WHILE TRUMP TWEETS the end of the world, I am hiding on a squash court ( of which more later).
The juvenile behaviour of the US president is unsurprising by now: we are used to the daily Tweets, all infantile insults, belligerent swagger and primary-school syntax.
Sadly, we are no longer surprised that one of the world’s Great Men (sic) should choose to communicate with the globe by Twitter.
The international fall-out from the latest deadly gas attack in Syria provokes different scenarios among superpowers: relatively subtle political arguments in the UK about whether Theresa May should consult Parliamentary before agreeing to join a US-led military strike, while across The Pond in the President’s bedroom or loo or wherever it is he tweets from (apologies for the appalling mental image) international negotiation comes down to Trump’s ten tiny, tweet-happy fingers.
His latest incendiary tweet much discussed in the media, is a classic of how NOT to diplomatically conduct oneself. It goes like this:
“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’ You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”
No pause for doubt or fact-checking; no hesitating over consequences. Just tweet and be damned.
We all knew, didn’t we, that this is what a Trump presidency would be like? But it still comes as a sobering shock to see the world teeter on a tweet.
Here’s my biggest worry: as an arch-narcissist, Trump can’t imagine that the world will continue after he dies. The thought that everything might carry on as before once he is no more would be too much for him to bear.
So he might just as well take the world with him. Extreme, I know, but it is a worry.
But to more down-to-earth matters: what brought to mind that Armageddon-proof hidey-hole of mine, the squash court?
Well, I was very taken by Eilidh Bridgeman and Caroline Laing, the Cayman Islands’ women’s squash doubles pairing at the Commonwealth Games.
They were defeated in their three pool games lasting no more than 12 minutes, giving up 66 points and scoring a modest 10.
In their final fixture, they lost 20 points in a row without reply, then eventually won one point, prompting “cheers from their coach and timid smiles of their own”, according to the BBC sport website.
Laing said: “I was really hoping we would get a point, either through a mistake or because we won a point, just so we could relax.”
Oh, how I feel their pain!
Reportedly, the match was “brutal yet inspiring to witness”. Unlike some of my matches which are brutal yet un-inspiring to witness.
I’ve played squash for more than 30 years now, and I’m still not much cop. But never mind, it’s good exercise and I’ve almost learned not to throw my racquet about (broken too many).
Yesterday’s score against Phil the Invincible – the opponent I never beat – was 4-1, although I nearly snatched a magnificent 3-2 defeat. Last week, against Mike the Usually Valiant, I won 3-0 and that hardly ever happens.
So, combining the inevitable with the enjoyable, my question is this: do you think squash courts are Trump-proof as well as bomb-proof, by any chance?