Monday, 11 May 2009

Interview With Michael Clarke

Catching up with Michael Clarke over a chai latte at a rather wanky café named “Soul Refresh”, chosen as the place of our meeting at the express request of Michael. Below is an audio recording of the interview:

“Hi, sorry I’m late, I was just having…”

“No worries, I wasn’t waiting for—”

“…Another shopping trip with Lara, you don’t know how she gets when my credit card is readily on offer. I come back from a tour, and I look at my credit card statement and it’s just like, “Money, WHERE THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU?”

“….”

“It was a… joke, you know the ad…”

“…Yeah.”

“Lara says that if people are going to joke about it, we should get into the act too. Subverting the negative cycle, I think is what it’s called. Some “Positive Thinking and You” book Lara gave me for Christmas. She has a matching one. Sometimes we read it to each other over the phone when she’s feeling lonely, the chapter about how long distance relationships are like runt pigs and how they require nurturing….”

“….”

“It’s quite helpful.”

“…”

“Do you want anything?”

“Oh, no I’ve already ordered.”

“Good, could you order for me too? An iced tea, exactly 3 ice-cubes. That’s another thing Lara’s gotten me into. Feng-shui involving food, it’s a Western take on the Asian movement. Ensuring your ingredients are in the correct spiritual proportions to strengthen the bond of ying yang. Very interesting, I think Ellen does it.”

“…Right. Well…”

“Excuse me, hi. An iced tea thanks, on her tab.”

“…”

“Oh, sorry. You don’t mind, do you? I’ve just donated my last year’s earnings to the Liposuction Foundation. Very good cause, they helped Lara with some weight issues when she was eight years old… We don’t talk about it much, but… Anyway, so that’s where my money has gone, and Lara’s taken my credit cards hostage since we got engaged…”

“It’s fine. Can we talk…”

“Cricket? Yeah, sure. Bring it on, or as Lara likes to say, “Involve me in a deep verbal spiritual cleansing”. Quite nice, those phrases we’ve picked up from Positive Thinking and You. Sometimes we try having conversations about the Discussion Topics at the end of the book. They’re supposed to make you a whole person, both mentally and emotionally. In fact, we just had a discussion on existentialism, me and Lara. A bit confusing, I don’t think either of us knew what it was, but we gave it our best shot, and that is the true key to spiritual success as
B. Sohappy, the author of the book, says.”

“…”

“Yes… I do think the book has changed my life in many ways.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised. Just quickly on the topic of your recent series win against Pakistan—”

“Good win it was too. I was just talking to Lara about it, actually… what’s wrong? You seem unhappy.”

“…Not at all. You were saying? About the win...”

“Ah look, I can’t gloat, but let’s look at the facts, yeah? No Ricky, no Mitch, no Huss, and no decent fucking spinner either. Except me. I was a bit worried about it, seeing as we’d just, you know…”

“Lost the one day series against South Africa?”

“Two in a row, yeah. So I did what I usually do, I hopped on the phone with Lara and we both skipped to the chapter of Positive Thinking and You where it talks about facing new challenges and she read this very interesting paragraph about how rising to the occasion required the 3 Ps. Passion, Persistence and Pomegranate—that’s a soul-cleansing food by the way, the book says. One of the 3 core detox fruits: pomegranate, mangosteen and strawberry. On that topic, I’d actually accredit some of my success against Pakistan to a new strawberry body butter Lara gave me. It’s soft and nourishing for your skin, and I actually squeezed out pomegranate juice on my hands—took a long time, I’ll tell you—and rubbed the strawberry body butter over the top. It healed up my calluses in no time and I played with the softest hands ever. Good for picking up lots of quick singles.”

“Oh… alright.”

“That’s what I was trying to tell Huss when I got back. You know, try some of this body butter and you’ll be Mr. Cricket again in no time. Although, to be honest, I don’t know if that’s really possible, it seems to be a permanent slump. I’m considering leaving his general circles.
B. Sohappy says associating with failures is often enough to reverse your positive thinking processes. Cause you to fail as well.”

“Does this mean the team is unhappy with Mike Hussey’s performances?”

“Ah look, I wouldn’t put it like that. But the concept of Western feng shui argues that the position of people in relation to each other is equally as important as the position of furniture. If I’m always facing Huss, and Mitch is shining his glory on Punter at the back, who’s going to benefit? I’m just saying that maybe it would be better if Huss stopped hanging out with us and maybe became a part of the spinners’ group. They’re all in similar situations, that’s all. Davo can stay with us, we don’t have anything against him. But I’ve been chatting to Ricky and he agrees with me.”

“On a similar subject, do you think there was a real difference in your captaincy as compared to Ricky’s?”

Positive Thinking and You recommends you don’t say things like that. I do think there was a difference, yes, because I like to focus on the results. Now if you look at the results, clearly there’s a better captain out of the two of us. I’ve won 100% of my one day series as captain, and Ricky’s record is abysmal in comparison. It’s all a matter of relativity B. Sohappy argues.”

“What would you say contributed to your success in the series? You were one down at the start, but—”

“It was good when we caught the chucker. I think that was a real turning point for me as a captain and for our team in general. Shane did something Positive Thinking and You calls “deconstruction and simplification of the hurdle”—basically breaking down the opposition and revealing their undies. That’s what we did to Pakistan. We stripped them naked and exposed them to everyone. It changed the nature of our game because we saw just how small they really were.”

“Figuratively...?”

“And literally. But the biggest factor of all was probably my interpretative and analytical work as captain. I worked on the “round model theory” that’s outlined in Positive Thinking and You. It basically involves bringing all aspects of your life to the game, and I found we’d been missing out on the most important thing of all.”

“…”

“…”

“…”

“…”

“What was it?”

“My dreams. B. Sohappy does talk about vision for the future and dreaming big, but I found a whole new meaning for it while in UAE. There was an interesting dramatisation of the works of Sigmund Freud on television. I didn’t understand it, but he seemed quite clever so I googled him and I discovered that my dreams were the missing element in our gameplan.”

“…How so?”

“Well, for example, if I have a dream that a cow is trying to jump over the moon but just can’t make it, and then that cow morphs into Roy fishing stars with the man on the moon, I can go in the next day and issue a notice that all fishing is hereby banned. And as it turned out, I did exactly that while we were in Abu Dhabi. I think Roy was planning to fish for rubbish with a conman who’s told him there was gold hidden in piles of rubbish on the streets. That same day he played for us and hit 10 runs. 10 runs he would never have hit if he’s gone fishing. But at the same time, it’s still only 10 runs, and that’s symbolic of the cow trying to jump over the moon but just not making it. So I talked this over with Roy and I asked him whether he felt like a cow. Turns out he actually did. We had a long discussion, and just look, he’s gone to South Africa and hit a half century first try. It’s the little things like this which count when you’re captain.”

“…”

“…”

“…Oh! Will you look at the time? Terribly sorry, but I have to go. Nice meeting you anyway.”

“No, that’s okay. I have to go too. Lara’s waiting for me at the jewellery store to pick out a new engagement ring. She likes to update it every month.”

“Oh. Okay.”

“Yeah, first she shaves my hair off and then she takes my money. I grew that hair for years. That stupid… bitch. Thanks for the iced tea by the way. It was delicious.”

“Yes.”

“Very delicious, the 3 ice-cubes did the trick.”

“…”

End of recording.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh my god this is hilarious!! great posts. I love: "I played with the softest hands ever. Good for picking up lots of quick singles.”

The MG said...

Haha, I love anything that takes the mickey out of Michael :)

Chris said...

Very funny. I notice Pup didn't say much about anything other than Lara. She's really got him now.

Alex said...

nice...

Esra_Star said...

I used to really like Pup but then Lara came along, he had to shave his head and suddenly the personality was gone and now he's Lara's bitch.

mahatru goyal said...

Through out your conversation you have been talking bout Positive Thinking and You book and LARA. Now I also feel like reading it. Seems as if you love Lara a lot. lucky woman!

Willem said...

I find Clarke nauseating.

adverbin said...

ROFL.. Does this mean "Australia should NOT have Pup stage a mutiny and overthrow Punter's leadership, following their first ODI series win in months"?
Yeah even Punter looks like a mastermind in contrast to the airhead of this 'interview'!

Amy said...

Anon, thanks, it's a well-kept secret of cricketers. I just had to break it.

MG, I know it's hard to see, but I'm actually expressing my undying love for Pup in that post. Because I just love his growing effeminate ways.

Chris, unfortunately, yes she has.

Alex, thanks.

Esra, Lara's bitch? Whatever made you think that? :O

Mahatru, I do love her, from the bottom of my heart. Love is all I have for Lara and her vampire ways.

Willem, I know a few people who do too.

Adverbin, but don't you see the benefit Freudian theories are having on the team? They must stage a mutiny and have Clarke as captain. It's the only way to success.