Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Subaltern’s Love Song 

On Monday morning after shoe inspection, Bill Surname CEO made the draw for this year’s inter-house tennis tournament.
Me and Stella, my eighties style yuppie witch of a team leader, have been drawn against Death and Pestilence in the mixed doubles.

“I have to admit,” I explained to Stella later on, by way of a warning over machine coffee and sort of cake thing, “that I can get a bit competitive when it comes to competitive sports. Unless I’m being soundly thrashed, of course, in which case I dismiss the whole thing as just a bit of a laugh.”
Stella is much the same.
“OMG, tell me about it,” she said. “I had a couple of knockabouts with my friend Becky at the weekend. I haven’t had so much fun in ages as when she gave me a good seeing to on Saturday morning.”
I felt a sneeze coming on.
“I did her on Sunday though, to get my own back.”

So we had a little practice, me and Stella, after work yesterday on the court up at Valium Heights, Bill Surname’s country retreat.
Rex the security guard has got the lawn looking fantastic, stripy and smooth and everything, but my hay fever is starting in earnest now, and Creepy Keith from Accounts and Famine were hanging around being annoying twats, waiting to use the courts and putting me off, and my serve was terrible, and I was generally rubbish throughout.

We’ve both got our reasons for wanting to put Death and Pestilence in their place.

“Don’t worry about it,” said Stella afterwards. “We’ll have another practice before the match.”
“And I’ll take one of my tablets beforehand,” I said. “And I’ll buy some decent tennis balls as well. These old ones are squishy and useless. And they’re bloody egg shaped.”
“Becky’s are round and firm like Granny Smiths,” said Stella, her voice suddenly dreamy and faraway.
“Well good for her,” I said.
“And she says I can play with them anytime I want to.”
“That should save me a few quid then,” I said, and we set a date for another session early next week.

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