Sorry couch-lovers, whispering enthusiasts or professional fiend-searchers. This blog isn’t really about any of those things. But at the same time it’s about all of them. It’s about who I become when I’m watching the tennis.
Last night all of my dreams came true at once when Rafael Nadal plucked his undies from out of his nether regions and at the same time plucked Greegorio Dimiitrooval (or something similar) out of the Australian Open finals and into the abyss of loserdom!
Ok, let’s stop here and analyse that last paragraph. A bit scary? I’m with you, I’m on your side of the computer/iphone/tablet/reflective-imaging-off-the-eye-of-a-turtle. Why do I write with such passionate euphoria at another man’s loss? This is my conundrum.
Most of the time I’m like your favourite 1960’s sitcom character. ‘Hey Molly! Hey Patty! Hey Bobby! I’m off to study really hard and smile all the time. See you on the flipside, and when I do let’s go and eat some steak and reminisce about our friendship. Plus of course a little tension because I accidentally saw my friend’s notes in that exam but my conscience has caught up with me so I told Mr. Smootho, the Principal, and he gave me an award for honesty and now I’m drinking a milkshake.’
Get the picture?
If a dolphin and I had a cuteness competition, after about six minutes of careful pondering and marking against a specific list of cuteness criteria, the dolphin would appear to you as the joker in a batman movie next to my smiling face.
But when I watch the tennis it’s like seventeen squid come and latch onto my shoulders and we have an ink-party of angst and frustration. For you, maybe the tennis is a celebration of athleticism and good sport. For me, even watching the great Rafa take down a demi-trov, I get distracted by the stinking people who call out or whistle in the crucial moments of the match when everything is silent.
Roger Federer could have just hit a ball from three metres away by extending his tongue and flicking it to propel him and his racquet at never-before-seen speed towards the ball. But if the next point there’s some loony who screams out ‘GO ROGGGGGGGG!’ then I find myself shh-ing the screen furiously in a whisper from my couch.
It takes all the fun out of tennis for me, well that’s not true. I still enjoy it. It probably takes the fun out of watching tennis for anyone who’s with me!
All the while, I sit there imagining a day where I can sit calmly whilst some drunk nightmare with the self-control of a kleptomaniac at an Oprah give-away event screams at inopportune moments.
Then reality takes me by the beard and stencils the juvenile, grammatically abhorrent words ‘ur nvr b der’ on my eyeballs as I find myself crouched over in a ball on the couch peering in the gloom at the TV as Rafa bounces the ball and hooligan-of-the-year screams ‘GAAAHAHAHAHAH RAFA’ and I grind my teeth, shake my head like a budgerigar trying to get dry as it steps out of a birdbath and I involuntarily eek out …
‘shhhhhhhh you fool’