Dean Jones illuminated the one-day game. He enlivened every match he played with his combination of aggressive batting and inventive shot-making.
As soon as Matthew Wade’s now-famous catchphrase first got picked up by the Wide World of Sports stump-mic, local HR manager, Gary Allworth, knew that he was about to be part of something big.
“A few Tweets started going around and I thought ‘yeah we might be on here’ and then within hours there were memes, dubstep remixes and one-hour long Youtube videos – and then I knew,” the 29-year-old from Perth said.
“I was the next Harambe.”
Thousands of Facebook notifications on his usually dormant smartphone aroused his sense of wariness. His suspicions were confirmed when he got to work the next day. Every greeting in the kitchen, every email reply – that same familiar refrain:
At first, Gary welcomed the newfound attention.
“I loved it, to be completely honest. Because I’m in HR most of the team see me as a bit of a killjoy – now they were asking me to the pub on Friday… even all the chicks were getting around me”, he said.
But once the ODIs against New Zealand got underway, things started to turn.
“After about a week or so, things started to escalate a bit. My mates spent like, the overwhelming majority of their workdays making memes.
Mostly going real deep into my Facebook photos and digging up embarrassing photos like this one.”
Gary then proceeded to show us a photo of him wearing an ill-fitted suit, suspenders and a fedora at his Year 10 formal after party, seemingly unconscious in a bathtub with a half-finished ruby grapefruit Bacardi Breezer still in his hand.
The meme, as you might have guessed, was captioned: ‘Nice Gary’.
“My notifications were blowing up because I was getting tagged at least ten times in every bloody meme – it all got to the point where I couldn’t bring myself to log into Facebook anymore.”
After two weeks, Gary thought the hysteria might have surely died down, and he could resume his normal life.
Sadly, it was not the case.
“Everyone deadset thinks they’re still so funny saying it – they’ve all got this shit-eating grin on their face when they do it, too.
“Everyone thinks they’re Carl F****** Barron, now, but they’re just some dickhead saying the same thing every other dickhead’s saying”, an exasperated Gary said.
“I swear to god if I ever see that Matthew Wade gronk in the street, I’ll drop him faster than he can drop a regulation caught-behind.”
Gary’s experiences are reminiscent of the ‘Jan’s’ of Australia back in 2000.
At the turn of the millennium, thousands of women tried to change their name by deed poll during after the Yellow Page’s ‘Not happy, Jan!’ advertisement was released.