Anyone For Real Tennis? – England v New Zealand match report

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I Can't Get My Head Round These Rules

Ged writes:

Two days after my last-minute-dot-ticket-office, cocktail-avoiding day at the Lord’s Test with Charley the Gent Malloy, I returned for my long arranged Sunday visit with Daisy. The weather forecast had been dreadful, but we woke up and indeed arrived at the ground on a beautiful sunny Sunday.

Daisy and I had an event-free circuit walk during lunch, but when we attempted similar at tea, we ran into Mr Johnny Friendly, walking the other way.

“Hello you two,” said Mr Friendly, stopping to chat with us. “Are you enjoying the cricket?”

“Oh yes indeed, Mr Friendly, very much so,” said Daisy politely, before enquiring: “Have you been watching the cricket or playing your beloved real tennis?”

“Mostly the latter,” replied Mr Friendly. “I can’t get enough of it these days.”

“I saw a television broadcast about real tennis only yesterday,” said Daisy. “The rules sound fiendishly complicated.”

“Not at all, young Daisy,” said Mr Friendly with his kindly voice. “The rules can be set out on a couple of pages; indeed there is an MCC leaflet that explains it all. Would you like a copy?”

“Nothing in the world should give me quite so much pleasure,” blurted Daisy, slightly exaggerating her Jane Austen-style manners.

Unfortunately, you see, Daisy comes from almost the right kind of family, which, after making a modest fortune through trade, then packed Daisy and her sisters off to almost the right kind of school. You should not scorn or reproach such people, dear reader. Daisy is a very good sort of girl; you should wish her extremely well and be happy to see her respectably settled. No doubt, there are men who might not object to her.

“Then you shall have a copy of that MCC leaflet,” said Mr Friendly with his benevolent voice.

“Ey up, tha’s reet gradeley,” said Daisy, getting so excited and confused that she muddled Jane Austen, the great early 19th Century novelist of manners, with Jane Austin, sister of the mighty Ian Austin, the greatest all-round cricketer that Haslingden, nay, even the whole of Rossendale, has ever produced.

“Hello you three,” said Mr Friendly, turning away from us. He was greeting some friends or acquaintances, no doubt far more important folk than us. Soon Mr Friendly was in deep conversation with those people.

We wandered on, thinking that Daisy’s real tennis rule leaflet hopes had been thwarted. But two days later, by means of that magnificent institution, The Royal Mail, a personally autographed copy of the MCC Real Tennis Rules, together with warm wishes from the Friendly family, arrived at our humble little hovel on the western fringes of London. Now that’s class for you.

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  1. Unless I’m very much mistaken, which I’m not, that’s a badminton racquet. That also might be a badminton net (an incorrectly positioned one – i.e. outdoors), although it might be a volleyball net. There’s also a tennis ball, a sledgehammer of some description (presumably a croquet sledgehammer), and a football pitch (presumably Ged’s central London garden.

    So unless the tennis ball is also a real tennis ball, there’s no real tennis in this photo whatsoever. Based on what I know of real tennis, I’m assuming that the ball should be an irregular cuboid with spikes on four of the six faces, half filled with soup in memory of Charles II’s butler. This picture is therefore a FABRICATION! The irony of someone writing about “real” tennis without anything real in the photo is extremely ironic. I’m not suggesting that Daisy isn’t real, of course, just that she is part of a Machiavellian plot to get us all to turn up at our local municipal real tennis courts with THE WRONG EQUIPMENT, thus becoming A LAUGHING STOCK among really real real tennis players.

    Well I’m not falling for that one again.

      1. We have no plans to add such a thing. Instead, express your feelings by writing something along the lines of: ‘This comment deserves a “Vote Up” button’.

    1. It’s a fair cop, guv’nor. You’ve got me and Daisy bang to rights.

      It’s society wot’s to blame, though.

      Moreover, those ARE the rules for real tennis in Daisy;s hand, so your claim that NOTHING in the picture is really real overstates the case considerably.

      Still, extremely well spotted, Bert. That picture would have fooled most idle folk with enough time on their hands to scrutinize humorous web sites to the nth degree of serious pedantry, but we could not fool you.

      1. sorry I’ve stolen your “story” in order to gain popularity on the internet. it’s a very good one though.

      2. Actually the shuttlecock was eaten by a bull, who strayed in from a neighbouring field…

        …I know, you’ve rumbled me…

        …that’s another cock and bull story.

    1. TMS on Twitter also reporting 50 for @realshoaibmalik

      Really not a fan of using Twitter usernames unless you’re communicating with that person.

      Firstly, any unreal Shoaib Maliks aren’t even in with a chance of making 50 in this Test because they aren’t playing.

      Secondly, it isn’t always clear from the username who the person is. For example, Denesh Ramdin goes by @shotta8080. If we saw that out of context, it would mean nothing to us.

      Finally, and most importantly, it’s not actually his name.

      1. But when I see a twitter story about a cricketer, the first thing I think is: “I wonder when he last went to Nando’s?”. By having the twitter name in there I can find this information very quickly, otherwise it means literally minutes of googling.

      2. This is going exactly as I thought it would.

        Predictions for how it’s going to pan out? Five days of mutual high-scoring attrition (the new aggression), or England to fold in a dismal heap when facing 500 runs worth of ‘scoreboard pressure’? We haven’t got a specialist spinner and I feel that may well count against us here more than at, say, Trent Bridge…

        Oh look, Younis has just become Pakistan’s all-time leading test run-scorer.

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