Wednesday, January 04, 2017

The greatest tenderized game on Tennis twist – ever (Part 1)

The greatest tenderized game on Tennis twist – ever (Part 1)

Rhodesia – about early ‘70s.

As those who have read my masterpieces will know my best friend was a girl named Stephanie. Stephie for short.

Her place was mega cool. The family had bottles of cool Coca Cola in the fridge for free and I helped myself without a hint of guilt.

In the garden was a Tennis Twist. This is sort of a long stick mounted in the ground, with a giant car spring on the top of it. Attached to that was a piece of strong nylon cord almost as long as the stick.
On the end of that was a pierced tennis ball which the cord went through and then tied in a seriously large knot. (You got the picture?)

BUT – as usual with anything I participate in, problems always arose.

Not sure, but but the idea was Steph and I would stand opposite each other and whack the ball with a cricket bat or a baseball bat, a lump of wood, a steel pipe, or occasionally a tennis racket with half its strings missing (sanctions).

I  think the idea was to whack it in such a way the winner was the one who either wrapped the cord around the pole or, the whole Heath Robinson flew off the spring into orbit.

This was great fun. Except – after a while of being beaten, the tennis ball would be sliced in half by the cord – what a balls up! The two halves would sail over the fence and eagerly snatched up by the begging, starving black children outside the 2500 volt electrified fence and used as drinking cups.

After using up a couple of thousands tennis balls, we were down to the last 10 when I had an idea. (Oh-oh – this can only be bad news.)

‘Stephie, if we put the ball in a nylon stocking from your mom, tie it to the end of the cord, we can smash the fucker for ever.’

She agreed. Unforunately…

After about half a dozen poundings, whilst agreeing this was a great idea, the ball burst through the sole and went into orbit. Game over.
Stephie quickly stuffed the stocking back in the draw and hoped her mother would not notice the damage.

Well, that was that.

‘Shall we go and watch the washing machine again?’
‘Ah com’on Steph, we have watched it wash and spin twice now this week. That is now boring.’

My eyes wandered over their garden. They had chickens and bantams running free awaiting their fate of dinner, but not theirs.

‘Stephie, what has your mum planned for dinner?’
‘Dunno, ask Phineas.’

I wandered into the kitchen where Phineas, the ‘Cookboy’ was pretending to be busy by pushing some pots and pans around in a foamy sink of water.

Despite the fact that Phineas was old enough to be my grandfather, he was still a boy because his English was not that good. I had not a clue what they gabbled between themselves in their own race. More than likely - planning a revolution.

‘Phineas, wat yoo cookie dee dins-dins foor Madam tonite?’

I liked Phineas. He called me by my first name instead of ‘Sah’.

‘Karl, dee Madam, has ordered that I make a roast chicken from our free range ones in the garden. I have prepared all the vegetables and I have one tied up on its feet. I will behead it, gut it, pluck its feathers, let it hang for an hour to drain the blood, stuff it with sage and onion with a delicate mix of fresh lemon and orange peel with a touch of cinnamon and ‘
Herbes de Provence’. A perfect  Un poulet rôti parfait’.’

That is the problème. I hardly understood  a bloody word. When will these half tamed savages learn to speak the ‘Ian Smith’ ?

give me the chicken. I will return it perfect to pop in the oven – and that is an order.’  Of course, he naturally complied.

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