Former England cricketer Chris Lewis (no relation to our tennis star of the same name, thankfully) has been bailed up on drug charges, being caught with nearly 4kgs of liquid cocaine at Gatwick (even the airport’s low-rent!) on Monday. This follows baseball legend Jose Canseco’s arraignment on similar charges (though with a way weirder cargo – female fertility drug Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) a few weeks back.
I know we’re supposed to be saddened by this, but personally when I find out former athletes have descended/ascended (depending on your perspective) into the life of an international drug smuggler, I kinda get a kick out of it. Sure, when they get caught it’s all doom-and-gloom, I-have-to-go-to-prison etc etc, but before then… I mean have you seen Scarface? Or Bad Boys II? It’s a party, right, all the murder, drugs, women and mania a man could want.
Our own Simon Poelman, commonly considered our greatest-ever all-round athlete (and the records totally back this up – dude was NZ champ at 100m, pole vault, 110m hurdles and shot putt at various points during his ’80s peak – a Dead Ball Icon in waiting for sure), kinda pioneered this genre in the late ’90s with his famous bust. His effort in trying to smuggle $200k of ecstasy into the country (by mailing it to a friend in a toy rabbit, no less) was a monster scandal when it came down a decade ago, though Lewis’ will no doubt eclipse it in terms of international outrage etc.
Apparently Lewis, the former England all-rounder (nick-named “The Prat Without A Hat” by The Sun after taking the field without sunscreen on his freshly-shaved head and having to leave the field as a result) was caught with the liquid coke hidden in tinned pineapple as he passed through customs. He’d arrived in from St Lucia in the Caribbean, and you have to wonder at the sense of the guy. Can you really not get tinned pineapple in the UK, or is it so expensive that you’d bring like 10 cans of it back with you? C’mon guys, get creative.
Those Virgin Mary statues on Lost were my personal favourite, the ones that junky hobbit got so obsessed with. But Babushka dolls made out of pure coke or heroin work pretty well too, as seen on Transsiberian. Whatever it is, you need some kind of semi-reasonable justification for having them about your person. In a way that you just can’t with tinned pineapples.
In any case, it’s a bummer the guy will probably end up going down for a decent stretch behind this, but hopefully he’s had a good few years of living the high life, and stashed a bunch of cash somewhere so that he can party on when he gets out. Admittedly that seems ridiculously far-fetched, but, hey, we can dream, right?