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It’s Just Not Cricket

by Colin O’Scopy

ecard4A reader of “You’ve Heard It Now” sent us this old advertisement that could explain the less-than-sparkling performance of the Australian Cricket team.

The root of the decline seems to have been new laws brought in to assist the Australian Somewhat Intelligent Organisation. Under one of those laws you could be disappeared just for being in the same bus, train, or restaurant as a suspected or known terrorist.

Popular advice held that if you found yourself in any of the above situations you should immediately ask every person around you if they were a terrorist. Any answer in the affirmative was a strong indication that your exit from vehicle or restaurant should be extremely rapid.

Neither should you delay in asking the question, went the advice. As soon as you were close enough to make yourself heard, ask “Are you a terrorist?

Problems arose when the question was unwittingly directed at a cricketer. A cricketer would hear the question as “Are you a terror-wrist?” Ego demanded the response be an eager “Yes, yes! Have you heard of me?“, even if their only involvement with the game had been as an armchair critic.

The predicament for the cricketer was predictable. Travelling alone and eating alone were bad enough, but he also found himself isolated on the cricket field. And all the while expecting a tap on the kneecap from ASIO (Australian Somewhat Intelligent Organisation). Mental deterioration wasn’t slow in setting-in.

Soon the Australian Prime Monster came to hear of the plight of cricketers, although it now appears that the manner and timing of his hearing was deliberately connived so as to cause minimal national alarm. Low morale amongst Australia’s cricketers would be worse than losing to New Zealand.

To avoid the asking of awkward questions and the receiving of equally awkward answers, the Prime Monster hit upon the idea of a central terrorist register. It would be responsible for certifying all terrorists and non-terrorists around the entire world. And they would issue lapel badges, to be known as the “eCard”, to authenticate this. Every citizen venturing into public places would be required to prominently display their badge. Verbal interchange would be unnecessary.

Focus groups and field trials had all indicated a ready acceptance of the scheme. Billions to finance the scheme had been set-aside in the next budget. Commercial lobbyists were hard at work, on behalf of industry capable of producing the cards. President Shrub had given his warm approval of the scheme. Our (Australia’s) Man-of-Steel was about to become a legend in his own lunchbox.

Then November 2007 intervened, and all those eCards joined the millions of fridge magnets telling us to be alert, not alarmed. The storm clouds were towering above cricket fields everywhere. There weren’t going to be many more happy hours in the pavillion. The Australian Cricket Bored were conspicuous by their silence.

But the game of cricket deserves our support. Do consider our urgent plea, at


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