I hate to conform to stereotypes but I don’t understand sport at all. It’s a complete mystery to me.
I’ve been working very hard on avoiding the Olympics but it’s proving difficult so far. Like many gay man, I may be tempted by the men’s diving, though. I just don’t get it. Why does it matter whether a man from France can throw a spear further than a man from Germany? Surely we have more sophisticated weaponry now? Am I supposed to care who can run the fastest? We have these things called cars now which make us all pretty speedy.
I’m bewildered by the amount of excitement sports generate in people when they watch them, not to mention the violence and aggression. You never see police in riot gear outside theatres or libraries. Personally, I can’t follow the plot of a sports match and always find the characterisation weak. The sets are pretty dull too, too much grass. As for playing sport, I’ll certainly never understand that one. That is truly insane. If you’re bored try reading a good book. Libraries are full of them. They’re good for you too. There’s also this thing called television which can be fun.
My parents disliked football but were avid cricket viewers and occasionally entertained tennis on the television. Cricket seemed to me to be a bizarre exercise in boredom. Lots of men stood round in a field for ages, occasionally one of them ran a little bit and the score made no sense. The noise of it irritated me and if it was on the television I’d be in another room. I’m not sure you can even call it a sport really. Surely anything where you wear jumpers isn’t a sport?
Age seven I decided I wanted to join the scouts. This was purely because one of my friends went and I liked the sound of making cocoa, getting a cooking badge and learning how to perform acts of arson using only twigs. My mum got me the full uniform, she believes in being properly attired. The first week we were made to go to church which disgruntled me. The second week we were made to play football which horrified me. I’d never seen a football match or attempted to play the game and quickly became an object of ridicule. The scout master was incredulous that a boy of that age didn’t know how to play football and ridiculed me in front of the other boys. In retrospect, what’s more incredulous is that grown men want to dress like oversized schoolboys and hang about with irritating prepubescent boys in their spare time. I was very affronted by this incident and refused to go back to the scouts. My mother and I entered one of our battles of wills.
“I’ve paid for that woggle, you’re going!” I didn’t go back which was a rare victory.
I always hated running about. It seemed so undignified and unnecessary. I also hate being shouted at, having whistles blown at me and getting dirty or sweaty. There’s no call for it in this day and age. Secondary school came as a terrible shock when I realised that we had to do two hours a week of Physical Education; pure purgatory.
I was a skinny child with terrible eyesight. I was also timid, nervous and hated pain. My natural reaction on seeing a solid leather cricket ball hurtling towards my face or genitals at high velocity is to run in the other direction. Likewise, a big boy charging at my shins with a wooden hockey stick presents a similar desire to flee. I think this is called common sense.
I applaud all the gay sportsmen and women and am glad they exist. Homophobia is still pretty rife in sport and it’s great to see the emergence of openly gay athletes. I’m just glad they’re doing it on my behalf so that I don’t have to break out into a sweat. Personally I can’t see myself entering the next Olympics unless they start to include Cluedo, chain smoking and Yahtzee as events. I have a brilliant wrist action with those dice.
Chris is a theatre and book obsessed Midlander who escaped to London. He’s usually to be found slumped in a seat in a darkened auditorium.
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