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Ben Trovato

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

The meek will not inherit the earth – not even an All Blacks coach

“FORMER All Blacks coach thankful over stabbing.” This is what the pestilential counter-revolutionary press sprang on me while I was minding my own business drinking breakfast earlier in the week.

I knew there was something wrong with the headline, but it took until the fourth Bloody Mary to work it out. New Zealanders are never grateful for anything other than a win over the Springboks. And maybe two consecutive days of sunshine. And not being mistaken for Australians.

South Africans emigrate to New Zealand. It’s what they do now that Australia is full. New Zealanders, on the other hand, do not emigrate to South Africa. It would be like moving from Singapore to Kampala to get away from the filth and chaos.

John Mitchell, however, is a rare breed. The ex-All Black flanker did the unthinkable and took up a contract to coach the Lions rugby team in Joburg.

I freshened up my Bloody Mary and read the story. It turned out that Mitchell wasn’t particularly thankful for being stabbed by housebreakers. He was, however, thankful that the knife had missed the artery in his leg. Which is not the same thing at all.

Depraved sensationalist media swine. Forget the tribunal. On the first Saturday of every month, wheel a huge chrome guillotine into Sandton Square and start chopping off their lurid little heads. If it’s melodrama they’re after, we’ll give them melodrama.

Mitchell is not a small man. With a shaven head, he is even more terrifying. I’d have second thoughts about going at him with a chainsaw while he was unconscious, let alone lunge at him with a rusty Okapi while he’s still awake.

He said afterwards: “It’s not nice waking up and having to defend your life.” I imagine it’s not. I find the mere act of waking up traumatic enough. There was one time I woke up and had to defend myself against Brenda, which wasn’t easy, considering that I was in the flower bed and inexplicably lame from the hips down.


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