Dear Barry Cajones,

Working for a ball factory rated ‘Bouncy’ by you at the Balls Office of Excellence, or BallOx, I sometimes wonder whether all the fuss about poor balls across Britain has been knocked out of the park. At our factory, Big Balls, our balls are nearly always round (where appropriate), weighted accurately and, when pumped correctly, survive at least a year’s warranty on the sports field or in the local rec. Our balls are different sizes, colours and even shapes, and thus one might expect problems with our balls to be more commonplace: when your balls are in the public’s hands as much as ours, it’s not surprising if sometimes they shrivel in the limelight of such excessive handling. Not 65% of ours, though! Come rain or shine, you’ll see our balls in other people’s bedrooms, gardens and even on the telly, though – due to the excessive marketisation of sports – often our balls are pay-per-view only.

And so it is with genuine surprise that I read about problems with other people’s balls. These claims come from a small factory in London which has, it seems, brainwashed a group of other ball fumblers into making wild accusations. All over the country, apparently, balls are simply not behaving as one might expect. What’s particularly strange is that there are more balls out there than ever, and yet, if these stories are to be believed, our country’s balls are of a much poorer quality than others’: we are told that Finnish and Singaporean balls are bouncier, despite having very different production methods; Chinese balls are more easily squishable thanks to a culture where expectations of a ball’s squeezability are universal and ingrained in a national consciousness. (Well, we’re British and we don’t do that sort of thing!)

And yet – I repeat – more of our balls are out there than ever. How are we to make sense of these claims? We regularly have around 65% of our balls reach maturity before the stitching begins to fall out, which – given the location of our factory in South Prickton – is really impressive. It’s why we’re held in such high regard. A 35% failure rate is really rather small – tiny, even – given the amount of squeezing our newer balls receive. What I’m saying is that it’s to be expected that a teeny proportion of our balls, sweaty and greasy in the hands of poor bumblers, don’t reach the warranty. And we plan for that and our middle-class customers, often bulk-buying balls, accept that. Sure, we discount those balls where the stitching has began to fall out, the hairier balls, but – again – that’s to be expected. And our client base, having lower expectations, accept their place.

These claims, then, ignore the good work we’re doing and our ‘Bouncy’ rated attitude towards quality, firm balls. As far as I know there’s only this one factory out there that goes on about the balls in their region, but if you ask me I think they should keep their hands on their own balls, and stop fiddling with ours, especially when they go on and on about how some of their balls look like grapes. I can’t stand talking about them, but the way they drone on about how big their balls are in spite of the supposed smaller local and national balls makes me naturally wonder how they’re spending their government ball check-up capitation. Frankly, they haven’t got enough data on ball-longevity yet, so to claim anything other than them being an alt-right, UKIP funded, neo-Nazi, ball-jiggling factory-model factory would be absurd.

But I digress.

Everything is fine. Balls are bouncing. 65% of them! Yes, that’s a drop from last year but what do you expect? Our balls have bounced higher, on average, than John Harey’s ball factory in all but three of the last six years. These claims are nonsense, and to engage with them is ridiculous: we should expect deflation. If you really want to look for a problem, look at that other factory’s – and I hate talking about them, but it’s important – mono-culture, Balls Out-trained inflators, not doing any work at home and shouting about how bouncy their balls are when there’s no data. There’s the real issue. At least we at Big Balls know about our 35% deflation rate, we know how hairy it is out there: they just pretend their balls are bigger. Most of their scratchers are in their mid-twenties anyway, so what would they know?

I hope this email doesn’t ‘bounce back’ (haha!) because I want you to know that we are doing everything we can at Big Balls to ensure our balls are the biggest. I am, however, just posing some questions here about the claims of others in the balls industry as I worry that these might well shine a light upon things we would rather leave tucked away, or sheathed, as it were. Rather, have a good, hard look at that factory in London. After all, we’re working hard but they keep shouting about how little they do to keep their balls inflated and I just don’t want to believe it.


Billy Balls.