Here it is, repackaged with extra content in a bumper Christmas Special. New improved title! Bits I forgot in the original! Proper ending! All mistakes corrected! The ideal Christmas gift!
Yes, yes I am familiar with the concept of Proofreading and faithfully swear to use it sometime. But until then, here is Khan Stand Losing (Formerly known as Khan Get No Satisfaction)
Back in the dim and distant past, before Harry met Sally, Snickers were still Marathons and if you wanted to go to France you had to get a boat or plane, I find myself teaching in a Secondary Comprehensive school in Middlesex. With, I’ll have you know, some very illustrious former pupils. None of whose names spring to mind at the moment unfortunately – except the girl who is in Grange Hill, and the girl on the local BBC news team; the one who’s married to the Sports Correspondent. Oh! and Fearne Cotton and Mick the Mad Cabbie …
It is an alright kind of school. In fact it is a grammar school, back in the day; when in order to gain entry pupils have to pass a tricky little exam called the Eleven Plus. I never take an Eleven Plus, which is just as well, as for me at that age school is a breeze, a place to meet your pals and have a laugh. Indeed, come to think of it, so are the whole of my school days – to such an extent I become extremely suspicious of those types who claim that ‘the Child’ is like a pot waiting to be filled with knowledge and facts. In my day I may be a pot, even a pot waiting to be filled, but not with knowledge and facts, more like Sherbert Dabs, Everton Mints, Spanish, Fruit Salad chews and so on.
Anyway so here I am a young, impressionable, idealistic teacher in his first school – of course this is arrant nonesense as both my parents are teachers, so I know the score as far as the old Chalk and Talk dodge is concerned from day one. However, it seems I make some friends in high places as for my second year there I find myself timetabled to teach Wednesday afternoon Fifth and Sixth Form Games. Now this is felt by one and all to be a great honour; and if the truth be known a bit if a wheeze. But great fun nonetheless. A chance to show your prowess (or otherwise) in the sporting arena and for the kids to see you in another light and marvel at your athleticism or revel in your buffoonery. The range of options available, clearly reflects staff expertise and is quite mind-boggling now I think back to it eg. Football, Rugby, Athletics (track and field) Cross Country, Tennis, Badminton, Squash, Golf, Ice Skating, Volleyball, Skiing, Climbing, Sailing. Canoeing, Kayaking, Weightlifting and Ten Pin Bowling. For my sins, at one time or another, I run the Ice Skating, Skiing, Volleyball and share Footy duties with my old mate Chawkey.
Well, it just so happens that the Girls’ Squash option is for many years the domain of Head of Geography, Mrs Croaker, one of the number of old salts from the grammar school days, who although she looks a bit of a ferocious old fossil who has a habit of shooting first and asking questions a couple of weeks later, is actually an OK sort of Judy once you get to know her.
Legend has it that one day she turns up at the squash club, in Northwood with her girls to find one of their courts occupied. Mrs. Croaker storms right onto the court demanding to know what the blazes and who is responsible and why this court is in use when the school has it booked every week since before Jesus is in sandals…
The two guilty parties, their epic battle interrupted stand looking at their trainers like naughty boys until finally someone comes down from reception to sort out the mix up. Which they quickly do, and in no time at all Mrs Croaker and her girls have forgotten all about it.
And the sheepish target of Mrs. Croaker’s fiery invective? The player who dares to take her court? Well, if it is none other than the then World Number One professional squash player Jahangir Khan from Pakistan, who is considered by many to be the greatest player in the history of the game. He wins the World Open six times and the British Open a record ten times. From 1981 to 1986, he is unbeaten in competitive play. During that time he wins 555 games consecutively, the longest winning streak by any athlete in top-level professional sports as recorded by Guinness World Records.
I wonder if it is worth looking at the odds on Jahangir vs. Mrs. Croaker, but figure no bookie would be sap enough to come within a million miles of such a contest. Old Mrs Croaker wins every time, hand running.
© Andy Daly 2012