Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Tennis Court Of King Arthur

I was talking to someone in the kitchen at The Big Pointy Building today about the rare times in our lives we had won things. She had won an Easter Egg decorating competition at school, which was was quite prophetic (visit her blog and you'll see what I mean).

I remembered the time I won something, and it went a little like this: (Please note, each * indicates embellishment for comic purposes)...

When I started out on my tennis addiction phase I was not very good. But I get good when I get these obsessions. At the time of this little story, however, I was not very good at playing tennis.

However I was obsessed and I bought all the clothing and drooled over racquets I couldn't afford and I'd stay up all night watching people who were good at playing. And I bought Tennis Weekly, or whatever the damn mag was called. Bought it every week. Sometimes I bought it twice a week because when I get hooked on something, I am hard fucking core.

One week, they had a caption competition and I thought bugger me, I like writing silly shit, I think I'll enter.

I thought of a hilariously inventive caption for EVERY photo and assumed I'd win something. I even wondered if the judges would have the integrity to give me first, second and third prizes... all of which I wholly deserved.

Next mag came out and after a quick scan I felt a bit crap because I didn't rate a mention. Another, more detailed read and I found I'd actually won the first prize I assumed I was going to win. I'd won an amazing, imported, thousand buck Donnay. The picture alone took my breath away to the accompaniment of Heaven's own angels singing their praise.

The Donnay (as I referred to it forever after) arrived in the mail. It was kind of as if King Arthur had been mailed Excalibur. This was the stuff of unfolding legends.

When I turned up at the new tennis club with Excalibur in its shoulder bag, people took notice. I kid you not, people looked. People talked. The guy at the booking desk even asked where I got hold of such a racquet, such was the awe it inspired.

"You won it?"

"Yeah, in a competition."

"He won it," he said, turning to his assistant. "In competition."

Fuck me, I thought, that came out way wrong. Before I had a chance to explain, the guy said, "So you're pretty good?"

"I was pretty good in this particular competition, but you know..."

"Wow," desk guy said to his assistant, "cool and modest. We have to check him out."

A crowd had gathered by the time I made my way to court 7, and all I could do was pray to the powers that be that something magical was about to happen... something... please?

* To be continued.


Kathryn said...

Lee! This is uncharted territory! We have something completely different in common. TENNIS. Talk about an obsession. Once you get started on that sport it is like court crack. I need to be out there everyday.

I need a new racquet. Can I borrow yours?

quick said...

That's funny. I had no idea.

With me, I've kicked my obsession, although I keep passing people on courts and hearing the splock of that little green ball and find myself thinking ooh, maybe just one more hit.

I was shit when I started but pushed myself as far as I could go before developing another obsession. Did it with running and cycling... next up looks like being rock climbing.

You can borrow my racquet, Kat, if you think you can handle the powers of Excalibur.

Y said...

I still can't picture you as a tennis player. With a fuzzy headband, you might be something out of The Royal Tenenbaums. Maybe it's because I just can't see you as a person who could bother chasing a ball around a fenced off box.

quick said...

Ah, Miss Y, that is weirdly perceptive. I rant at the absudity of men chasing balls and the attention it's given and the rewards they reap... it's not a good or noble cause so why are they rewarded and glorified etc. I fucking hate rabid fandom and people who wear their team colours and I loathe people who watch soccer marathons and brag about how tired they are the next day because they stayed up watching a game of something someone else was playing.

Yet when I was on the court... it was a challenge and I was curious to see how much I could improve. I think when you get into a sport, you focus on what you are doing and nothing else really comes into your mind, so it becomes like meditation. Sweaty meditation. And it's an awful lot of fun.