12 Jul

Part ONE of this tale is The Sports People.

Part Two is The Real Simone

Part Three is A Drink in Time

Part Four is A Sunday Lunch for Three

Part Five is Salutary Tales and Downright Lies

Part Six is The Monster Next Door

Part Seven is Quizzing the Night Away

Part Eight is Truth and Lies



tennis girl anime photo: tennis 17-3.jpg

I’m a wretched person, dad,” sobbed Paula.

What makes you think such a thing?” asked Mr Potts, alarmed.

I knocked Simone out!” exclaimed Paula, “Playing tennis. And when I saw her fall to the ground just for a moment I thought it was the best thing I’ve ever done, better even than getting “A” level French!”

But she got back up,” murmured her father. “She fell over, and got back up. David told me.”

After a couple of minutes! I was scared shitless, dad, as she lay there all still and … and … lifeless! What if I’d killed her? I’ve heard there can be spooky accidents that do that sort of thing…”

According to David, it was no accident.”

She was being a bitch!”

She was being a bitch and you were, what did you say you were? A wretched person, love?”

I feel awful about it, Dad.”

According to David she sent you one hell of a powerful serve, straight at the body, and it was all you could do to get your racquet on it! If there was any ill intent, says David, it was hers!”

Maybe, but I was seeing red at the time!”

It reminds me of something that happened, oh, years ago,” began her dad in that familiar I’m going to tell you a story way he had. “It wasn’t tennis, though: I’ve never been interested in playing tennis. No. It was during my time in the forces.”

When you signed up and left after no time at all because you discovered you might have to shoot people?”

That makes me sound like a wimp, but yes, it was back then. It didn’t take me long to discover that military service wasn’t for me.

So what happened, dad?” asked Paula, knowing he was going to tell her anyway. He was well known for his little moral tales and privately she thought he made half of them up as he went along.

We were sent on a cross country run. It was miles long and across the wildest terrain you can imagine, and we had to finish the course in an impossible time. The first part was easy enough, along the road in the village next to our camp, a couple of miles in the countryside, but we soon had to run along a canal bank … and the canal wasn’t in use any longer and its banks were crumbling away. I mean, if Health and Safety applied in those days the army would have been in one big spot of trouble!”

They must have inspected it, dad, even then, in the olden days.”

Olden days: you cheeky young thing! They say they‘d been checked over, but who can tell? Army officers are quite up to the noble art of lying, you know. And swearing that black’s white and right’s wrong. Anyway, after the canal tow-path there was a boggy, marshy field and we had to veritably race across that because we were already behind time.

Anyway, there was this big lad, Chris his name was, and he was a bit of a bully. Correction: he was a big bit of a bully. Anyway, we came to a bit that looked impossible, a great yawning pit, too big to jump over. At the threat of a good beating when nobody was looking, he got two or three of us to spread our heavy coats – they were part of the stuff we had to carry, army issue and when I say heavy I mean heavy – over it, and it was a great pit with foetid water bubbling in its depths, and he sneeringly said we were wusses and he’d be first back, just watch him! And he strode onto the pile of coats convinced they’d take his weight– but they didn’t. I said he was a big lad, didn’t I? Well, he was big and heavy and the coats might as well not have been there. He took one step onto that pit and went down like a stone until he was waist-high in the smelliest water I’ve ever seen – or smelt.

And that wasn’t the end of it. At that exact moment the sergeant popped out from where he’d been observing and ordered the rest of us to carry on regardless – and we did. We daren’t do anything else. But big Chris, he was stuck in that pit and still sinking until all you could see was his head and shoulders. We could hear the sergeant bellowing at him to get out as we disappeared back to camp.”

Crikey, dad, was he killed?” asked Paula, horrified.

Her dad shook his head. “He got out – after a while. The sergeant didn’t help him until at the last moment when he had to, though. Said it was his own stupid fault and that’s what happened to smart-arse bullies. Their cheating tricky ways got back at them! And isn’t that excatly what happened to your friend Simone?”

Friend? You mean bitch!”

If that’s what you call her. But think a moment. Why was she so mad at you?”

I suppose it’s because her lies about being pregnant hadn’t split me and David up…” said Paula, thoughtfully.

Are you sure that’s the only reason why?”

Paula paused, and nodded.

So it had nothing to do with the fact you’re wearing a very short tennis skirt indeed, one much too short for a girl of your size, and that you were hoping that David – and maybe the other lads – would get an eyeful of your legs and whatever else might make their eyes stand out on stalks, which are extremely long and if I remember correctly what it’s like being a teenage boy, quite exciting?”

It’s not that short, dad,” protested Paula, knowing that it was.

Well, I think it is and if I was a lad of your age I wouldn’t be able to keep my eyes off those pins of yours,” observed her father. “You girls have no idea what an eyeful of your legs can do to a man’s pulse!”


But I’m not a lad of your age. I’m an old fart with too much sense, and I reckon you should go and change into something more appropriate…”

Appropriate for what, dad?”

For an hour at the pub before lunch. I quite enjoyed it last week, and I did mention to David that we might be there…”


That is, if you don’t mind, Paula…”

©Peter Rogerson 12.07.14


2 Responses to “THE VERY SHORT SKIRT”

  1. pambrittain July 12, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    I think he makes up those stories as he goes too.

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