Rafael Nadal has forgiven the man who kissed him in front of 10,000 spectators at the US Open.
“He was really nice and said ‘I love you’,” explained Nadal.
I wouldn’t have fallen for that kind of sweet talk. One thing I learned in the circus is that fans are never satisfied. If you let them kiss you, they expect you to go to their tea parties and eat their fairy cakes. They are also incredibly jealous of each other. If one of them steals a kiss, they all expect to have smooching rights. That’s why I treated my fans firmly but fairly – like a strict schoolmaster. The only kissing allowed was when I kissed the hand of a female admirer, purely to demonstrate the chivalrous nature of the male gorilla.
It seems to me that tennis is not really a kissy sport. Let’s suppose you feel like kissing someone after winning a point. The umpire is out of reach and your opponent probably isn’t in the mood for it. Kissing a line judge after getting a decision in your favour would make sense, but it's the sort of behaviour that might incite the crowd. Kissing a ball boy would be an arrestable offence under any jurisdiction.
The manager of the safari camp said he’d like to see more kissing in the ladies’ game. He suggested that Serena Williams should plant a big wet one on the mouth of her vanquished opponent (unless this opponent were Venus, when the kiss would be incestuous).
“I’d love to see her treat one of those cute European blondes like her punk bitch,” he declared.
I’m not sure what he meant by that, but it sounds like unseemly behaviour for a grand slam champion. I hope that Serena continues to offer a ladylike handshake, perhaps followed by a friendly pat on the bottom if she knows her opponent well. An illustrious sportswoman should set a good example for the budding stars of tomorrow. Martina Navratilova and Billy-Jean King were not just admired for their penetrative forehands.
I’ve been kissed against my will on a couple of occasions. The first assailant was a circus clown. I didn’t punish him for his effrontery because he was highly emotional and only kissed my feet. I was relaxing in a deck chair, reading back issues of Cosmopolitan, when he crawled up to my toes.
“Thank you so much for curing my constipation, GB!” he bleated pathetically between kisses. “I’ve been shitting like a camel since you swung me by my ankles.”
I resisted the temptation to kick his head like a football. “Don’t mention it,” I replied. “When you have finished kissing my feet, wash them thoroughly with a pail of soapy water and a sponge.
After satisfying his peculiar urge, he did as instructed.
The other time I got kissed was when a female gorilla reacted to one of my witty ripostes by putting her mouth over my ear hole. It wasn’t technically a kiss because she blew rather than sucked, but it certainly made me feel giddy. I let her off with a stern rebuke after my head had cleared.
I’m glad to say that I’ve never been forcibly kissed on the lips, which is an indignity that no warm-blooded creature should have to endure. The practice was only ever acceptable in those old Technicolor Hollywood movies, when the bad guy would force his mouth on the lips of the sassy heroine and laugh wickedly afterwards. I have to admit I always loved those scenes. Does that make me bad?
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