Tony Deyal, Contributor
IN BRITAIN, if something is 'the full monty', it is as complete as possible to the point of overkill, for example: 'Their wedding was magnificent, with a champagne reception, three-course dinner and a band - the full monty.'
The American equivalent would be 'the whole nine yards', 'the whole ball of wax', 'the whole enchilada', or 'the whole shebang'. The origin of the phrase is uncertain and there are many different explanations about who or what 'monty' was. Many people think that the 'Monty' was Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery, the British hero of the Second World War (WWII).
Monty was renowned for the rigorous training regimen he inflicted on his regiment. This was supposedly known as 'the full Monty treatment'. Monty was also famous for his large breakfasts and the even bigger Eighth Army, which he commanded during the desert campaign in Africa. However, the best candidate for 'Monty' is a clothing business based in Leeds, England, headed by Montague Burton, and that the phrase 'the full monty' was essentially a full three-piece suit with waistcoat and a spare pair of trousers (as opposed to a standard two-piece suit) from the firm.
When the British forces were demobilised after WWII, they were issued with a "demob suit". The contract for supplying these suits was fulfilled by Montague Burton, so the complete suit of clothes issued to the servicemen was known as 'the full Monty'.
There was also the famous Monty Python comedy group (Monty Python's Flying Circus), whose influence on comedy has been compared to the impact of the Beatles on the music industry. They are said to have pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in style and content.
Then, in 1997, along came the movie The Full Monty about six unemployed men who decided to form a strip-tease act along the lines of the Chippendales but whose shtick was to show off theirs by going for total nudity or 'the full monty'. This shift in the meaning of the phrase from men with too much clothes on to men without any, lasted until about two weeks ago when Sussex and England spin bowler, Monty Panesar, pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in behaviour and used his python to not just urinate in public, but to saturate two nightclub bouncers in the process. Ironically, among Panesar's nicknames are 'Montster' and 'Python'. His Sikh ancestry and his black patka have earned him other nicknames like the 'Sikh of Tweak', 'The Beard to be Feared' and 'The Turbanator'. Now, it is 'The Fool Monty'.
According to a report in the Independent headlined 'How Can He Spin This One? Monty Panesar collared by police for urinating in public', "Sussex have launched an investigation after England spinner Monty Panesar was given a fixed penalty notice for being 'drunk and disorderly' following an incident at a Brighton nightclub. The 31-year-old was ejected from the Shooshh club in Brighton, East Sussex, and then urinated in public, it was confirmed this morning. A Sussex Police spokesman said: 'A 31-year-old man received a fixed penalty notice for being drunk and disorderly after being seen urinating in public near the Shooshh Club in King's Road Arches, Brighton, around 4:13 a.m. on Monday (August 5)' ... . It was reported in The Sun that the former Northamptonshire player urinated from the promenade above the venue on to doormen standing below before he was hauled back to the club where police were called." As several people commented, this was one incident that could not be shooshed. The fact is, Monty was pissed and has pissed off the English cricketing establishment.
Puns at Monty's expense
The related references and phrases rolled out - "It's just not cricket" and "Monty went beyond the boundary". The Australian newspaper used the headline, 'Monty Panesar finds unexpected response to bouncers in new escapade.' Another comment was that with Sussex cricket authorities investigating the incident, Monty is not yet 'off the hook'. It is clear that the US$153 fine he paid is the least of his problems.
Right now, Monty is ducking a barrage of his own. Although he has apologised unreservedly, his career might still be irretrievably jeopardised. "This is something we are treating very seriously," Zac Toumazi, the Sussex chief executive, said.
In addition to trying to save his job with Sussex, Monty also has to deal with the jokes. Alan Tyers writing in espncricinfo.com reveals "Monty's P: sprinkling spinner's 'secret diary' explains all". According to Tyers, Monty's diary contains this entry: "I suppose earlier in my career it was fair to say that I wasn't much use apart from as a spinner, but I think that's changing now. They used to say I couldn't deal with bouncers: I feel I've definitely answered my critics on that score."
Even though his former teammate, Paul Collingwood admitted that Monty's urinary escapade is not a nice story, Collingwood does not believe it will affect Monty's selection on the England team. However, critics say that Monty's return to the English squad is highly unlikely because he has not only lost his head, he has also lost his zip.
Tony Deyal was last seen saying that Monty no longer writes a secret diary. He now has an e-pissle.