Jon’s best squash-based spy thriller


This is Jack. Specifically, this is Jack’s back.

Hey everyone, meet Jack.

Jack is a real person and his real name is Jack. I haven’t protected his anonymity other than by choosing a photo where you can’t see his face. Or maybe I’m just ashamed of his face.

(Note: anonymity is a difficult word to spell. My first attempt was anoniminty which was embarrassing.)

Anyway, in this squash-based spy thriller, Jack is the main character. And because Jack is a real person you are safe and correct to assume that this is a true story. I know the tale well because he has told me many times.

I’m going to give you the short version because I’m a better at summarising than I am at novel writing:

Jack had a friend and his friend liked squash (the sport, not the vegetable or the drink). He liked squash so much that he joined the university club in his first year. 

When the first social came along Jack was feeling like he lacked organised fun. He made a life-changing decision: to go along to the squash social with his friend, as if he was a squash player. Jack lived a lie, thus becoming a spy.

To be fair though, those squash players sure did know how to organise fun. 

As time went by and more socials happened, Jack became more confident. In conversations, he always said he played in a different league to whoever he was talking to. That meant his secret identity wasn’t revealed.

If asked to pay the club membership fee, he would just walk away – rude but ultimately safe. 

Before each event he would ask his friend to tell him the name of a famous squash player and a particular squash technical term. He would then say things like:

Did you see James Willstrop play the other day? He hit a dead nick, mate. Really good shot.

People would nod along to his stories.

This continued for the majority of the three years Jack was at uni – and he never did play squash.

Perhaps his downfall though was his over-confidence. Jack got found out eventually – in his final year. He wrote and performed a chant about squash and that made him stand out. People started asking questions. They pooled their knowledge and discovered he didn’t play squash at all.

Some were shocked, others didn’t care.

But spare a bit of respect for Jack today. Picture him in the bar, in front of the whole squash team, singing his heart out to a chant he’d written himself. It takes a brave soul to do something like that.

The chant went like this:

S. Q. U.
A. S. H.
It’s better than tennis!
All the other racket sports are a piece of piss,
S. Q. U.
A. S. H.
It’s better than tennis!
Together we will hold our rackets HIGH, HIGH, HIGH!

So that’s your best thing to day – a true story.

It’s a mild but brilliant spy thriller. Maybe Danny Boyle will want to direct it. I’ll get started on the screenplay anyway. I think if throw in a love interest then I’m on to a winner.

I write all this today because I am playing squash for the first time ever tonight. I’m ready to shout out the chant if I win or lose – it’s a song about unity after all.

S. Q. U. – A. S. H. It’s better than tennis! Together we will hold our rackets HIGH, HIGH, HIGH!