Monday, August 27, 2007

Anti-Aircraft Bat

I did try to blame this summer's infestation of fruit flies on global warming, and I even conducted studies in other people's houses tracking the incidence of these annoying little fuckers. Almost the worst thing about them is their irritating tendency to cluster around, or frequently in, one's sublime and refreshing adult beverage. The more luscious and expensive the beverage, the more it drew in clouds of buzzing spectators. Of course, it's relatively easy to give them what they want and drown the little buggers in it, but there's precious little fun in that.

I sometimes wonder what it must be like to be a fly, and frequently ran around my kitchen (the old one, that is, the new one has barely enough room to turn round, never mind run anywhere) waggling my head around furiously in an attempt to empathise with the highly mobile insect's plight. Of course, I was holding bunches of straws up to my eyes for the complete fly A/V experience.

Somewhere along the line I realised that while these things were diving and swooping and whirling around various areas of the house, they were perfect prey for my vorpal anti-aircraft bat, +50 vs anything airborne, to include basically anything getting in the way.

Now, in this country, badminton is a sport which usually brings forth mirth from any native with which you discuss it. This is because Americans are crap at badminton. England is about #6 in the world, and the USA, despite having lots more people living in it, is in the 40s somewhere. This is due to the influence of the following elements -

- it's tough to make money out of badminton, compared to lame sports like basketball, baseball, American football, etc, where the thing being passed around rarely if ever breaks the sound barrier and most of the game is spent feeling up the other side's players in an event to make it more TV friendly.

- badminton clubs in successful (at badminton) countries usually operate on a very egalitarian peer to peer system where everyone plays with everyone and therefore everyone gets better. Kinda like the JFK "all the boats float" idea. Well, you know how well that approach goes down in Individuality Central. Hence.

Badminton is most emphatically not the beach game the USA thinks it is. It's the fastest racket sport, by a long way - a good smash will leave the shuttle breaking 200mph. That crack you hear is the racket head breaking the sound barrier. Yeah. No shit. Because of this, and the shuttle's heart-stopping deceleration causing long rallies, it's obviously much better a spectator sport than the ridiculous tennis or golf or indeed much of anything else. Try it.

You can see where this is going. With the racket head travelling at 500mph+ even in the hands of a rank expert like me, the little airborne alcoholics are going to receive a pasting. Check it out.

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