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I’M already struggling to remember what life was like before all this happened. I’ve absolutely no concept of time anymore. I couldn’t confidently state what day of the week it is at any given time. I feel like my brain has turned into a bowl of watery porridge.

But I’ll tell you one thing that’s been keeping me sane that you can do too. It helps if you’re wearing shorts, for extra manoeuvrability – joggies will be fine as well. Don’t wear denims, you monster. It won’t do you any good to wear shoes or slippers so get them off. Socks or bare feet only. I like to strip to my waist as well but that’s optional. You then need to get a pair of socks (get your minds out of the gutter), roll them together into a wee ball and head for the kitchen.

Open the washing machine door. Place your improvised ball down on the floor, a few feet away from the machine, like you’re about to take a last-minute penalty in the World Cup final.

Step back. Take a deep breath. Relax your shoulders. Fix your eye upon the void ahead of you. This ball is going to sail right in there as it leaves your foot. Step up and execute the perfect strike. You’ll miss the first few times, but don’t let that deter you. Don’t be bitter, just be better.

I like to spice this up a wee bit. “Right,” I’ll say to myself. “If ye don’t get this in, the world ends instantly and it’s all your fault. Everybody’s watching. Don’t make a mess of this.” My heart starts to pound. Beads of sweat the size of marbles form on my furrowed brow. I step up. Swipe. Miss.

“That’s awrite,” I say aloud in the voice of a commentator. “You’re allowed wan mair chance.”

This time, it glides right in. Landing in the drum with a lovely, yet muffled, softly echoing thud. The rest of the day is now mine to do with as I please. I can now do absolutely hee haw, guilt-free, safe in the knowledge that this morning I saved the world. It’s magic.

Sometimes I’ll set myself goals. I have to get it in five times in a row. Ten times in a row. Three times in a row but with my left foot. Upping the stakes each time. Sometimes I say I can’t have any dinner unless I get it in. But I always win. Constantly shifting the parameters to make sure I come out on top.

The guy down the stair from me must hate me. Thundering around above him. His ceiling shaking as I slump to my knees having missed a crucial shot. I can’t imagine what the neighbours across from me think when they see my pale, waif-like body skulking around the kitchen. Anguish etched across my face one minute as I cause the deaths of millions of imaginary people, elation the next as I know I get to eat my dinner that night. Hands held above my head, fist pumping. Sometimes holding the dug aloft as a trophy. Sometimes hurriedly putting my top back on and effecting an air of nonchalance as my girlfriend almost catches me playing this horrible little game.

I dread to think how many hours I’ve put into this over the past week. It’s even crossed my mind, in vivid daydreams, that this could become my new career. I’d be the pioneer of this as yet unnamed sport. I’d win trophies. I’d be on the cover of magazines dedicated to my creation, standing topless with a pair of Slazenger socks in my hand. Revered by millions of fans across the world.

I’ve caught myself thinking a few times, while I should be doing other far more important things, how I could improve. Do I need to create an actual ball to appear more professional if I want to take this further? Do I need to devise a strip to wear? What would it be like? Maybe, I think, instead of wasting my time writing books and columns, I should be setting down the rules of the game. Coming up with ways to take this sport around the world. I should take this more serious, I say. Then I snap out of it, tell myself to get a grip. Feeling foolish for daring to dream.

I implore you all to give this a go. If your washing machine is in an impractical location which would make this game too awkward to play then find something else to kick your sock-ball into. You will absolutely love it. Think how good you’ll be at this in a week or two. Maybe then we can get tournaments set up. Maybe even form clubs. We’ll have league tables. We’ll be athletes. Maybe we’ll become superstars. This is a sport that can go global and I’m offering you all the chance to get in right at the start. Maybe… I should get a grip.