Arsene Wenger – Hostage Negotiater
At a preseason Football Awards charity event, a number of famous footballers, managers, pundits and celebrities gathered in an exclusive London hotel.
It was an extravagant and glitzy evening and, by all accounts, very entertaining and enjoyable until… half way through the event, a band of masked assailants burst into the hall with automatic rifles and grenades. Their leader, wearing a balaclava, approached the microphone, and began shouting at the assembly in a strange foreign dialect. He seemed enraged that no one understood his rantings. In the interest of avoiding a catastrophe, Rafa Benitez announced that he understood what they were saying and went up to join them on the stage to help translate…It turns out they were Liverpudlian.
Rafa translated that everyone was to be held hostage but if they all stayed calm and behaved then everyone would eventually be freed.
The shocked crowd, which included such luminaries as Drogba, Terry, Lampard, van Persie, Suarez and many, many others, looked on in disbelief.
As word spread, the perimeter of the hotel was cordoned off and surrounded by Police, Fire, Ambulance and eventually Military vehicles, like a movie set, which was ironic as would soon become apparent.
The official Metropolitan Police negotiator took a megaphone to address the hostage-takers from outside the hotel entrance and to begin negotiations.
In a bizarre twist, just a few streets away, Bruce Willis was filming Die With A Hard-On V while a few streets in the opposite direction Denzel Washington was filming The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3-4.
Both stars, on hearing of a real life hostage situation rushed to the scene immediately. Approaching the Police negotiator, Denzel explained he had recently spent several hours in conversation with an actual hostage negotiator to prepare for his role in the Pelham movie and so Denzel succeeded in taking over the megaphone. Meanwhile Bruce Willis convinced the SWAT team of his plan, taken from Die With A Hard-On III, whereby he would descend down an elevator shaft and…well I won’t tell you the plan because it was very complicated and long-winded and really not relevant as Bruce Willis slipped and fell down the shaft right from the get go and splattered himself on the elevator roof. He had always wanted to do his own stunts.
So, there was Denzel with the Megaphon. “Tell us your demands…” he shouted to the Scouse skullduggerers.
The Liverpudlian leader shouted his answer back, a swirling sink hole of saliva, like a farmer’s wellies, sloshing through a muddy field. Even his fellow hostage-takers looked confused.
It was no surprise that Denzel looked completely befuddled: “I think the guy with the funny accent might be a Kazakhstani. Anyway, he said that there are eels on his autobus. Maybe. But that his wombat is constipated. Possibly. Also, he may have been saying the word “kill” a lot. Kinda hard to say, Chiefy. ”
Now to be fair to Denzel, he looked great. I mean, really, really great.
However, the Chief demanded the megaphone back from Denzel, who was pleading for one more try.
Just as chaos was about to ensue, Arsene Wenger pushed his way through the crowd and towards Denzel and the Chief.
Many in the small crowd made up of close family, friends, as well as club officials and agents who had arrived to hold a vigil for their loved ones and/or assets called out to the Police Chief to give the megaphone to Arsene as a widely respected, and recognized international football figure . They hoped his football celebrity would conjure up some rapport with the scouse militants.
The Chief hesitated to hand over control once again to another celebrity and so Arsene put forth the reasons why he was the right man for this situation:
“Pleez, you must trust me with ziss! First of all, I have the DVD box-set of every episode of Brookside. Secondly I am an experienced negotiator. And thirdly, I know the value of all zeese players.“
On hearing these words, the crowd panicked, reminded of whom they had entrusted themselves to, and screamed out “The hostages! They’re all doomed!” and charged towards the Frenchman, in an attempt to lynch this doyen of footballing fame. Fortunately Wenger was quickly surrounded by the police and whisked away to a safe area.
As they transported him away, Wenger flicked on the Megaphone in his hand and shouted out in the direction of the hostage siege:
“Be warned, hostage-takers! Your supplies are limited: Release Tom Waddlestone and Fat Frank or you will never make it till the dawn.”
The Chief grabbed the megaphone away from Wenger, but to his astonishment, Huddlestone and Lampard were released through the front door only moments later, and came scampering down the steps, bread rolls falling from their pockets.
Give Mr. Wenger back the megaphone, ordered the Chief of Police.
Megaphone in hand, Wenger went into full swing:
“Listen to me, hostage-takers! Suarez is a cannibal; Adebayor will join your side but will end up with all your money; Terry will already be wearing full kit hostage-taker gear with shinpads and claiming all your credit; Drogba and Bale will already have collapsed to the ground, clutching their chests in what would appear to be their final death-throes; Gerrard will take a shot at you from the most ridiculous of positions; Nasri will disappear on you just when you have made him central to your plans; Cesc will sulk at you with puppy dog eyes until you eventually release him; Giggs will sleep with your wife; Ashley Cole very likely has a mobile hidden up his arse and is trying to dial out using his prostate; also, killing the 7 Spanish circus midgets won’t make for sympathetic headlines; that guy who you only vaguely recollect but who claims to be the greatest player who ever lived, and is called Nik – he is dangerously delusional; Park Chu Young is still recovering from his last kidnapping; Carroll and Downing should be released for your own sake before you become just another Scouser who lost his shirt trying to bartering those two.
But…let it be understood, we are not unreasonable. We understand that at this point, you must be taken seriously, and therefore wish to shoot a couple of footballers. Might I mention…Shawcross is deeply loved and regarded, so whatever you do, don’t shoot him through the head and decapitate him. But if you must, go ahead. Also, shoot him through the knee first. Actually, both knees. Just to show us you are not to be trifled with.
On the other hand, be warned, van Persie is the most treacherous individual alive and is a rival hostage-taker – he has released a statement that he is holding a little boy inside. So…you could add him in.”
4 shots rang out almost immediately.
After a period of strange calm, the hostage-takers leaned out the top floor window and began waving a white flag. The leader shouted down: “You know, on second thoughts, we have considered your points, Mr. Wenger, and we have decided to release the rest of the hostages and surrender. We want to turn ourselves in.”
The crowd of family, friends and agents cheered as one: “Hooray for Wenger. Hooray for Wenger!”
Wenger paused for a moment, scratched his chin, and then shouted back to the hostage-takers:
“Let us not rush into anything here. Yes, we are “interested” in the return of the hostages. I will send Dick Law in to finalize the negotiations. And our crack Colney team must put them all through a thorough medical. You should be aware that you are not the only hostage situation in London tonight. We have other options and we intend to be very active.”
The crowd re-commenced attacking Arsene, punching and kicking him, this time ably assisted by the Police, Ambulance and Fire Brigade members.
Arsene seemed a little bit offended.