Tennis and death

Women’s tennis is a fairly boring game to watch. Strip poker, though it is a funny enough concept, wouldn’t make for much TV entertainment either.

Now, I think I’ve stumbled on the perfect combination — strip tennis. For each point, the losing player takes off one item of clothing. (Yes, I’m aware there are quite a few more points in a match of tennis than there are items of clothing on a player — I fail to see a problem.)

Just a thought. Being a lecher, I would very much like to watch that.

* * *

And that thought having been uttered, something less hormonal — this municipality where I’m spending time at the moment, and with which I’m reasonably familiar. Typical inner Finland: lots of forests, lots of space, not so very many people.

Back in the sixties or so, there were 20 elementary schools here, some of them only a few rooms rented from some private house, some a few wooden houses around a dusty yard — but now only two remain.

This specific piece of forest and fallow fields used to give to its now long-defunct elementary 100 young ones — now there’s only one so young here.

This municipality used to have some 5000 people at its prime; I think the number’s now well below 2000. A part of this was that there were lots of people born after the wars all over Finland — the usual relief of being alive and all that — but a part is also that when people grow up, they move away because there’s nothing here to do. Nostalgia doesn’t feed you, and our brand is not the sort you build museums out of.

People go to the cities, and the awful truth may be that life may actually be better there. At least all the small necessities and comforts of life don’t get kicked from beneath you, one by one, until it seems there’s nothing left but a place to die and a place to get drunk in.

Young people don’t move here; especially not ones with children. Why should they, when there’s each year less and less left: senile ex-farmers in the old people’s home, a few adults wondering how long they can get a living out here, a few children, angry, bored and eager for any escape; buildings boarded up one by one, the people growing older and wearier each year. The occasional feeble attempts at rejuvenation feel more like powdering up a pale corpse.

Finns hereabouts may not know how to die well, but they know when it’s the time to go.

* * *

And, yes, I purposefully combined in this post a somber thought and a greasy joke. I don’t want to down your day too much, hey?

Well, at the very least things are better here than they are in one neighboring municipality, quite similar in all the other ways, since by some freak of probability, they actually have a relatively famous historical character, though a non-marketable one, associated with their home. A genuine bona-fide case of someone local achieving something!

And it’s a horse.

2 Responses to “Tennis and death”

  1. GrrlScientist Says:

    so what is the name of this famous finnish horse? Matador II? Viesker?

  2. masksoferis Says:

    Ruuna Reipas (“the gelding called Frisky”, 1948–71); it was a famous race horse, though that is Finland-scale famous, in the fifties and sixties, with 348 first places, though not knowing anything of horse racing I just have to assume that that is a lot, and the locals haven’t been pulling my leg with their horse statue and Reipas-named bar/restaurant.

    Then again, surely it must be a notable animal, because it has a Wikipedia page (though only in Finnish)?

    (A few pictures here.)

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