Things that have kept me away from the computer – #3 in a series of 945722572.
I feel that this is some sort of watershed in my life. Once, when I was little and ‘the kids’ was not spelt with a ‘z’, I was abreast of all the new technologies that humanity was embracing.
Now, I am hopelessly out of touch. I think it was when the QL took over from the ZX Spectrum. Gradually, I lost touch with technology and the zeitgeist an’ stuff and discovered beer and music and chickens and girls, or at least pictures of them, on the internet.
But I have Sky TV!!! Sky TV!!! Who says that I am not down with ze kids now???
I settle down to watch the bowls.
Barry Hearn, legendary snooker and boxing promoter, has discovered bowls, and has put it on Sky TV. He is astute, and knows that it will be the next big thing – he has even got sponsorship from a racy poker website. I lean forward on my sofa as the chap draws gently in on the backhand. The bowls is indoors, in an arena, but is otherwise proper bowls, with extra commentary.
Suddenly the lights go out in the auditorium. ‘Power play!!!’ booms a pre-recorded voice over the tannoy. ‘Power play!!!’. Immense spotlights machine-gun crazy zig-zag patterns on the mat.
There is a momentary pause, before a spontaneous ‘oooooh!!!’ erupts from the audience. I have never heard such an ‘oooooh’ before. It is voluminous, and laced with irony, but is somehow not unkind – as if a particularly shiny and high-wattage jug kettle had been revealed as top prize on a remake of ‘Sale of the Century’ presented by Jonathan Ross as a prelude to the categories being announced at the Magazine Display Media Sales Awards 2008.
“He’s taking his power play!” announces the commentator, excitedly.
I am strangely happy about all this. It is reassuring that such a quintessentially English tinkering to such a quintessentially English sport gets such a quintessentially English reaction. I hope the organisers are happy too. You can love something and still take the piss out of it, in fact that sometimes means that you actually really really DO love it, or that is what I tell the LTLP anyway.
I watch the rest of the bowls. It is gripping. We are playing tonight, and I will suggest to the club captain, who has a beard, that we should get some strobe lighting.