Short Story Prevew: The Grudge Match – Malcolm Allen
Vernon Kane looked at the draw on the competition notice board. He loved the annual Fairchild Medal but had not had the chance to play in it for a couple of years. In fact he didn’t play singles very much at all these days but this one appealed to him. After all he had won it about nine years ago. He ran his finger down the starting sheet and saw his name drawn against … oh no! This can’t be right, not Colin Tanker. ‘I can think of a more appropriate name for him,’ he muttered. Of all the people who had entered, of all the people in the club, in the bloody world in fact, he was drawn to play with Colin bloody Tanker.
Now let’s put this in perspective shall we? Vernon is a nice guy, a reasonable golfer, a father and husband and he has never been in serious trouble with the police, but if there is one person he can’t stand playing with it’s Colin Tanker. There is no logical reason for this, for in his way Colin is also a nice chap, loved by his wife (and mistress as well we suspect) and he plays a steady game. But to Vernon he is anathema, mark 1, with brass knobs on. Everything about him grates: his prissy little moustache, his stupid hat and, especially, his detailed understanding and interpretation of the rules. He was to be avoided at all costs and at all times. By this time Vernon is irrationally cross and ready to scratch and is feverishly searching for a pen when the Captain comes in with Colin.
‘Ah, Vernon,’ he beamed, ‘I was just telling Colin here that we had a full list for the Fairchild and it should now be up. I was delighted when you
told me last week that you were going to enter. Previous winners are always welcome.’