When Lying Comes Easy
A lot of people think a third world war will start in the Middle East.
I think it's more likely to happen on the edge of a tennis court somewhere in the English Home Counties.
You know, I'm convinced that if all the irate tennis mums channelled their energies into politics this country would soon be back on its feet again. The threat of terrorism would be wiped out instantly. Some butch tennis mum yelling "Let your balls stray on my court Mr Foreigner and you are in big trouble!" would have even the most harden terrorist quaking in his boots. This is because a tennis mum is a ticking time bomb which can spontaneously explode unleashing a whirlwind of aggression and mayhem. I've heard stories where some tennis mums have actually come to blows. And I'm not kidding!
I hasten to add that this is not the lovely Mrs T (who once or twice may have lost her cool with other cheating, conniving parents) but who is always on the side of righteousness and would never, ever punch out another tennis mum... unless she was really, really provoked.
I know I'm such a goody two shoes. And I've only ever been in one fight. Ever.
Yeah, I know. It is probably one more fight than most women but it was really, really justified. I was only about 13 at the time and that school bully really needed to be put in her place. Which was on the floor - obviously.
Ahhh - it was such fun in the old days before that politically correct dogma took hold. You could have a decent school yard punch up and all you got was a slap on the wrist. These days you can't even play conkers and breaking wind is a criminal offence in the classroom. I feel sorry for the children of today- you can't win the school 100 metres dash without everyone else getting a medal "for taking part." Hmm...if politicians only applied the same principle to government we'd actually have proportional representation instead of a first past the post system. Now there's an interesting thought.
Anyhow, let's not forget tennis dads in this rant. Yeah, I know I mustn't generalise as some of them are normal but mainly they're total fruitcakes trying to live their dreams out through their children. This means they can get really, really upset. Think John McEnroe on speed with a wasp nest in his pants and you'll get the picture.
Anyway, many of these tennis mums and dads employ psychological warfare. This might be a statement such as "My son only picked up a tennis racket for the first time last week, I just don't understand how is beating your son" which actually translates as "My son is beating your son and my son is such a genuine talent! Such a genius! Did you know your son is a complete loser?"
Now the actual truth of this situation will be something akin to the child having being born with a silver tennis racket in his mouth, possessing a personal coach since he was a toddler and probably training 20 hours a week at a high performance academy.
Here's another example: a couple of years ago Master Jacob was waiting to play a well known player who trains full time at a tennis academy. Master Ben and I were sitting down at a picnic table having our lunch when the opposition's dad came over, plonks his backside right on our table (not a chair at the table actually on the table) so his (large) backside in just a few inches away from our picnic. He then took out his mobile phone and proceeded to have a conversation whilst we have the pleasure of his arse stuck in our faces.
Now that is what I call rude. Blatantly rude. And of course there's a psychological message in that arse in the face message - I don't think it takes much to work it out. Anyway, my hand wavered over Master Ben's diet coke can which was a couple of inches away from his derrière but alas, Dear Readers, I didn't push it over. What a jerk I was. Yes, that moment will be frozen in my memory forever. I doubt my deathbed speech will be anything philosophical, I'll probably gasp "If ...only... I'd... pushed... over... that... Coke... can........."
So much for changing the world then if all I've got to worry about is an unspilt coke can. Where did I go wrong? I need to go and work on a kibbutz on something, smoke some pot, do something outrageous!
Hmm... I not too keen on the kibbutz idea. But I suppose I could wear some Vivian Westwood and roll up some loo roll and smoke it behind the garden shed.
Anyway, back to my rant. So after years of being a tennis mum I've found that apart from a few trusted "normal" mums it's best to keep one's own counsel. However, yesterday I relented when Master Ben's opponent's mother started chatting to me. She seemed so nice and normal and genuine that we chatted for several hours during which time she told me at least 3/4 times her son had only be playing tennis 2 years and had never played with the mini orange or mini red balls that the younger children use.
So later that evening, I was checking Master Ben's statistics and my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to check out the other boys statistics too and I saw he had played 110 tournaments. Well I was amazed! Master Ben who has been playing tennis since he was preschool has only played 68 which is peanuts compared to the big time players the majority of whom at age 10 will have played over 100 and may be as many as 200 tournaments. A simple calculation tells me that even for the most dedicated player a tournament every week for two years would be nigh impossible. So I looked back further and I see that the boy has in fact been competing since 2008. This probably means he has been playing for at least a year beforehand, if not two years. So, in essence he's been playing a minimum of 4 years and probably at least 5 or 6. And as for the claim that he hadn't played with orange balls - he'd actually played thirty orange tournaments. Yes, thirty.
You know I feel a bit of a fool to have been taken in so easily. I usually consider myself reasonably astute. If I see this tennis mum again on the tennis circuit again I will keep my own counsel. But the thing I ask myself most is not the purpose or reasoning of her lying but this...
When did lying become so easy?