7 Reasons That Ricky Ponting is the Second Coming of Christ
As I was walking yesterday, on the road to Sainsbury’s, a strange and life-changing event occurred. I strolled past a man carrying a newspaper and, upon the back of that newspaper there was a picture. An image of Ricky Ponting looking glum. Christ, I thought, doesn’t that miserable bastard ever look happy? And then, suddenly and without warning, there was a blinding flash of light and a sonorous and divine voice did appear from the sky and say, “Ah look, mate, why do you persecute me?”
I fell to the floor: “Who are you,” I stammered meekly.
“I am Punter, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now rise and get thee unto the supermarket, and you will be told what you must do.”
Blimey, that was weird, I thought, and went to the supermarket as I was bidden. And, to cut a very long story short, in the manner of Saul on the road to Damascus, I, Marc* on the road to Sainsbury’s, had had an epiphany. I realised that I had been wrong all along about Ricky Ponting and had done him many disservices over the years. And now I have truly seen the light and it is my divine mission to tell the world of his glory; here are the seven reasons why Punter is the true successor to our lord Jesus Christ.
1. The Name. If things look right, and sound right, then they generally are. And when I tried to think of a way to link the names of Jesus and Ponting, I have to admit, I struggled. But then I realised that true struggle is the lot of a disciple, and that I’d just have to think harder. And, lo, I thought harder. But other than the names Ponting and Christ being interchangeable as profane expletives in my heathen life prior to my conversion, I could find very little to link them. Then it hit me: A portmanteau word. Ricky Ponting is no longer merely Punter the cricket captain. He now has a divine and biblical-sounding title. He will henceforth be known as…The Pontychrist.
2. Miracles. Jesus was famed for his making of miracles. Specifically, for eking out very little, to make a lot. He turned water into wine, and he fed five-thousand people when equipped with a small quantity of bread and fish; a situation in which a lesser bearded-man – such as Captain Birdseye – merely invented the fish finger. And, in the manner of Jesus, Ponting (who, though not bearded of face, is bearded of arm), the new saviour, is attempting to win the Ashes with a mere nineteen runs from the first two tests. And when he pulls it off, it will be hailed as one of the greatest miracles ever seen. Greater, even, than when he takes a stroll across Sydney Harbour without using the bridge after the fifth test, and greater than when he turns Toohey’s into wine. Or Beer into a world-beating bowler.
3. Serendipity. This current Ashes series began in almost an exact word-for-word replay of one of Christ’s most famous quotes because Australia opened the bowling in the first test. And so it was that he, who is without spin, cast the first stone (or ball, as we call them these days). In fact, like his famous forebear, Ponting tries as much as possible to live a blameless life where lesser men (England) are happy to live a life of spin. In the grand tradition of divine saviours, The Pontychrist is more spinned against, than spinning.
4. The Devil. There would be no need for the coming of Ponting if it weren’t for the presence of darkness among man. Who then, is his nemesis, his bête noire, his archfiend, his foe, the Mephistopheles to his Good Shepherd? It can’t be Andrew Strauss; he’s too nice, he is a mere instrument of the devil. For Beelzebub himself is cunning, yet is vain, and so gives himself away through his choice of name. I ask you, what rhymes with horn? That’s right, many, many, many things but, specifically in this case, Vaughan. Behold The Antipontychrist! For though he has now been banished unto the commentary box for the duration of the series – which if the final test ends on day three will have lasted for forty days and forty nights – (which is both biblical and mathematical proof ), he is surely the puppet-master that the righteous Punter does battle against.
5. The Blood of the PontyChrist. In Christian religions, those arcane churches that we had before the birth of Pontianity, especially in Roman-Catholicism, (where the head of the church will, when Ponting is acknowledged as the second coming, be known as The Puntiff) the blood of Christ is important. Jesus, we are told, bled for our sins, and so, in the present day, has the Pontychrist. Here he is bleeding, so that our spirits may be lifted heavenward. And who amongst us can say that this image of his selflessness doesn’t fill their heart with joy?
6. Iconography. And, much like Christ, when so many of his teachings will be open to the whimsical and wilful interpretations of man, many years after he has passed, so the Pontychrist’s visage will be used, in the millennia to come by men warning others to follow his example and to live without sin. He’s omnipresent, they’ll say, he can see everything that you’re doing, they’ll say. And they’re right. In this portent of the future he seems to be staring into your very soul. And, now that you have seen this picture, you will know, that Ricky can see your every thought and deed. He will know if you think ill of the French. He will know when you’re masturbating. He will know when you’ve eaten Twiglets that you shouldn’t have touched. He knows everything: For he is omnipontent.
7. Reflection. And later, on reflection at my conversion to Pontianity, I had a moment of doubt, the sort that afflicted people 2000 years ago in Jesus’s time. I wrote this piece yesterday, but when I woke this morning, I found myself questioning things. In short, I had a crisis of faith. I might have taken too much of my flu medication yesterday, I thought. What if I’d dreamt it? I’d look a fool. I’d be mocked and cast asunder by my peers. I decided that, on reflection, I may have got carried away and resolved to discard what I had written and start afresh with a new piece, after I’d had my breakfast. And then I saw a sign:
So, in summary, I’m buying myself a ute and I’m going to fill it with corrugated iron and tambourines and head off to the hills to build the first (of many) Puntecostal churches. Who’s with me?
*Henceforth to be known as Parc.