that personal, widdle Davey, dear?
He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime