Culture

Shane Warne Memes That I Printed Out And Stuck All Over My Editor’s Desk As A Prank, Ranked

A tribute.

After three years at the helm, Junkee’s founding editor Steph Harmon is finally racking off for exciting new times at the Guardian. Steph has been a frighteningly good editor, and is responsible for basically all the good and not-terrible things this website has been responsible for since it launched in March 2013, as well as the fact that it exists. She is very good, and will be missed very much. That is all.

But! Because feelings are Hard and long Feelings posts can be kind of self-indulgent and not very enjoyable for readers (see: the insane amount of coverage the Australian has done about editor Chris Mitchell’s leaving this week), my tribute comes in a slightly different form.

A few months ago Steph went on holiday for a week, and I used that valuable time to find dozens on dozens of photos of iconic Australian spin bowler Shane Warne, print them out, and hide them around her workspace, where they remain to this day.

She spent the next few weeks finding tiny Shane Warnes hiding in her work life — under her mouse, in her CD drive, in her aspirin. The last one didn’t get found until about three months after placement. I’m still not sure how many there are.

It’s unclear why I decided to do this. Steph has little to no knowledge of who Shane Warne is. I had no special reason to pick him over anyone else, besides the fact there are myriad photos out there of Shane Warne looking silly. But somewhere in my motivations, buried under an unhealthy amount of irony, was a genuine affection, and in that spirit I’m sharing those Warnies with the world, ranked by personal preference. Here they are.

#13: Selfie Warnie

keyboardwarney

This is a fairly typical example of a Warnie placement: a selfie taken by the man himself, hidden in a fairly easy-to-find place under the keyboard. A good introductory Warnie.

#12: Finger Warnie

drawerwarney

The placing of this Warnie is what gives it its power. You’re hunting for a pen, you open your drawer desk, and BAM: Australia’s best-ever spin bowler, flipping you the bird. Tremendous psychological damage. Do not use on children under the age of 15.

#11: Smooth Warnie

diarywarney

Again, a fairly middle-of-the-road example of the genre. Whether he’s evaluating a near-miss googly or peeking out from your day-planner, this Warnie has a keen eye and unmistakably means business. Cool, relaxed and confident, this Warnie can be paired with a summer ale or a nice Riesling, although never for too long.

#10: Mouse Warnie

mousewarney

This Warnie has seen better days. Battered by friction from frequent mouse use before discovery, almost all of his facial features and his trademark speed dealer sunnies have sadly worn away. It puts you in the mind of Shelly’s ‘Ozymandias’: “Look on my works, ye Warnie, and despair.”

#9: Bowling Warnie

bowlingwarney

Here, we begin to elaborate on the concept by introducing text. A simple “BOWLING SHANE!” — a common catchcry of Warnie’s teammates whenever he sent a particularly curly specimen down the pitch to bamboozle the hapless batsman at the other end — is sufficient to capture the spirit of those legendary days. Note the free-flowing dynamism, Impact font and poor punctuation found in your typical online meme, here painstakingly recreated for the flesh-and-blood world.

#8: Pink Warnie

purplewarney

This Warnie distinguished itself by being both the largest and most difficult to find of all the Warnies. Technically, Steph never found it, hiding as it was behind a large sheet of paper: that honour went to inthemix editor Katie Cunningham. The lesson this Warnie has to teach us is simple, but powerful: as Warnie himself might say, it’s not how big your Warnie is that counts, but where you put it.

#7: Chair Warnie

chairwarney

This Warnie stirs some unnameable feeling in the viewer. Delicately placed, almost artful in its simplicity, undeniably passionate. It’s a Warnie to ponder on a stormy night, or on a cold, bright morning, the last shreds of a dream slipping away even as you try to grasp them.

#6: Tweet Warnie

phonewarney

Again, this one deviates from your garden-variety Warnie meme by delving into Warnie’s online life. The Tweet reads: “Won’t mention this again. I have no GF. I’m very single. So stop boring the crap out of people news outlets & writing rubbish, no one cares”. It’s a powerful statement on the right to privacy, and a meditation on our steadily-eroding digital rights in the age of Five Eyes, data retention, and the TPP.

Warnie has no GF. He is very single.

#5: Cards Warney

cardswarney

The magic he worked with the pill is universally recognised, but Warnie’s less well-known as a wizard of the game of poker. This Warnie showcases his lighter side, with a winning hand fanned out as the man himself peeks cheekily out from your desk drawer. A Warnie who’s here for a good time, not a long time.

#4: Wisden’s Warnie

wisdenswarney

We’re getting into seriously good territory here. This Warnie, staring at some unseen cameraman like he’s the Black Dog, comes complete with a handy pocket-sized guide to Warnie’s signature achievements on the pitch. if you’re ever in a conversation at the pub and you need to quickly pull out some Warnie knowledge, this is the Warnie for you.

708 wickets in 145 tests. What a feat. Never to be repeated.

#3: Warnie with The Boys (feat. Shannon Noll)

theboys

Warnie is well-known as a debonaire, devil-may-care man about town who likes to paint the town red. What you may not know is he’s often joined in these exploits by other Warnies. Here, he’s seen with his fellow Warnies: inaugural Australian Idol champion and future Prime Minister Guy Sebastian, and nationally beloved radio star Andy Lee.

Shannon Noll lingers uncomfortably in the corner. He is no Warnie. Shannon Noll sits in his own orbit.

#2: Hairplugs Warnie

hairplugwarney

Undoubtedly the most melancholy of the Warnies. As he waits patiently for his patented Advanced Hair Studio Shane Warne Hair Loss Treatment to take effect, the black void of oblivion itself can be seen in Warnie’s eyes. A harrowing, chilly work of grandeur and sorrow. A masterpiece.

#1: Wicket Warnie

wicketwarney

The cream of the crop. The top of the pops. The One Warnie to rule them all. The man in his element, in the throes of yet another triumphant celebration of victory, grasping one of the stumps he so tormented and toyed with in his prime.

This is power. This is passion. This is love and loss, agony and ecstasy, glory and despair. This is Warnie, and he travels with you, wherever you go.

Feature image by Steph Harmon. Bye mate!