The Weighty Issues in Sports

Following revelations regarding the scarcity of food (created by Robert Mugabe’s new food laws), as encountered by South African cricketers in Bulawayo, a wave of high profile personalities has flocked to Zimbabwe to get a taste of the latest trend in instant weight loss. Yes, that is right- weight loss. In yet another display of human ingenuity turning adversity to its advantage, persons hoping to shed a bit of weight have booked themselves on the next flight to the troubled African nation in search of a quick solution to the problems that ‘weigh them down,’ so to speak.

Among those off for a (hopefully) quick African sojourn is former Australian leg spinner Shane Warne. Often teased mercilessly about his rather bulky form, the blond Victorian has tried repeatedly in the past to shed those extra pounds, occasionally with disastrous results. “That experiment with diuretics was a disaster! Sure, I shed a few kilos, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the fact that I got banned. Now, I trust only the patented Mugabe diet,” said Warne, while flashing his pearly whites and pointing in a cheesy manner at a framed picture of the Zimbabwean dictator. The video has, of course, since been translated into Hindi and now airs during infomercial hour, right after the classic ‘Sauna Belt.’

Other sportspersons going in for the revolutionary ‘treatment’ include Bermudan cricket’s man-mountain Dwayne Leverock, Indian spinner Ramesh Powar, and former Pakistan captain Inzamam ul Haq. Said Inzy, “For years, they have called me Aloo (potato), now Aloo will be eating only aloo!”

Of course, the fad has spread to other sports as well. Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne, among other footballers past and present, is looking to lose the weight added by a lack of physical activity. When asked for his comments, the decidedly eccentric Gazza said, and I quote, “BUUUURRRRP!” He added, while running away: “YAAAAAGHHHH!!!” Record breaking baseball legend Barry Bonds, however, is staying away from the Mugabe diet. The slugger, accused of bulking up on steroids, explained “I am already on the Ben Johnson diet.”

Needless to say, the fad has been adopted by Hollywood celebrities, ever eager to compete with pencils on the scale of thinness. Among other tinseltown figures, Nicole Richie decided to adopt the method, a move prompted by the sudden weight gain experienced by her in recent months. [Edit: Ms Richie abandoned her plans after being informed by her fiancé that the weight gain was ‘probably’ due to the fact that she is pregnant.]

Elsewhere, following a recent spate of illness and injury to top female tennis players, the WTA has set up a hospital specifically for these individuals. High profile patients include Russian star Maria Sharapova (“She comes and goes like Shane Warne at a buffet,” grumbled a nurse, to which Warne responded, “STOP WITH THE FAT JOKES!”), 18 year old Czech sensation and glandular fever patient Nicole Vaidisova, and French powerhouse Amelie Mauresmo, among numerous others. Needless to say, the Williams sisters own a sizeable share in the hospital. Unfortunately, the hospital may be in danger of being shut down, after it was found to be operated by Mariano Puerta and Jennifer Capriati’s former ‘pharmacist.’ Barry Bonds( the baseball player of the BALCO scandal fame) has since checked in. It is unclear if these incidents are related in any way.

Shreyas Reddy