23 Jun

The Gospel According to St. Clive
by Paul Waite
23 Jun 2005

And lo! The Lord said unto St. Clive, “Go ye forth unto the Lands of the Long White Cloud and do ye the damage in the game they play at my place”.

But St. Clive said “But Lord, how can I do this, hampered as I am by a lot of useless Taffs, and Micks and the odd token Jock or two, which are not equal in mine sight with The Mighty Englishmen of Ye Olde 2003 World Cup Squad?”.

And the Lord replied “Speak not that racist, Anglo-centric bollocks lest ye become less than a festering maggot in mine sight! Take yon Lions on tour, and be always just, honest and fair in thy decisions, selecting only on form and ability. And listen not to The Larder, the wielder of The English Defence System, which is verily a blight on My Game.”

And St. Clive went from the Lord’s sight, and wrought mightily in secret caverns in England, and when the time came he led The Lions forth as a mighty army swollen with lawyers, media co-ordinators, and a multitude of other middle-men who would have been the first in line for the B-Ark of the legendary Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, oh, and a few players as well.

And they journeyed long in Business Class to the Mighty Isles of the Long White Cloud, and there they did embark on an arduous campaign designed to convince the players that St. Clive was trying to find the best team for the first test.

But St. Clive was tagged by The Lord one night when he was busy praying for victory, and the conversation was recorded by an mp3-capable cellphone left under St. Clive’s pillow by a Welsh lad, and the gist of it went thus:

St. Clive: “Please Lord may I have a victory over these heathen kiwis in this first test and looking forward, grant me also a series win, and three-nil would be nice, if you could see your way clear to managing it.”

The Lord (for it was he): “What’s that? I was asleep. Don’t you people ever consider time-zones?”

St. Clive (bathed in a search-light glow seeming to emanate from the ceiling of The Holiday Inn, Christchurch): “Sorry Lord.”

The Lord: “I see that thy test lineup has been announced. It is NOT pleasing to mine eyes Clive – why didn’t you pick that lad Henson, who hath the strength of Samson and the step of David when he had to dodge Goliath that time?”

St. Clive: “Er.. The Larder instructed me that he wouldn’t fit into our defensive screen Lord. And he was a Taff, and we already had our quota of those.”

The Lord: “Thou hast spouted utter bollocks. Mine ears are aflame with insult. Who is this Larder that he orders mine own captain of The Lions Quest in whom to select? And hast thee forgotten all about My Game, and how it is all about running with the ball, with a delicate balance between hard defence, good tight-forward play and all-out attacking footy that brings the congregations in to worship?”.

St. Clive: “Sorry Lord, but The Larder and I had picked the team before we left, and as proof I offer you the evidence of this stone tablet whereupon we had a stonemason inscribe all of their names.”

The Lord: “I know all about tablets. I gave that tosspot Moses a couple and look what bloody use they were! Break you this tablet and select ye the team that should take the field in My Name, or else suffer the consequences of a reet stuffing at the hands of your nemesis, The All Blacks! I say this verily, for the Holy Record Books will not forget. Pick ye of the Welsh how they ought to be picked, and pick ye of the Irish and Jocks likewise.”

St. Clive: “Ok Lord, but it’s too late for the first test. I’ll give you a prayer in a few days, and let you know how it went.”

The Lord: “I already know, dickhead, I’m omniscient”.

St. Clive (after a moment’s thought): “Er… so you probably know what the result is ahead of time then.. right?”

The Lord: “Verily.”

St. Clive: “Ah. …. Might I humbly ask what it was, er, will be?”

The Lord: “No, you are unable to ask humbly for anything, but I will answer the question nontheless. The AB’s will win, and your selections will be shown up as bloody daft ones.”

St. Clive (opening his door and yelling): “Phil! Come here will you? God knows we’ve got a problem!”

Paul Waite

Paul Waite

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