SUNDAY

The popularity of squash—the aristoracquet sport with the onomatopoeic name— reached its zenith with the white-collar fitness craze of the late ’70s and early ’80s. This, coincidentally, was a time when upper-class sports comedies were all the rage. If Caddyshack is the best of the country-club cutups, Racquet might be best forgotten. (The tennis-themed flick features cameos by Bobby Riggs and Björn Borg, and “stars” Bert Convy as a charismaless Casanova of the court—though he is upstaged by Pierre, a Stroke Master ball machine with an unexplained French accent.) Perhaps even more elite than tennis, squash would have made for a perfect slobs-vs.-snobs formula yucker—it could have been called Summer Squash. In Squash: A History of the Game, James Zug recalls the glory days of the sport. The book contains anecdotes about the colorful players (on the tight-shorted “Disputatious Digger” Steve Bowditch, it is remarked, “The poor guy looked like he could sing the lead in Aida out there”) and many interesting historical facts about the game’s origin: Though it’s long been seen as sport for the wealthy, squash was invented in the early 18th century at the Fleet, London’s debtors’ prison. If the yuppies had only known. Zug speaks at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (David Dunlap Jr.)