By Alix Ramsay
There are just a matter of days to go before the start of the French Open and Interpol is getting worried. The international police force has been searching for Rafael Nadal’s mojo for the best part of a year and still they have no real leads.
It was last seen at Roland Garros last June but then, inexplicably, it vanished. Several possible causes of its disappearance have been put forward – a dodgy wrist, a grumbling appendix – but they have come to nothing: the wrist is now fine and the appendix has been removed but still no mojo. There were also unverified reports of a brief sighting somewhere in Buenos Aires back in February but they proved to be a red herring (he was beating his mate in a rain-delayed final at the time; that doesn’t count). Rafa’s mojo had disappeared into thin air.
Conspiracy theorists, of course, believe that Rafa never had one. By deconstructing his autobiography, Rafa: My Story, and by referring to the less savoury definitions of the term “mojo”, these theorists believe that Raf’s mum would never have allowed him to have one and that even if he did, Uncle Toni would have told him that he would go blind if he ever played with it.
The only explanation that Interpol have produced is that a gang of highly skilled thieves, probably assembled over the Dark Web, simply spirited the mojo away leaving no trace and no clue. If this is the case, there is reason to believe it will never be seen again.
The gang was probably recruited by “Olé Nole”, a group of subversive separatists in Spain. “Olé Nole” have been known to the CIA, MI6 and Mossad for several years. Monitoring of the group’s internet “chatter” has revealed a recent intensification of their activities. Their ultimate goal is to break away from the rest of Spain, reject the Madrid government and install Novak Djokovic as their president.
Over the past three years, as Rafa has reduced their putative president to tears at Roland Garros in two finals and a semi, they have been planning their big move. And now, as the almost unbeatable “President Nole” marches towards Paris again, Kleenex at the ready (just in case), Rafa’s mojo is nowhere to be seen. QED.
As the days tick by to the start of the French Open, governments around the world are demanding that efforts to find the missing mojo are ramped up: Rafa has a title and a 66-1 win-loss record to defend at Roland Garros – how can he be expected to do that without his mojo? Something must be done.
In Great Britain, where there is less than a week to go before the general election, the main party leaders have identified the missing mojo as a key element in their manifestos, as this extract from the recent televised debate shows:
David Dimbleby (frightfully posh bloke at the BBC without whom a general election simply cannot happen): Where do you all stand on the missing mojo question?
Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party (that’s not New Labour who, he has to admit, made mistakes, and not Old Labour which was a party for a different era. This is New Old Labour – a socialist party that, he hopes, people with Bentleys and mortgages will vote for. Although possibly not in Scotland where current intelligence indicates that absolutely nobody at all will vote for him): Look, let me be quite clear about this: is finding Rafa’s missing mojo the easy option? The quick-fix, boom-and-bust way out? No, it’s not. But is it the right thing to do for working families in this country? Is it the way to help the squeezed middle? Yes, it is and that’s why I believe in it. Am I tough enough to take on the non-doms out there who have stolen Rafa’s mojo? Hell, yes, I’m tough enough.
David Cameron, Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party (who is only keeping the seat warm until Boris Johnson can take over and install Latin as the language of politics and dodgy haircuts as a fashion statement): Er, well, yes… now, people have been telling me that I’m not passionate enough about these issues but I can tell you I bloody well am. Sam told me that this morning. I bloody well want Rafa’s mojo back and I can give my guarantee to every working family in this country that we won’t raise taxes until we find it.
Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats (although if the polls are to believed, by next week he may be leader of the Liberal Democrat, singular): I’m sorry, I didn’t hear the question but if someone gives me a job in government I will give that coalition a conscience as we look for whatever it is that the biggest party thinks we should be looking for.
Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party [swigging back a pint and puffing on his e-fag]: The rest of this lot can say what they like but I know that this is exactly what the people of Britain are concerned about: Europe sending us its mojo-less vagrants to clog up out schools, live in our houses and bleed our benefits system dry. We don’t want Rafa and we don’t want his mojo. Britain is for Britons. And that’s not a racist statement.
Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party [bridling visibly and teetering on her six-inch heels]: Nigel, can we just put the bogey-man to one side and debate these issues properly. Immigrant mojos actually contribute to the good of this country. I will not hide the fact that we in the SNP would like to see an independent Scotland but the Scottish people voted against that last September so we will work with Labour to lock David Cameron out of No.10. If – and only if – we think that finding Rafa’s mojo will be good for the people of Scotland, we will join Labour on a vote-by-vote basis to achieve that. But we will not enter into a pact with Labour. That is non-negotiable.
David Cameron [smirking smugly]: Looks like you have lost that one already, Ed. Rafa, with or without his mojo, always beats Andy Murray on clay. And Andy, in case you had forgotten (just like you forgot to mention the economy last autumn) is Scottish. Rafa’s mojo is not good for the people of Scotland. You think you’re tough enough to take on the SNP? Hell, no, you’re not.
Ed Miliband [desperately texting Russell Brand for advice]: We will not do a deal with the SNP. Let me be clear about that. By the way Nicola, how many seats did you say you might get next Thursday?
Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party [sipping her fair trade, hand-woven yoghurt smoothie made from renewable sources and distributed in recyclable hemp containers]: Only new thinking, new politics, can tackle this issue. By freeing the chickens and rabbits of this country from the elitist cages of the rich minority, by building 500,000 new homes paid for by the two hundred thou….2.7bill…quite a lot of money we will take from the rich people….it is all in our manifesto…. By doing that, we will create a new society in which we can find Rafa’s mojo fairly. And when we find it, we will redistribute it to every family in this country. Rafa’s mojo belongs to us all, not just the privileged few.
Leanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru [looking enviously at Nicola Sturgeon’s hair, heels and recent poll results]: I have just one thing to say on this matter, and it’s something that nobody else on this panel can say: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch. That’s where you’ll find the mojo, just you see if you don’t.