The topic of my blog is badminton, although in my case it’s more like ‘bad’minton. A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine whose name begins with ‘S’ talked me into buying a racket, and accompanying her to the community centre. She started going there to play ping pong, a game at which she is good; then, she added badminton to her repertoire – a game she played well a couple of decades ago. I, on the other hand, have never played ping pong, and seldom played badminton, very seldom.
The first time we went was on a Monday. This was because on Mondays, most of the usual players play ping pong. We, therefore, had the court to ourselves, which was good. Also there was no-one to watch me make a fool of myself, which was even better.
How to describe what happened on that first Monday ... Well first, I should explain that under ordinary circumstances, Shirlene is a kind, gentle, civilized sort of person with a very noticeable British accent. Put a bat (either ping pong or badminton) in her hand, however, and she transforms into a female version of Attila the Hun – you know, the ‘conquer or die’ guy from ancient history. Others play badminton; Shirlene wages war. To put it succinctly, my badminton playing was most definitely bad, all bad.
Although I was more than somewhat discouraged by Monday’s horrible trouncing, we returned to the scene of the massacre on the Thursday of the same week. This time, there were several other players, all laughing and thoroughly enjoying themselves. When one of them asked if I wanted to play, I shuffled my feet and explained that I wasn’t very good and that I would probably bore them.
‘No, no’, they all said. They explained that they were all beginners and that they played ‘just for fun’. So I played; and I’ve been playing on Thursdays ever since, and it’s fun. We laugh and joke, and no one seems to care that I play ‘bad’minton. In fact one of my fellow players informed me that I’ve definitely improved (I couldn’t have gotten any worse) since the first time I played with their group. Maybe my game will evolve into ‘not too bad’-minton. Maybe one day, I’ll be able to play with Attila the Hun!
P.S. This is Shirlene and I deny all of the above. Well, except the kind and gentle part!
P.P.S. Of course she denies it; she’s an Aries Tiger! (Love, Megan)