Who’s Lie’n

Many moons ago the Phantom cave was hidden away in a quiet little apple and rhododendron growing valley at Lalla – between Karoola and Lilydale (Turbo Zurbo country) in deep dark north eastern Tasmania.


All was well at this time of recent peace in the early nineteen fifties and The Phantom who had recently returned from the War had reason to celebrate. He, Mrs Phantom and the two daughters were bringing the son and heir to the cave (they were a bit sexist in those days). For young Phanto, as he is now affectionately known in Knackerland, had recently been born in the Queen Victoria Hospital in Launceston and was on the way home in Grandpa’s (Recently retired Phantom and son of the recently deceased Phantom who first dug out the cave) big black Dodge that The Phantom had borrowed for the auspicious occasion.


As they had travelled back through the precinct of Rocherlea Mrs Phantom pointed out to the two little girls the circus in a cleared area adjacent to a deep forest (This was the time before the great Tasmanian chainsaw massacre and deep forests were abundant). They had seen the circus on the way into town when they drove to pick up mother and child. “That circus has a lion”, The Phantom had told the girls; and indeed it did, snarling in a big cage behind the tent out of sight.


As the dodge whooshed up the hill away from the circus young Kate, Phanto’s four year old sibling proudly remarked “I saw a lion, a gweat big lion in the busssh!”  “It had big hair and gweat big toofs”.


“No you didn’t dear. The lion is asleep in his cage. Lions don’t live in our bush”, was the reassuring reply.


“Yes I did. I saw a gweat big lion, hiding in the twees” repeated young Kate, who was later in life assessed and found to have an IQ of 139.


With another distraction to consider the Phantoms did not pursue the matter but chose to smile at each other, doting on their daughter’s innocently cute imagination.


When the paper was picked up at Lilydale along with mail (for Mrs Phantom milked a cow and baked her own bread) a few days later Phantom, having already heard the story from the excited locals on the street, read the headline. “Escaped Circus Lion Recaptured in Bush at Rocherlea”.



Almost sixty years later the young Phanto (IQ Unknown) has fully succeeded to the perpetual position of Guarder of the Cave. The cave, however, has been relocated west to Rocky Cape in order to escape the influx of hobby farming trendies around the ‘ever so popular – we’ve lived here all our lives’ hamlet of Lalla.


One of Phantom’s (many) weaknesses is a lust for all matters football. He studies the game from the rational perspective of being a Geelong supporter. He takes this role very seriously and always purveys his comments in an objective manner.


Recently Phantom emerged from the cave, stretched, inhaled the joy of impending spring and muttered ‘finals time again’. But Phantom was troubled. Twitching with a sense of unease he was overcome with a feeling of great conspiracy and injustice about to befall him.


In order to warn the world, Phantom beat out a loud warning on the Knacker Drum that could be heard beyond his cave to the far corners of the earth. The message said: “We are about to find out who the good old boys in the AFL favour for this years finals by monitoring the MRP decisions”


Just as young Phanto’s parents had humoured dear little Kate for seeing the lion, the patronising responses cascaded from the Phantom’s well meaning, always caring and loving, Knacker family.


“There, there Phanto; settle down and have another Tullymore Dew and coconut juice. Just relax back at the cave mate. There is no conspiracy”.


Several weeks later after noting that five Cat’s players had received heavy knocks to the head from players at ‘favoured clubs’ with only one citing and a slight slap on the hand to that thumper, Phantom read the following banner headline after the prompting of kind paternal ‘anti-conspiracy theory’ knacker mentor, AF. Cats’ Selwood Offered AFL Reprimand.

Good onya Kate.



  1. Phanto – the “Selwoods” incident was a very sad reflection on not just football, but society in general. I won’t go into my views on the latter for fear of boring the readers, but I fear our game could become victim to the prevailing world view that perception is everything,

    Can you please correct me if I am wrong:

    Selwood Geelong and Selwood West Coast charge at the ball. Selwood West Coast sees the opportunity to take out Selwood Geelong. No problem so far. Selwood West Coast intentionally collides with Selwood Geelong and causes him some pain and anguish. Unfortunately Selwood West Coast hurts HIMSELF more than he hurts his opponent. Selwood Geelong recovers first, gives Selwood West Coast a shove (and no doubt a rude word in the ear) and returns to battle. The MVP then reprimands Selwood Geelong, the victim in this incident, for treating Selwood West Coast roughly. On this basis Great Britain should be sued for causing the Nazis so much anguish at the end of WW11.

  2. No you didn’t, Damian dear. The lion is asleep in his cage. Lions don’t live in our bush,

  3. Andrew Fithall says

    So… the outcome from this conspiracy is that the Geelong player doesn’t get rubbed out. Huh? I think you had better consult your daughter Phanto. She is obviously the bright one. She may point out that if the conspiracy was to be effective there needs to be a negative effect upon the conspiree. I am struggling to identify one.

    The Geelong player attacks (okay – this may be an exaggeration) an apparently injured player and risks further injury to that player and gets let off. Hmmm. Maybe you are right after all. It is just that Geelong are the favoured ones.


  4. Firstly AF,

    (great phantom mentor and loved Knacker family member) if you read the story it is about four generations of Phantoms, of which I was the baby in the early fifties and it mas my sister, not my daughter who was singing “Wimoweh”. We are a more advanced lot over here than you Victorians, I will admit, but we are not quite up to siring children five years prior to our own birth.

    Secondly.The conspiracy was mentioned several weeks prior to the first manifestations; you must agree. It was a pre-emptive strike.

    Thirdly. The first bit involved players from favoured teams belting Cats, one of which missed almost an entire game against the Crows. The next week four Cats received much more than a little peck in the chin resulting in only one weeks suspension. Well they couldn’t deny it. Even the MRP.

    Fourthly. Selwood gets lined up (late, mind you) by his brother and comes out the tougher and is cited for letting his brother know he didn’t appreciate it. He knew that the MRP would do nothing about it if he was on the receiving end because he does not play in a fovoured club.

    Fiftly. If you had followed through you would have noticed that enough points are hanging over victim Selwood’s head to have him rubbed out if he as much as turns up to the game that (is yet to be identified) the MRP wishes to rub him out in to ensure that a favoured team will not have to worry about taking him out in an important final

    I trust that is clarified. I am just heading back to the cave for another coconut plus juice.

  5. Andrew Fithall says

    See – now you are trying to intellectualise it all because you know that is just going to confuse me…even more. But I will point out that Toto hadn’t even been thought of in the 1950s. Sadly, someone remedied that at a later date.

  6. I know that they had broken the code and intercepted Tojo’s plane and took him out by the nineteen fifties – no MRP to worry about in those days but when was Tofu first on the scene.

    These coconut “plusses” are really going down well. Must have another one.

  7. Basso Divor says

    Not to mention Geelong Selwood being pilloried last year for refusing the advances (yeah, yeah) of the toupeed terror. No official saw nor did a television camera capture anything conclusive. The kid with the squeaky clean record was hung out to dry!

  8. Phantom – I have spoken to Mr Selwood Snr. He gave Joel 3 weeks “for a namby pamby bloody slap.” He gave Adam 5 weeks for “not finishing him off proper with the first hit while you had your chance.”
    Scott got 6 weeks “for chasing bloody kicks and missing out on the fun.”
    Did you see why Tassie should get the 2024 Olympics as the Pitch on Gruen Sweat last night? Funniest thing I have seen on telly for ages. I reckon the Selwood boys could come down and judge the Greco Roman Wrestling, the beach volleyball and the badminton (no tanking in 2024 or they’d sort ’em out on the spot).
    Adam Selwood to coach a premiership before he’s 40 (you read it here first). He might be slow, but he’s tough, smart and ruthless. Woosha taught him all he knows (finishing school really after his dad did the hard work).

  9. Taylor Hunt broken nose; apparently no case to answer for Hayes.

    Selwood struch to the head on several occasions last Friday night. No case to answer.

    Joel Selwood last week got a late head high hit by brother when he had just got rid of the ball; facial bruising. No charge to answer.

    I wonder what the MRP boys would think if someone closer to home was getting these head injuries?

    Watch this spot.

  10. Neil Belford says

    Lenny Hayes – Cleans up Taylor Hunt with a raised elbow to the nose in front on contact (breaks his nose) – no case to answer.

    Luke McPharlin – Bumps Jack Darling in the shoulder with his shoulder in front on contact (Darling uninjured and unfazed) – 1 Week.

    Truly that panel is spiralling into madness. The only thing that is consistent is their deep inconsistency.

  11. Perhaps if this blatent anti Cat behaviour continues the MRP should change it’s name to the KGB and we can organise a Pussy Riot down at the Harbour Esplanade cathedral.

    IIt is no longer a conspiracy; it is happening right before our eyes.

  12. Basso Divor says

    At risk of flogging a (near) dead horse …. In the light of the MRP’s ruling against Joel Selwood for making “unnecessary or unreasonable contact with an injured player”; why was WCE’s Brennan not cited for his intentional bumping of Motlop in the same game? Motlop was clearly under duress from an earlier collision and holding his arm up to relieve pain from an injured shoulder. Brennan saw this and began to bump into his shoulder and attack his arm behind the play, much the same way C Scott and M Michael attacked a clearly injured N Riewoldt several seasons prior.
    J Selwood’s response was immediate and not borne of intent toward further harm (in fact A Selwood played out the game and fronted up the following week); whereas Brennan made a premeditated effort to antagonise a clearly injured player who did not play the following week.
    Isn’t this exactly the behaviour the Scott/Michael/Riewoldt ruling was brought in to address?

    The MRP is an absolute lottery, bereft of any consistence!

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