It’s Australian Open season. Or maybe it’s almost ending? Either way, there has been an alarming amount of tennis on TV recently. I have done my best to avoid it, yet even I’m aware of the tennis-adjacent gossip. Example – I know that Federer is being positioned by the commentators to be a wizened old man, one match away from retiring.
That’s a level of tennis-awareness I’m uncomfortable with.
My knowledge of any sport is sub-par. At some point, I’m sure someone has tried to explain the rules of tennis to me but I just can’t retain that information. I have a very limited amount of storage space in my head for things I do not care about, so that knowledge was probably immediately replaced by some other mundane data coming my way. This, tangentially, is also why I always start and finish my exam cramming a day before any university exam.
So now that I’ve addressed that tennis is in fact the latest thing everyone is talking about, let’s focus on things that are the opposite of tennis, and likely more enjoyable!
Here are some Other Things You Could Be Doing, Instead of Watching Australian Open: Tennis.
- Provided you’re not underage or a recovering alcoholic, have a glass of wine; sit back on a recliner, in an air-conditioned room and, if you’re in a reflective mood, ponder about the fact that you’re not the one who is currently perspiring as a result of heavy physical exertion in a 30+ degrees Celsius Australian weather, under the pressuring gaze of thousands of tennis fans. Neither are you sitting in front of the TV to watch this clownery. Embrace the sense of calm satisfaction. Revel in the thrill of schadenfreude.
- Designate the hours that you would waste with your tennis-watching to idle Wikipedia browsing. Did you know that cats are allergic to the common essential oils that we use in our diffusers? Or that Floccinaucinihilipilification is the longest unchallenged nontechnical word in the English language? These are the sorts of things you learn when not watching tennis.
- Maybe think about watching tennis, if only so that you have something to talk about with casual acquaintances and colleagues. Consider it some more. Ultimately prioritise yourself and watch literally anything else.
- Watch Black Mirror specifically, on Netflix. Engage in a debate about the ethics of potential near-future technologies with the closest uninterested person, in the most obnoxiously authoritative way possible. If they don’t take you seriously, crush their smartphone.
- Call your mother. Or your friends. Whoever is more viable or whomever you’re closer to. When was the last time you’ve been real with them? What is real anyway? Have an existential crisis.
- Decide to read a book. For the first time in forever, take the time to sit back and relax with a physical book – none of that kindle shenanigans either, that will mess with both the aesthetic and the ambience. Maybe make yourself some tea first, or- actually! Make sure you tell your friends what you’re planning, it will gain you cool points for being an intellectual person who reads for fun! Tweet it. Post a photo on instagram. Now you’re ready. Fall asleep one page into the book.
- Try to pronounce Djokovic in its intended accent. You know the commentators can’t possibly be doing the best job; no Anglo-lingual native can easily get their head around a Slavic name. Do the same with Plíšková, Strýcová and so on. Name-drop all of these people in an unavoidable, casual tennis discussion and watch people be impressed with you.
- Express your lack of interest in tennis on every possible social media outlet. If people respond to you in any way that contradicts your opinion, make sure that you be as ostentatiously huffy about it as possible. Write an article about it.