The short story “May the Best Man Win” by Kit de Waal begins in medias res with the arrival of the four white strangers at the pub.
The story plays with readers’ expectations in several ways. For instance, we are told several times that the pub gets unnaturally slow and quiet at the arrival of the white men, and remains so until the match begins (ll. 19-20; ll. 81-82). However, the atmosphere will change radically in the second part of the story: “Drinks were ordered thick and fast and Patti was soon rushed off her feet. Men were shouting at one another about weight and statistics” (ll. 150-152).
Similarly, the strained atmosphere at the beginning leads us to expect a racial conflict. Even Patti expects a fight (ll. 34-36). However, they instea...