“Well, well, well.”

It had been a year since we first challenged Wallace to a game of bowls.

At Mrs Big A’s birthday party. We had been drinking. He had scoffed at our taking-up-bowling status. “You?!? Get out of here! You’d be rubbish!”

So we had challenged him. To a duel, like they did in the olden days (but with bowls).

It had seemed like a good idea at the time. We mocked each other, drinking further. And as we both left the party we were pointing at each other: ‘you wait!!!’

Wallace is very, very, extremely good at bowls. He plays most days, for many of the local clubs. But we would teach him a lesson and beat him to within an inch of his life (with bowls).

Plans hatched over a lot to drink tend to go one of two ways. Either they get completely forgotten and never mentioned again, or they sort of take on a life of their own in an alarming sort of way, and the next thing you’re doing is waking up on the Aberdeen sleeper/arranging to set up a windsurfing school in Finland with two mates from school/setting up a national register of ID cards, etc.

Our plan kind of fell between these two stools. So actually plans hatched over a lot to drink tend to go one of three ways. Three. Nobody forgot about it. There was a lot of banter over the garden hedge. This banter tended to consist of Wallace saying ‘so come on then, when are you going to arrange this match then, boys?’ and Short Tony or I saying ‘oh yes, soon, definitely soon, we will arrange it, oh yes, we are not scared of you, nono.’ And soon it got to a point when I was disguising myself in women’s clothes and wearing a bag over my head every time I walked past his house just in case he jumped out with a date and a venue all arranged.

But then the challenge was gradually forgotten, as happens.

“Well, well, well,” repeated Wallace. “Fancy you playing for this lot.”

I cursed Short Tony and his allegedly sore toe. I ought to have twigged that you can still play bowls with a sore toe. He must have received insider information. Sure enough, he had been drawn against Wallace. So I, as his replacement, had my fate sealed.

What goes around comes around. I trudged on to the green knowing that I was going to be stuffed, humiliated; I was going to be ground into the ground; I would get a good kicking; dogshite was going to be rubbed into my face and my pants were going to be pulled up into my arse crack.

But with bowls.

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