Martin Parker: When Maria Sharapova Took Up Snooker

Snooker at The Crucible was played with quiet decorum
In front of crowds in search of something truly dull to bore them.
If women ever played the game men tended to ignore them.
But all this changed last Saturday in Sheffield’s sacred forum
When Maria Sharapova took up snooker.

For suddenly the game was seen in quite a different light.
Her backhand cross-court potted pink was just a sheer delight.
She even tried a volleyed black, and almost got it right.
And snooker’s stuffy image lost its Geist and then its Zeit
When Maria Sharapova took up snooker.

With every shot, she made a noise like any diving Stuka
And the landing close beside us of a shell from a bazooka
Plus the firepower used at Waterloo by Wellington and Blücher.
Her opponent wished the RAF would drop a bomb and nuke her
When Maria Sharapova took up snooker.

The audience were open-mouthed. But many were impressed
That she'd turned up for her first match in her tennis skirt and vest
Whose skimpiness left nothing of their contents to be guessed –
Not a bit like Stephen Hendry and the way that he was dressed
When Maria Sharapova took up snooker!

Some television viewers were amazed at what they saw
For it wasn’t nine o’clock yet so it shook them to the core.
But the watching cognoscenti let out one almighty “Phwoar!
And Dennis Taylor’s glasses misted up and hit the floor
When Maria Sharapova took up snooker!

First published in The Daily Mail