Surprise attack should overcome Richie's knighthood reticence

Parliament Buildings, Wellington, New Zealand

Dear Your Majesty,
I hope you don't mind me writing a letter to you but all my emails to you have been returned marked ''malicious''.

Very hurtful, but I'm sure you remember me from the ''housemaid in the ponytail incident'' when my family stayed at one of the palaces a few years ago.

I met you at breakfast you may recall. The porridge and kippers were superb, although I was later told I should have put them on separate plates.

Still, we all have to learn, don't we? Especially us state house boys.

Yes, it's John Key here, Prime Minister of New Zealand. Now you remember me, I'm sure. I write to humbly ask for your help.

I'm very keen to award a knighthood to Richie McCaw, the All Black captain. Just imagine how my popularity will soar then!

And the election only two years away. But Richie keeps turning me down. People call him ''Sir'' already, it seems.

My plan is to see him dubbed ''Sir Richard'' on the spot immediately after the final of the Rugby World Cup at Twickers on October 31.

Can you be free on that day to do the honours?

I know you don't want to lose any of your precious holiday time but a night at the rugby would get you out of yourself.

Home by midnight, easily. I've asked Steve Tew to get some tickets to you.

Would three be enough? You, the Duke and the Deputy Yeoman of the Royal Cellars who, I'm told, looks after hip flasks and swords, including the ceremonial sword used for knighting people.

Of course, we are confidently assuming that the All Blacks will retain the cup. Especially if we can avoid those pesky Frenchies, eh?

The idea is that when the referee blows the final whistle you scamper down to the halfway line.

I'll be hovering about and can keep an eye on you.

I'm the water boy for the day and very proud to be chosen, I can tell you.

Poor old Andrew Little has been relegated to baggage man. He'll be all right, though.

He's used to being surrounded by basket cases. Ha. Ha. No, really, we shouldn't make fun of these people, should we.

What a procession of plonkers you have to put up with.

I believe you have a Labour Party of your own to deal with.

Tough old world, isn't it?But we mustn't talk politics. You are above such things and, to be honest, I can't blame you.

I try to avoid politics as much as I can and I'm doing pretty well, I think. Flags are a good diversion.

In fact, if you'll help me with this knighthood business I can assure you that the Union Jack will not disappear from the New Zealand flag. A tempting offer?

Now, after the game, as Richie staggers off to grab the cup the idea is that you step forward with the sword.

I'm sure he will at once kneel humbly before you, such is the respect for authority which comes naturally to the people of Kurow.

Then out with sword, a touch on the shoulder (the right one, is it? Or both? You'll know, I'm sure) and ''Arise, Sir Richard.''

He won't have time to protest, and the crowd will go wild. What do you think?

Then the presentation of the cup with the cheers, tears and beers to follow.

What a day! Of course, if the All Blacks don't make the final you can scrub the above plans.

Perhaps give your Twickenham tickets to friends. There's always a keen demand, so you might even like to put them on Trade Me.

Goodness knows how much final tickets will fetch in the heat of the tournament.

Tickets are selling for 2500 now. That's more than $6000 in Kiwi money. Imagine the money to be made nearer the time!

Heaven forbid the All Blacks lose the final, but if they do you can simply sit tight in the stand and the Deputy Yeoman of the Royal Cellars can keep the sword discreetly out of sight.

Even if the All Blacks lose the cup, don't worry, Richie won't miss out. His outstanding record is far too important to ignore. I'll post him a QSM.

Jim Sullivan is a Dunedin writer and broadcaster.

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