Saturday, July 02, 2011

sweet, greetings, screaming


Posted by Picasa We remember the candles on horse chestnut trees but, unless we are children, take little notice of the conkers. We forget the spiky inflorescences of the sweet chestnut, but remember the floury slightly burnt taste of  the roasted nuts, and the hot, blackened shell between our fingers as we peel it away from the kernel.

As I walk across The Grove I pass someone who sees me as a customer. Next I pass an acquaintance who seems to look kindly on me.  "Morning, sir," says the first. "Hello, mate," says the second. I find myself wondering whether I  deserve either title.

I leave the house half way through the second set of the Ladies Finals at Wimbledon.   Petra Kvitova is in the lead by one set and leading four games to three. By the time  I pass the television shop in The High Street 10 minutes later she is on the screen  on thee TV in the window being interviewed, from which I deduce (correctly as it turns out) that she won in straight sets. I think to myself Sharapova who screams every time she hits the ball like a demented peacock (or should I say peahen) whether she is serving or playing a ground shot, lost the match; and Kvitova who doesn't scream, won. A good sign if you don't like screaming tennis players. Some commentators have referred to these visceral noises as "grunts", surely the understatement of all time.

2 comments:

The Crow said...

I don't play tennis, and I can see where someone grunting or squealing like a peacock could disturb the opponent's concentration, but I think I understand why some players do it.

This afternoon, I was helping a neighbor load his pickup truck with tree parts and clippings he had trimmed from our respective yards. I tossed some branches up as hard as I could, but there wasn't much 'ummph' in my toss...until I grunted because of the effort I had to make. Then I found I had more energy and a bit more strength. So, I quit trying to be polite and grunted whenever necessary. Made shorter work of loading the truck, for me anyway.

Of course, tossing branches into a truck isn't the uber-civilized activity of a tennis match, and grunting in the former instance might be not only acceptable, but expected, along with granny beads in the neck creases and great gobs of sweat dripping from one's nose.

I see your point, however.

Barrett Bonden said...

I do't usually watch women's tennis; to invoke a West Riding thumb's-dwn it's too pie's-ball. However I saw part of one game where they closed the roof and turned the Central European contestant's screams into strange hoots. As if the spectacle involved animals rather than humans. In fact the parallel doesn't stop there but perhaps it would be better if I did.