Thanks for your mail.
Yes it was great fun paying last weekend – a really good workout as always!
The only thing(s) that makes me hesitate about your offer of a game this weekend are:
(a) You never pay for the court or bring any balls.
(b) You overrule the score when you see fit, but if I ever question it you very rudely just tell me to get on with it and point to where I should be standing.
(c) You never wash your hands after going to the loo. I’ve seen you.
(d) You call shots of mine out that you couldn’t possible have even seen.
(e) You get so angry with yourself when you lose a point that I’m always worried that you’re going to do yourself an injury. You scream and call yourself a ‘fucking muppet’, throw your racket at the fence, and smack your face with your hands in a way that is frankly alarming to watch.
(f) Your jokes. What does ‘kedgeree is as kedgeree does’ even mean?
(g) Your style of play, which involves just lofting every return up in a high loop to the back of the court. You do this again and again, possibly because you haven’t got any actual strokes. As a result, playing you doesn’t really feel like actual tennis.
(h) Your preposterous boasts. Can your great-grandfather really have invented… the bag?
(i) Your crude insinuation that if I only listened to the unabridged audiobook, it ‘doesn’t count’.
(j) Your politics. I have no idea what they are, but I just know I’ll hate them.
(k) Your money. Your car. Your fancy trainers.
(l) Your personal trainer.
(m) The rumour that you strangled your father on his deathbed.
(n) Your devastating new girlfriend, who you bring along to applaud my double-faults.
(o) Your over-ornate facial hair.
(p) Your lack of a shadow.
So I’m a bit in two minds at the moment. The fact you always win has nothing to do with any of this of course.