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Sunday 11th July 2004

CNPS numbers spotted 0 (899). This could be the end of the dream.

Next weekend, weather permitting, I will be completing another Herculean task - beating my nephew at tennis. Regular readers will know the frustration I have felt at being beaten by this arrogant young pup on previous occasions. Indeed, I have never won a match against him and thus I believe that if I can turn things around that this will qualify as a feat to rival Hercules. As he is very similar to the 16 year old me it is certainly indicative of the underlying theme of the show - my own mid-life crisis.
One way to defeat my nemesis would of course be to practise hard and play lots of matches in the hope of improving, but I am too lazy for that. So instead I am having two two hour lessons from a professional tennis coach and hoping he can refine my game and give me enough tactical info to come out victorious. My nephew, being 16 and only having a job of washing up in a pub, can not afford such extravagances. Ironically I am getting the lessons for free as a tennis magazine has heard about my quest and set this all up for me. It's a double winner.
For some reason I had imagined that John, my coach, would be older than me, but he turned out to be only 24. Not that this was a problem; it was just strange to have my expectations subverted and then when I had to consider them I couldn't work out why I had had them in the first place.
He was quite fascinated by the reason for me doing all this, being particularly impressed with the dating Marathon that brought me to my knees (and not in a good way).
He put me through my paces pretty well and I think even in this first session has made some significant improvements to my game. I was actually much better than I had expected to be (except in a short competitive game against him, where it all went to pieces a bit - but then I wasn't expecting to beat him). I wish I could share the secrets I have learned, but my nephew reads this site and I don't want to give anything away. All I would say Andrew is be afraid. Be very afraid. Because you are going down my friend. Down into the dirt. And I will kick you when you are down. And also kick some more dirt on to your face. You are my nephew and I love you and all that shit, but this match transcends familial love.
I am trying to psyche him out. I hope it is working.
But just in case these four hours of training do not work I am also trying to think of other ways to scupper my opponent. I considered doping his water bottle, but some bloke did that in France to all the opponents of his daughter and then one of them ended driving home afterwards crashing and dying. I think he went too far there. I don't want to kill my nephew. If there is some way I can (preferrably temporarily) cripple him then that might be an option.
But for the moment I am going to rely on my phenomenal skill. I hope I can make him cry. Then I can show the film of my nephew crying in my show. That will teach him to be younger and better than me.

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