11) The Anti-Sportsman
I: Good evening, Mr. Couchpot.
A: Good evening.
I: I suppose you had a pleasant weekend?
A: Iím sorry, I didnít hear you.
I: I said did you have a pleasant weekend?
A: Oh, yes, yes, yes!
I: I suppose Saturday Ö
A: Did you have a pleasant weekend?
I: Yes, quite pleasant, thank you. I was thinking of you Saturday Ö
A: Yes, I had a very pleasant weekend.
I: Did you?
A: Oh, yes.
I: I suppose that being the sportsman you are, you were attending some
major sporting event in London.
A: No, no, Iím not really a sportsman, but I enjoy watching sports
occasionally, you know.
I: What sports do you like?
A: Yes, I like that sport where a lot of people are asleep on the lawn, you
know, and they sit around in deckchairs.
A: Then thereís some people in the middle of the lawn and they do
something. And thereís a chap with a white
coat on who looks like a barber. Beats me why he dresses up like that.
I: You consider that sport?
A: Oh, yes! And then it starts raining, you know.
I: Yes, yes.
A: And they all wake up, then somebody says well played, sir!
I like that Ö
I: : I see, you are talking about this game of cricket.
A: CRICKET, thatís right, yes I like cricket.
You seem to be more interested in sport as a spectator, than as a
A: No, no! I just play sports myself sometimes, you see.
I: What sports do you play?
I: I said what sports do you play?
A: I used to run, you know
A: Oh, very fast, oh yes, terrific, tremendous!
A: Oh, absolutely my dear chap! Hmm?
I: I said did you run far?
A: I used to run, oh yes, rather.
A: Oh yes, I used to run for hours on end.
Did you? And you kept up fast?
I kept it up, yes, I kept it up, of course!
I: What else do you like? Do you like hunting?
A: Oh, I like hunting. Yes, I love it.
I: You do like hunting? Thatís fine. Tell me something about it. What
sort of animals do you hunt?
A: Oh, I donít hunt animals, no, no! I shoot PEOPLE!
Oh, yes, of course! I like to shoot those people who hunt, you know.
People who hunt foxes and things like
I: I see, you follow them from behind and shoot the people.
A: Yes, yes, rather!
I: You had some success with that?
A: Yes. I shot some Ö Who was it now I shot last week? Brigadier,
brigadier somebody or other, I canít
I: I see.
A: I put their heads up over my fireplace. I shot him right between Ö
Have you many?
Have you many?
Fireplaces? No, Iíve only got one.
No, no, heads!
A: No, I have only got one head.
I: Well, I mean, have you many heads over your fireplace, trophies, these
A: Oh yes, I have got any amount of them.
Is there anything else? Do you play tennis or golf Ö
A: Good heavens, no.
Do you swim?
A: I swim.
I: Do you?
A: I love swimming.
I: Where do you swim as a rule?
A: I swim in the water.
Yes, I thought that, but I mean in pools or in rivers Ö
A: Yes, I swim in pools, thatís correct. Thereís more room.
I suppose you swim with a breaststroke, do you?
A: A what?
A: What do you mean? I donít understand.
Well, thatís a form of swimming. Do you do that or do you favour the
A: No, no, I swim with my arms Ö
I: Yes, indeed Ö but I mean Ö
Ö and my legs Ö
I: Yes, yes, but you know about the breaststroke?
I: What sort of stroke do you use when you are swimming?
A: I told you, I swim with my arms and my legs.
I: So what do you do? You put them out over your head?
A: No, I put them out on the side.
I: Have you ever heard Ö
A: I slap them round, you see.
You have never heard of the crawl?
No, I donít crawl, I swim. Thatís nonsense! Maybe you Americans crawl
when you swim. Over here we
swim, crawling we leave to the insects. Do think Iím bee or a wasp. Quite
definitely I donít crawl!
I: Come one, Mr Couchpot, please donít get annoyed!
A: But I am annoyed. Do you think Iím an ant, a bee, a wasp or a
caterpillar? No, I donít crawl, I swim! And
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