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Narrating People’s Lives: In the Aisles! by Thomas Sanders
I love how the dad does this side-glance at his kid like “You’re about to be embarrassed so hard, son”
I love this sport.
So the Prime Minister of Australia (the one on the right, with no shirt on) declared he’d “shirtfront” the President of Russia (the one on the left, with no shirt on) at the upcoming G20 summit. This has lead to a series of escalating tensions and questions about both leaders and I’ve set out to answer the most vital of those questions.
1. What the hell is “shirtfronting”?
It’s the thing AFL players do (apparently) when they grab the front of each others shirts and go at it. Like they have a push-and-pull fight, they don’t…go at it.
2. Why the hell did Abbott say that?
In part, it’s over the Russian government’s support of the Russian separatist rebels in the Ukraine, who fired on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 a few months ago. Abbott wants to confront Putin over his reaction to the flight going down, but also to his original support of the rebels. Further, it’s an attempt by the Oxford-educated, upper-class politician to sound “colloquial” and “ocker,” along the lines of Kevin Rudd’s classic aphorism, “fair shake of the sauce bottle.” Yes, I know. Cringeworthy.
3. How did the Russians react?
Very poorly. Despite Australia not exactly being a world power, apparently relations between our two fair nations are at below-Cold War era levels.
4. Who would win in a fight between Abbott and Putin?
A brief lowdown. Putin is 169 to 170cm tall, and weighs about 77kg (figures from 2011, Wikipedia). Abbott, according to this venerable source, is 5’11, and looking at the above photo, I’ll put him around 75-80kg too. Abbott’s got height, Putin’s got heft.
Abbott’s also got age and virility over Putin - he’s 56 to Putin’s 62, with three daughters and a current wife as opposed to Putin’s two daughters and former partner. This also gives Abbott an edge, as he’s not only fighting to prove his worth as a leader, but he also has to prove his worth as a husband and father. As Abbott is a known conservative when it comes to women, we can only assume he’ll hand over either his wife or one of his daughters if he is not victorious in the fight.
Unfortunately for Abbott, Putin has history on his side. Putin was born in the Soviet Union and as we all know, Mother Russia Makes You Strong. Abbott was born to an Australian mother (good) and English father (not so good) in England (rainy, smoggy, cold, not a good place to raise a future Prime Minister). Unfortunately for everyone involved, Abbott and his family emigrated to Australia in 1960 under the Assisted Passage Scheme (Ten Pound Poms, for all you playing at home).
Abbott, if this fight does go ahead, will have the home team advantage, as he’ll be fighting on Australian soil, though I’m sure many Australians will be happy to see him nobbled by the Russian President. Abbott also has experience in boxing, and won two Blues for boxing while at Oxford. He was a heavyweight with “modest height and reach,” according to the venerable source, Wikipedia. Blues are the heighest level award for boxing at many universities, so we can assume Tony knows how to take and give a punch or two. Abbott also regularly cycles, swims and does triathalons, gifting us with the picture that graces the top of this post. He is also an active member of a CFA branch in New South Wales, fighting fires that are so common to the Australian experience.
However, Putin leaves Abbott in the dust when it comes to fitness and fighting experience. Though Tony’s got experience at punching near the heads of women who displease him, Putin’s got experience at punching enough people to become a black belt in karate, a 6th dan in judo and a Sports Master in sambo (a USSR form of martial art). He began with sambo at age 12, and has practised judo since he was 14. Putin also cycles, fishes, ice-skates, skis and wrestles bears (apparently).
Unlike Abbott’s chill background of considering joining the priesthood, Putin was busy gaining experience and influence. A member of the KGB since 1975 (resigning in 1991), Lieutenant-Colonel Putin was stationed in East Germany, recruiting foreigners to spy for the GDR secret police. After the fall of the Wall, Putin was reassigned to Russia. Putin will also have the fury of Gaia on his side, as he was an early supporter of the Kyoto Protocol and supervises several programs to save rare and endangered Russian animals.
Vladimir Putin, 2007 Times Person of the Year, expert in International Law, former KGB agent, owner of a dog called Buffy, is honestly my favourite to win in this fight, but that’s also probably related to Tony Abbott being a moronic dickhead who thinks he’s a major player on the World Stage when he’s got the same amount of influence on international affairs as Pluto’s reintroduction as a planet.
5. Can you never post a photo of shirtless Tony Abbott again, please?
I swear by all the stars in the sky. I didn’t want it on my blog either.