Channel Nine has a chat to Ray Warren about the pokies

10.6.11

“A Sydney rugby league commentator has admitted that remarks during an NRL final attacking proposed anti-pokie laws were provided to him by Channel Nine management. The admission by Ray Warren, a recovered gambling addict…” – The Age

Look Ray, you know we care about you, right? You’re a member of the Channel Nine family. You’re true blue. The real deal. Dinky di. Ridgey Didge. No wait, that was Channel Ten. Forget Ridgey Didge.

The point is, we’d never make you do anything you weren’t comfortable with. You’re “The Voice of Rugby League”! We need to you to be on your game! By which we mean our game. Of Rugby League. I probably over-explained that.

Alright Ray, let me get to the point. You’ve obviously heard about this cuckoo idea that the Federal Government has about trying to stop good, honest, hard-working Australians from having a punt on the pokies right? I mean, it’s just crazy. Next they’ll be telling you there’s a limit to how much Vegemite you’re allowed to eat or that you can’t keep platypuses as pets or shoot down helicopters flying over your property. Every right thinking Australian knows it’s a load of crap. Like something out of Soviet Russia, this.

And again, I really want to emphasise that we’re not going to make you do anything you’re uncomfortable with. But. And this is a tiny but. Barely a but at all. Even smaller than Marnie’s butt. Ain’t that right, toots? Haha. Yeah, she loves it.

But, as we all know, tomorrow is Grand Final day. And everyone’s gonna be watching. And you, Ray. Rabbit, Rabs, Rabbsy… Ray will be commentating it. And everyone’s gonna be listening.

Have I mentioned that we don’t want you to do anything you’d be uncomfortable with? Yes? Alright. Just making sure. Because we really don’t.

So, about this Grand Final. We were just wondering if maybe you wouldn’t mind, uh, if you found the right opportunity, um, saying something about the pokies thing during the match. Doesn’t have to be big. A light mention. An aside. If you will. Something like, “Stewart out to Lyon and it’s a fumble just like the Federal Government’s handling of the pokie issue”, or maybe something even more straightforward like “Another four points to Manly. They’ve got to be feeling as good as I did when I won at the pokies last night. What a great Australian tradition”.

Now, we know you’ve had your problems with gambling in the past. But I’m sure you’ll agree, problem gambling is as Australian as putting a dingo on the barbeque or problem drinking. Something to be worried about on occasion, sure, but it’s what makes our country great. Imagine, if you couldn’t bet, you probably wouldn’t even be here today! Don’t think about it too much, just go with me. I mean, sure, you’ve probably sacrificed the possibility of a wealthy life with no material worries for the sake of your daily flutters, but what would you prefer? Sitting in your palatial home, night after night, watching cooking shows with your adoring wife and loving children while you stroke the crisp, un-bet $50 in your left trouser pocket? Sounds like hell to me, Ray. Sounds like the coward’s life.

And that’s just what these pokie players are doing. Escaping the unending drudgery and loneliness of their lives in the neon fantasy land of their local club house. And would you really begrudge them that? The chance to flirt with the idea of winning for the first time in their miserable, unremarked lives? Is that what you want Ray? You who have loved gambling so well. Huh? Huh? Is that how much you hate these poor souls, that you would deny them the one pleasure that animates their dull, seemingly endless lives? That keeps them moving from day to cripplingly long, featureless day? Would you prefer they just died, Ray? Would you? Would you?! Stop crying! Look at me! Look me in the eye, you miserable fuck! Look me in the eye when you say you want them all to die!

What’s that? You’ll do it! Great! Here’s a tissue. So glad things didn’t have to get weird. Now, we’ve been in discussion with marketing and they think directly after half time would probably be the best point to drop it, something about giving everyone a chance to get liquored up. Either way, I am super excited about tomorrow’s game and the fact that nobody is doing anything they’re uncomfortable with. Go Cats! What? The AFL? Ah, it’s all the same.