July 2: wimbledon fraught nite

My dislike of Wimbledon goes back to my childhood when we were on holiday in Blackpool or Colwyn Bay or Llandudno, once in Scarborough, and when I wanted to go out to the sands everybody else wanted to watch the so-called Wimbledon final on a little old telly in our rented flat. These days nobody forces me to watch it but out of a sense of duty to the past I have it on in the background with the sound down but the medium wave radio on. This means that when I pass through the living room in my quotidian perambulations I can preempt the image by hearing the commentary about three seconds ahead of the telly. In this way I triumph over those dull players, who are perhaps the dullest of all sportspeople. You constanly hear that there are no characters left in the game today. In bygone days caracter was, in a jocular moment, handing a racket to a ballboy. The particular brand of mid-atlantic accent that afflicts all players from Croatia to Argentina is a dreadful monotone to the whole event, which we are forced to endure as meaningless interviews with meaningless questions unanswered by PR schooled players reminds you of two heavy juggernaughts trying to get past each other in a narrow cul-de-sac. There is also something deadeningly abstract about the television portrayal of the matches with a screen that depicts the court as a vertical wall, much like the image telly gives of a snooker table, and the disembodied grunts of two insects scuttling around at the north and south poles. It is a kind of elaborate flea circus. Why not turn it off? you tell me. Oh, leave me be and let me exorcize the past in my own way.

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