The Sportalist


Geoff Dunkin put down his drink long enough to say, “He should have moved to the right, tucked his left elbow in and then swung the racket through the ball. That would have put a spin on it and he’d of won the point.” Now that his advice was “out there” for the world , and all those with him in his house at 16 Doncaster Road, namely his wife and their cat Mollie, to acknowledge and admire, he felt free to raise his hand again with a slight swinging action involving an extention of his elbow towards the window so he could take another slurp  of soothing ale.

With a figure modelled on the concept of a peanut with small legs, his advice on tennis court strategy was not the most sought after in his district or, to be honest, his own home where, as in many  established domestic households, he employed the tactic of ‘speaking aloud in case anyone was listening.’

Before we reach out across the page and internet to console our heroic sports strategist I must tell you that this was a sublime period in his life when both the Wimbledon tennis championship and World Cup were on at the same time. Better than that, three of his mates were coming over later to watch the football and tuck into Majorie’s famous sausage rolls.

Now they were all crammed into the small collection of ill-chosen chairs and one of them said of Marjorie’s snacks, “She makes the sausages herself,”  “The Queen of detail” says another, and Majorie can feel both put upon and admired at one and the same time along with a million domestic underdogs. “She slammed that flavour right in the back of the net and dunked ketchup on it” said a third, and Geoff smiles at the implied compliment to his team selection in the home department.

In the kitchen Marjorie was getting through her chores, or hiding from the conversation, depending on your viewpoint, and didn’t hear the praise heaped on her. In truth, her mind was on other matters just now, as her lover would be back in town in two days, and she was wondering what excuse she could come up with to go and spend some time with him. He had no interest in sport, or cycling or anything apart from her when he was with her, and his presence in her life made the complacent observations of her husband just about bearable. Her only wish was that “Barry” could earn enough to get her out of this life and into a place where she was loved and noticed.

Geoff, basking in the admiration of his mates regarding his astute observations and the quality of his wife’s cooking glanced over at her photograph on the table by the TV. “If anyone knew how to keep a women happy it was him” he thought. Perhaps he ought to write a book about it?

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
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15 Responses to The Sportalist

  1. Hehe, you’ve so often got a nice sting in the tail of the tale…

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  2. I’ve always avoided sports viewing as much as humanly possible. Considering reactions I have seen in the past, I certainly hope these fancy new flat screen TV’s have armor platting.

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  3. Caroline says:

    Ah! The wisdom some men feel they have…….!!!

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  4. Al says:

    It’s obvious our friend Geoff desperately needs to give rapt attention to the missus….but then again, Wimbledon?…The World Cup?…hmmmm…..

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  5. There’s a lot in this story, Peter. As I get older, I find comfort in repeating activities, which is the very thing I laughed at when I was twenty-something. Gotta love life.

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  6. As ever, an enjoyable read with a witty bite to it!

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  7. catterel says:

    Oh dear, poor Geoff! Next instalment zoo, please – it can’t be heading where I think, in your tales, it never does!

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  8. Ina says:

    Poor Geoff! I like him, but I don’t like his wife lol 🙂

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  9. Well, Are you writing a book about it?! xxx

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  10. I think Geoff’s an ok bloke, harmless at least. 😄 Love this piece and will be glad to say a hearty farewell to The World Cup!

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  11. Met a lot of Geoff’s in my time

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  12. araneus1 says:

    Genuinely sad……… well observed……..I love the ‘story within the story’ and I don’t feel judgemental at all……… there is a sense that everyone is ‘kinda’ happy in that moment but the whole thing is so fragile that the next chapter would tell a very different story……… I love the way your stories make me imagine.
    Terry

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  13. I love it, humorous and sadly I know a this couple! I love “With a figure modeled on the concept of a peanut with small legs” !

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  14. Love where you took us, Peter. Ignorance is bliss … but bliss waiting to become – to say it mildly – a very unpleasant surprise! You build your characterizations and story set-up so quickly but never to the determent of believability. Well done! 🙂

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  15. r e douville says:

    The things we don’t know, the things we assume… we are crazy creatures, we all.

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