Swingball

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I was watching ‘For your Eyes Only’ this weekend. Early on, Bond goes to spy on the baddies hang out. He’s hiding in a bush, peering through his binocular/mini camera at some kind of Mediterranean country club. There is a pool, there are girls, there are baddies in Speedos and towelling robes. And what are the evil baddies doing with their bevy of bikini-ed beauties? They are playing Swingball. Yes. Swingball.

There is something weird about Swingball. You whack the tennis ball (with one of those odd yellow plastic bats, of course) and instead of it flying off in a straight line, it swings around till it whacks you in the back of the head. It turns tennis from a rectangular to a circular plan – from something that works backwards and forwards to something that goes round and round. It’s like crossing a tennis court with a running track. Or looking at a straight line through a fish eye lens.

Of course, it was somehow really disappointing when the string got tangled up and its orbital geometry collapsed. But I guess its probably more disappointing for your game to be interrupted by a secret service agent escaping through your grounds.

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