Arsenal Player Jack Wilshere Steals Page from Bill Clinton Playbook

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You follow the news. You know that somebody took a picture of Jack Wilshere holding a cigarette outside a nightclub. I won’t bore you with the trite “Athletes are role models/I like to watch cocky, irresponsible assholes” debate. We lampooned it before. Rather, another angle to the Wilshere story caught my eye.

In response to Wenger’s criticisms, Jack Wilshere’s representative claimed that he was holding the cigarette as part of a prank and did not in fact smoke. Presumably, his representative said this because Jack couldn’t say such bs with a straight-face during a presser. Aside from being a lie, this excuse tramples over the intellectual property of former US President Bill Clinton, who famously “put a joint to this lips but didn’t inhale.”

Yawn. Here are some much better excuses Wilshere’s rep could have cooked up.

1) Jack has to smoke by medical orders. His trainer has stated that his lungs are in too good a shape as compared to his ankles and knees, and he needs to knock them down a notch. It’s a part of his comprehensive rehab.

2) Jack is actually a vociferous anti-smoking crusader. In reality, he plucked the cigarette from his friend’s hand, tossed it to the ground, then stamped it out. The camera caught him at an odd moment.

3) Jack is a true blue friend. Jack has a dear friend who cannot smoke anymore by doctor’s orders, so Jack nobly smokes in close proximity so that his friend can both vicariously enjoy smoking through him and also inhale a bit of good old second-hand smoke. He should be knighted!

4) Jack just caved into peer pressure from Mesut Ozil. The new German signing has been caught puffing before, and Jack didn’t want Ozil to feel left out. It’s really depressing to have to leave a nightclub and smoke by yourself, so Jack accompanied him. What a great host!

5) Jack is caring, daring and selfless. He was worried that one of his smoking friends may hurt himself, so he volunteered to test the cigarette first to be sure it only contained carcinogens and nothing dangerous like lava or poisonous snake venom.

6) Jack is courteous. He was simply holding the cigarette for a friend while that friend double-fisted two whiskeys on the rocks and then downed a few prescription painkillers.

7) Jack was swindled. He was dared by a friend to smoke the cigarette until it says “marlboro” and his friend offered to donate 100,000 pounds to charity if he did so. Poor dumb Jack smoked it until the line on the cigarette that reads “Marlboro”, but his friend remarked: the cigarette didn’t actually speak and say “Marlboro”.

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