With Wimbledon approaching, middle-aged men in offices will suddenly declare a previously unknown interest in tennis and will, inexplicably, book a largely redundant leisure centre tennis court and invite a work colleague for a game of lunchtime tennis.
To impress their colleague, they will sport a Fred Perry polo shirt.
It is a sad fact that when he died, Fred Perry’s family discovered he had wardrobes full of leisure shirts with his name on and donated them all to charity shops up and down the country. So, whilst they may look classic and expensive, in reality, they are around twenty years old and no one has ever paid more than £3 for one.
The “game” will start with the first guy tossing the ball high into the air, swinging his racket and missing the ball completely. He will then obligatory say: “Ooh, I’m a bit rusty” in a feeble attempt to make his opponent believe he was once ranked 98th in the world.
He’ll then hit his serve into the net before sneakily moving two feet inside the baseline to ensure his following serve goes over the net but inevitably “out”.
With both players quickly realising their shortcomings, what starts as a serious game of tennis, rapidly becomes a farcical game of bat ‘n’ ball.
Within 5 minutes no one cares about the rules. Serves are made feet away from the net and underarm. The ball will land anywhere in or out the court, often bouncing two or three times before being returned, if at all? And it will take 30 minutes before anything can be described as a rally – normally, 3 shots between them.
After an hour, both will claim it was a good workout when, in reality, they spent more time, retrieving the ball from the perimeter fence than playing.
After the fortnight is over, neither guy will mention playing tennis again and the courts will go back to being totally unused for 50 weeks.