Verbal Volleys

23 May

 

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Twenty years ago, there I stood, with my fathers tennis racket in hand.  The situation was tense.  The stakes were high.  As the sweat trickled down my forehead, it was match point for my opponent.  I had never beaten him and it appeared that today would be no different.  As I served and the point played out, I was quickly moved out of position and lost.  How’d this guy get so good?  I hated that garage wall, and if I could, I would tear it down.  He never missed.  My father hated the wall too.  Due to our heated battles, our once white garage wall had become Dalmatian inspired with black polka dots all over, a result of the tennis ball landing in oil spots and dirt.

My mother and father decided that it would be easier (& cheaper) for them to pay for tennis lessons, than gallons of paint.  The rest as they say, is history.  This year will make twenty years since my first tennis lesson and it certainly has been a blur since I first began.  That little yellow ball has allowed me to see some places I never would have seen, paid for my college degrees, and allowed me to meet some amazing people.  With that, I’ve decided to share some of my favorite stories from the tennis court and hope you guys enjoy.

The Little Bird That Should (have flown elsewhere) – It was that time of the year.  Nationals.  Where the best players come to take home the coveted title.  For me, it was better than staying home all day so why not play some tennis.  Kidding, for those of you who know me, you would know that I hate losing and would some call me too competitive…like there is such a thing.  I think I get this over-competitive spirit from my brother.  I heard him tell his son the other day and I quote…”Son, you know how people say winning isn’t everything?  That’s because they’re losers!  This family doesn’t lose!”  Talk about pressure.  Those of you that know my brother, know he is just saying it in jest…I think.  Anyways, back to the story at hand.  I was on centre court playing a good friend of mine and we were having a great battle.  We were playing a long point, each pushing each other to our limits, I decided that I had had enough of this particular point (patience was never really my thing…on a tennis court anyways) and stepped in and crushed a forehand crosscourt.  It was at this time that a little bird decided he should fly across the tennis court.  There was an explosion of feathers followed by an eerie silence.  I looked at my opponent, he looked at me, we looked at the umpire who in turn, both looked at us.  After what felt like an eternity, someone  finally said, “So should we replay the point?”

Shed Some Light – Ahh yes college tennis.  What a time it was.  Full of heated exchanges, early morning practices, and long road trips.  Early morning practices were brutal.  Not only because you had to wake up early, but because the lights on our tennis courts weren’t exactly the best.  As a result, most mornings you wouldn’t see the ball until it was right on you.  Enter Ditz.  (Remember the over-dramatic guy from chicken story?)  In any event he arrives and begins to warm up with David. After a few rallies, Ditz asks David, to stop hitting the ball so hard because he couldn’t see.  Well, David stopped.  For all of 10 seconds and the next thing we know, Ditz gets hit in the neck.  Everything stopped.  People stopped rallying, conversations became mute, I’m pretty sure I saw a bird that was flying just drop from the sky.  This was all broken up by my obnoxiously loud laughter.  Needless to say, Ditz had one mission and one mission only for the rest of practice; to hit David in the face.  Every time he missed, he only got more and more upset, which only fueled my laughter more.  In the end he was getting all choked up.  See what I did there?  Choke?  He got hit in the neck ergo when you’re choking you hold your…whatever.

Did The Pasta Explode? – We were on the road for the 3rd day in a row and had finally arrived at the hotel.  We typically had 3 players to a room, and because I was Team Captain, meant yours truly didn’t have to share a bed.  And they say there weren’t perks.  This frequently lead to a fight over the remaining bed because the loser would be sleeping on the hotel cot or pull out bed.  This particular afternoon was no different.  We had just had dinner and headed up to the room.  Typically, whomever touched the bed first was the winner.  With my bed safe, I took a seat on the bed and watched the fireworks begin.  Artie and David wrestled for a few seconds before David broke free.  In a last ditch effort to get him to stop, Artie hurled his leftover pasta at David.  Don’t ask me why because I don’t know what his fettuccine was supposed to do.  Maybe he thought he was going to slip on it.  He didn’t and Artie lost.  With the battle completed, the room was a disaster.  Pasta was everywhere, clothes were thrown about.  When the lady came up to bring the extra cot, her face said it all.  “What happened?!? Did the Pasta Explode?!”  It did.  Sort of.

Honorable Mentions: Another battle ensued on the road this time however over the last slice of pizza.  Our two gladiators (Artie and David) were embroiled in another heated argument, and again Artie was losing, in an effort to stop anyone from having it, threw it on David.  The best part of it all you ask?  David had packed a little too lightly and it was the last shirt he had.  We were there for another 2 days.

Hope you guys have a good weekend.

-Jonathan

 

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