Friday, 23 November 2007

Tennis Is A Game For Cheats

At an early age I decided that tennis was a sport that was full of cheats. Like most sports that I hadn't played before I didn't really know the rules so when the ball went up in the air, racket made contact with the ball, ball went over the net, bounced on the surface and my flailing arms missed the return and was followed by the words
15, Love!

I wanted to shout out
15? Get real! 1! And don't call me love! Only old ladies call me love and they only get away with it because of their age. 15? Fuck off!
Of course being 9 years old at the time I didn't say it. Partly because I was a quiet and reserved kid but mostly because if I swore and my mother found out I would have been very, very dead but only after I had suffered greatly. So I kept my own count.
One - nil.
When the ball then went up in the air, hit the racket, went over the net, bounced on the surface and my flailing arms missed once again and I heard the words

30, Love!
I was beyond swearing, I wanted to deck him.

30? Fuck off! 2 - nil! And what's with the cheating and calling me love? Is that a distraction tactic? I can count you know!
When the ball went up in the air for a third time, hit the racket, went over the net, and bounced on the surface and my flailing arms were no where close to getting the return I at least knew what to expect. The cheating up until this point wasn't exactly subtle, it was taking a familiar pattern.
40, Love!
Now I was confused, completely thrown off track.

40? Who taught you maths? Surely you mean 45, and by the way its still only 3 - nil.
I quickly decided the game of tennis wasn't the sport for me, mostly because I wasn't very good. Despite that first game where I ran around like a headless chicken to no avail I was actually very good at getting points off my opponents serve but it was all pointless when I couldn't get any points on my own serve. Which was down to not knowing how to serve. The ball would go up in the air, hit the racket, go over the net and then hit anywhere on the surface that wasn't legal. This I could probably have persevered with if it wasn't for the cheating thing. When the people you are playing with can't keep count there just doesn't seem to be any point.

Years have since passed and over that time I've largely associated tennis with cheating & Cliff Richard, neither of which I have a lot of time for, so now that tennis is embroiled in the middle of a match fixing scandal I have to wonder why no-one in the game saw it coming.

3 comments:

Just a Girl said...

You made me squeak with laughter.

I felt the same way at my first tennis lesson but the word fuck never entered my mind. I don't think I'd learned it yet.

Scotsman said...

If I am being 100% honest it probably didn't enter mine either. Despite being from the west of Scotland where such colourful language is common place I was a boring kid. I didn't dare think it nevermind say it. So I may have used some artistic license in describing the way I felt at the time.

Just a Girl said...

It works well.