Deborah Ross: Relieve the sporting tension with Auntie Sylvia

If You Ask Me: I'm not saying Auntie Sylvia won't get on your nerves a little, with her gasps and yelps

Share
Related Topics

If you ask me, post-Wimbledon and pre-Olympics, I would like to offer the services of my Auntie Sylvia to all of those who feel compelled to watch competitive sport but cannot endure the uncertainties.

My Auntie Sylvia will not, I think you'll find, prove much trouble. She has lived through the Great Depression and the Second World War and will, for example, take the least comfortable chair in front of the television while claiming, heroically, "I'm fine". Yet she will prove of significant help to anyone who found, for instance, watching the Murray versus Federer match an absolute ordeal and who, as a sports spectator, generally over-invests emotionally in the person or team they wish to win.

How will Auntie Sylvia be of service? OK, she will do this: she ratchets up the tension to such unbelievable levels within herself this somehow reduces the tension for everyone else. Auntie Sylvia was at it from the first point of the first game of the first set.

"Oh, God!" she said. Or: "I can't bear it!" But Auntie Sylvia, you say, it's still the first game of the first set. "He's going to lose, I know it!" she says. You don't have to suffer like this, you say. Go drive round and round Hanger Lane gyratory while shouting "Hey, no traffic" out the window instead. That could be fun. At this, she will look at you as if you are the mad one. "You have to watch." Why? "You just do!"

You may, at this point, wish to press Auntie Sylvia on her behaviour. How did you act, you might ask, when it came down to penalties for England in Euro 2012? "I did this," she will say, while looking sideways and covering her face with her hands.

I'm not saying Auntie Sylvia won't get on your nerves a little, with her gasps and yelps and pleas of: "I can't look, I can't look, tell me what's happening!" Your father, her brother, may even say: "Oh, for heaven's sake, Sylvia!" But as no one can feel it as keenly as her – it isn't humanly possible, research has shown – your own nerves will cease jangling so. She will suck all the stress out of you. Plus, if you pay a little extra, she will even offer to bite your nails but will not, I'm afraid, half-watch from a crouching position behind the sofa: "I'm 83!"

Anyway, if you are interested for, say, the Olympics, Auntie Sylvia is available for hire from www.auntiesylvia.com. At present, she is only available in one colour (pinkish) and one model. However, although you will have to pay p&p, we need not bother about drill holes, as "I'll be fine".

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: how to spell BBQ and other linguistic irregularities

Guy Keleny
 

South Africa's race problem is less between black and white than between poor blacks and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa

John Carlin
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own