“Is that a tennis racquet I spy in your paw?” asked Owl as he and Pooh perched on the gate to the Wood.
“Yes”, replied Pooh, “I’ve been having tennis lessons”.
“With Christopher Robin?” enquired Owl, “I thought he’d given up tennis after the unfortunate incident with that photo of Alice, when she’d forgotten her frillies”.
“No”, said Pooh, “It’s with a lady called Serena. She’s taking a break from professional tennis because all the umpires and ball-boys run off court when they see her. Apparently it takes ages to coax them out of the corners and from under the benches. She said they’re a bunch of pussies and they’d better woman-up”.
“So how’s it going?” asked Owl, “Care to share any tips on forehand smashes?”
“Well, we haven’t actually started playing yet”, explained Pooh, “Because we’re starting with the Psychology Training first. Serena says tactics and psychopathy go hand in paw. F’rinstance, faced with a manifestly unfair and bigoted call from a line judge, your options are:
- Throw your racquet on the ground and scream from a list of approved obscenities. If you can get the racquet to bounce and hit a ball-boy, so much the better.
- If the umpire is unmoved, play the race card, accusing him (and it’s always a him, Serena says) of race hate. I’ve been practising my “Is it cos I is a Bear?” query.
- Burst into tears and insist that you be given game, set and match because you’re a mother. I told Serena I wasn’t one, but she said I wouldn’t believe how many mothers (she calls them mofos) are out there and I could choose any one from the list of umpires.”
“Exciting stuff!” said Owl, admiringly, “And are you going to turn up to your next lesson?”
“Serena said it’s more than my life’s worth not to”, said Pooh.
© Madam Revenant 2018