Spanked: one of those gorgeous words that entirely hits the spot, that when spoken sounds exactly as it does when performed, a fun word, a playful word, but a word with sinister undertones also, the light and dark of life, the ying and yang, originating from the 1720s as the imitation of the act itself, the verb following 60 years later as it evolved away from the lesser known usage of ‘to move rapidly, smartly or briskly’ and more towards the penal, ‘to strike with the open hand, a slipper, etc’ and then further mutated to encompass a sense of degrading punishment ‘especially on the buttocks’.
Or in the more modern vernacular, just what the Whites did to the Darks last week, sorry the weakened Darks last week. Now I am not adverse to the playful tap on a loved ones sweet behind, a harking back to the more playful essence of the word itself, imagine if you will Nell Gwyn and King Charles I, petticoats and rosy cheeks, meadows and summer brooks, lambs and mint sauce, Charles and Camilla… hold on, no idea where that is going, only that it is beginning to distress me…but last week’s beating inflicted on the Darks by the Whites has left marks, scars, almost branded. Was it our punishment for reducing their 4 game lead to nothing…all I know was that there was revenge in the air that night.
Previously when such spankings were administered by the Darks to the Whites (remember that one only a few weeks ago where it seemed it might have been a whitewash, an act never yet to be recorded in our twenty years) I have always chosen to follow a modest, unassuming path of reporting: humility in victory; sportsmanship not gamesmanship, honesty in the tackle not villainy: I have chosen to wipe the blood from the knife not to press deeper into the weeping flesh and question i now do: will the Whites act with equal honour and chivalry.
It is Whites 9 Darks 8.
The Darks face a difficult week as further injuries and absences eat into our numbers: weakened yet further, crying out for reinforcements, we will not lie down, we will not concede but we are there for the taking, along with taking the series, the Whites are but two short games from victory. It is our Arcadi, our Alamo, our Agincourt. If the Whites do not win from this position of obvious and overwhelming strength their failure will be the source of legends. Already they have stumbled to lose their 4 game lead, will they now go forward, most likely to their victory remembered as being blessed with nobility or fragile and reliant on brutality?
So who is playing this week?