Here’s a question for you. How many activities can you think of that labour under the delusion that they’re a sport? It’s a great debate after a few pints and I’d encourage anybody to try it. Anyway, personally I reckon that no sport can be deemed to be as such unless it has a ball in it. Now I have my own list which basically includes such wastes of time as synchronised swimming, arm wrestling, and darts! Sorry but real athletes don’t stand around drinking pints of fecking bitter and whiskey chasers! There’s ten pin bowling and table tennis of course, which to be fair was invented as a game for four foot Chinese people which kind of explains why everything from the net, the bat and the table is in miniature. It’s only suitable for playing in your basement or the garage! A sport? Nah.  And in case you didn’t know the ‘sport’ of competitive eating is absolutely huge in Japan. A bit like the competitors in fact. This is not so much a sport as a freak show. And the fact that its leading personality, kobayashi is a sex symbol throughout Japan should say enough about just how wrong this is. And don’t dare get me going on Formula 1 motor racing! Nowadays it’s about as dangerous as tiddlywinks, the rules change every Sunday and ninety per cent of the starters have absolutely no chance of winning because they are essentially driving Robin Reliants! Anyway, the list of non-sports goes on of course, but I think you follow my general drift.  But as irritating as it is for me to hear what are essentially parlour games and pastimes being touted as sports, at least nobody is getting killed. Which brings me nicely to the senseless murder of a dumb animal last week. And no, I’m not talking about the bull! I’m referring to the matador who got the horn. Now I don’t know about you but this is something I only ever get after a bowl of several dozen oysters. Anyway I digress.

What I want to say is that nothing saddens me or gets my goat as much as so called sports where defenceless animals are murdered for little more than human gratification. There are dozens of these senseless acts from dog and cock fighting, hare coursing, and the fecking tally ho mob who can think of little else to do of a weekend but to get sozzled and then trudge across waterlogged farmland on their trusty steeds accompanied by a bunch of dogs, I don’t mean the women riders, in pursuit of a helpless fox who is eventually torn to shreds under the pathetic guise of controlling their numbers! Personally, I was delighted that the bull won last week. I actually watched a bull fight in Madrid some years ago. It was part of my Hemingway experience. Anyway, I left long before the grizzly end. I wasn’t all that keen to watch the final dance of death. But I’ll never forget the blood lust that enveloped the arena. I was certainly disavowed of the ridiculous notion that I might be surrounded by so called sensible, adult human beings. But the other reason I’m glad the bull won is because, and not many people know this, the bulls are actually partially sedated before the fight gets underway which, in my eyes, makes the Matador even more of a tosser.

But as somebody once said ‘At the heart of all romanticism is suffering’ I don’t celebrate the Matador’s death but the bull won in spite of the unfair rules of the game. The indifferent bull being begged to react, being pushed to the edge of fury. The bull, tired and peaceful. The bull, being teased relentlessly. The bull being pushed to a game he isn’t interested in. And the matador getting all of the fecking credit for an unfair game he usually sets. But not this time. This time it was the bull shouting ‘Ole’

Right, well after that I’m off for a ‘game’ of golf!

Laters

22nd June 2017.