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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Dopy kids

I don't know whether they are dopy or just drugged up to their eyeballs on Ritalin to "cure" their ADHD, but we have some really dozy kids wandering into the sport centre sometimes (in addition to the even dozy more adults).

A recent example:

About 7 pm one evening last week, a girl of about 12 walked in on her own.
"I've come for the badminton".
Now normally when someone says "The Badminton", they are referring to one of the coaching classes. However, they had finished over an hour before.
"OK, who are you with?" I asked.
"My sister, but she's gone swimming".
"OK, have you booked a court?"
"No, I've been before with my mum and my sister".
"Are you with them tonight? What name have they booked under?"
"My sister is swimming"
She carried on staring at me in a sort of vacant way. I tried another tack.
"Do you have a court booked already?"
"No, my sister has gone swimming"
She waited expectantly.
"Do you have anyone to play with?" I asked.
"My sister. But she's gone swimming."
OK, her sister has gone swimming. I think we've established that.
"Have you come for one of the classes?" I tried.
"No. I've come to play badminton".
I was starting to struggle a bit here.
"So you are on your own?" she nodded in a vacant sort of way "and you don't have any one to play with?" she thought for a bit then nodded again.
"Then how are you going to play?" I asked as kindly as I could.
She looked at me like I'd sprouted two heads.
"You need a partner to play with, or you'll just be hitting it over the net then running to the other side".
"So you won't let me play then?" she looked a bit upset. I had to tread carefully now - if her mother was half as whacked out as she was, we ran the risk of a letter complaining about how we wouldn't let her daughter play. Probably because we are racist. After all, we are already "homophobic" because we wouldn't keep the centre open for another 15 minutes to let two gay men finish their game.
"I could let you play. But who would you play with? You need 2 people to play a game of badminton."
"Oh." and then she just stood there waiting expectantly.
"Why don't you go and watch your sister swimming" I suggested, wondering how the hell I could get rid of her. She had a bit of a think, then walked out the door.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no Badminton equivalent of swingball for people to play on their own. Probably just as well, you can't really market a game for families entitled "Swingcock" can you?



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