Thursday, November 1, 2012

Conrad, the reboot

As you know, I worry constantly about Conrad Black and the turns of fortune that have troubled him so much over the past few years.

Loyal readers will recall that, in the spring, hoping to be of assistance in some small way, I put him forward for leadership of Canada's Liberal Party, but that seems now to be an unlikely chance given Justin Trudeau's ascension.

Meanwhile, the costs of operating a baronetcy continue, so I have been pondering how we might help his lordship occupy his time gainfully. There is some urgency surrounding the matter.

Surely we can not have him idling on the runway indefinitely like a B-52 without a bombing mission. The exhaust fumes will accelerate global warming, and the noise is scaring off the game birds.

Perhaps we may find inspiration in Conrad's past. If memory serves, he was quite a croquet player, back in the day.

This suggests a sporting opportunity heretofore uncovered, and one that has a good deal of commercial potential, in my estimation.

I will outline the whole undertaking for you, if you'll bear with me.

For those unfamiliar with the game, the objective is to get both of your balls through the hoops before your opponents get theirs through.

Once through, the balls are removed.

Some may find it difficult to discern the appeal of this for the players, but it's all laid down in The Simplified Laws of Association Croquet, so there can be no disputation. I suspect that some of these matches might be quite prolonged in the late going.

When played at the highest level, croquet displays sufficient action and drama to get the crowd on its feet, and it dovetails nicely into the time-honoured tradition of glamourizing sport in the pursuit of big bucks.

The formula for that, which involves getting just the right mix of testosterone, cleavage, and human growth hormone, has been proven effective across the full gamut of professional sports.

A croquet match, if you've never seen one, is really something.

Quoting from the rules, "A ball can be wired by a hoop upright ~1-3/4" away from its edge as this could prevent the striker's ball from being able to clip the nearest edge of the target ball. You can be wired if the peg or a hoop prevents you from playing a normal backswing to hit an 'open ball' (the other balls being of course wired). A ball with any part lying in the jaws of a hoop is wired by definition from the other balls; again the opponent must be responsible for its position."

You will now grasp the reason for my enthusiasm. Can't you feel the excitement, the thrill of it, the crowd's roar, urged on by the cheerleading Croquettes.

Anyway, the idea is to set up the Croquet Mania Global Nuclear Overlords Naildown (CroMaGNON) Championship Series. We'd be looking for the biggest, baddest, meanest, sweatiest, croquet players in the world to go head to head out there amidst the hoops in pursuit of the Crossharbour cup.

Future expansion is envisioned, perhaps Lingerie Croquet, or Croquet Fantasies On Ice.

Bestride the entire enterprise will be Commissioner Black, directing the whole affair, bestowing honours and trophies, levying fines and suspensions upon those in breach of the ancient rules --- touching another chap's balls, that sort of thing --- and taking 20% of the gate, of course.

In his lordship's own words, "The only charge that anyone can level against us is one of insufficient generosity to ourselves."

Quite!

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