Friends of a Watsonia man have finally drawn the line after he ruined yet another social gathering due to his so-called competitive instincts. Self-diagnosed “competitive animal”, Ben Taylor, has further alienated friends after systematically dismantling up to seven young children in a fiery totem tennis tournament. 

The children had been playing unfettered in the backyard for over an hour before Taylor emerged from the back porch, spurred on by half a dozen stubbies and with a burning desire to feed his competitive instincts. From the moment he announced to the children, “alright kids, let’s get a game going!”, Taylor’s friends looked at each other and all simultaneously rolled their eyes. 

According to one of Taylor’s friends since school, Dan Stephenson, the competitive jerkery has always been an issue. “In Grade 3, the downball craze was sweeping the nation, and we played before school, at little lunch, at big lunch, and occasionally after school. Ben always played for keeps, and was a regular cheat, always calling ‘liner’ on balls that were clearly out, you know, the usual stuff.”

Taylor’s reputation for ruining otherwise enjoyable sporting pursuits has since become legendary. And through it all, Taylor has continued to use the “I’m just really competitive” line to explain why he never lets his girlfriend beat him at anything, and why none of his mates play golf with him anymore, let alone invite him to join any of their SuperCoach leagues.

While the mid-2000s emergence of lawn bowls as a popular social event severely tested many of Taylor’s friendships, it seems last weekend’s totem tennis rout was the final straw for the majority is his mates. “We’ve put up with it for a long time cos, you know, he’s actually not a bad bloke when competition is not involved. But now that he’s started to target our kids, enough is enough. The more that I think of it, anyone who says out loud ‘I’m just really competitive’ is generally a wanker. I should’ve seen this coming.”

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