Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Tennis Nazi

OK, so I'm just out there at a public court getting ready to gently hit balls with my pal M. I claimed a court while he finished parking. This old curmudgeon with a British accent was at the court next to me and struck up a conversation. "Hey, how about hitting a few while you wait?"

I explained that I'm a novice and not intending to do anything spectacular today. OK, just few easy ones. He proceeds to hit rocket shots right at me so they land just in front of me. Caught me by surprise. He's a little bowling ball of a codger and chronically abrasive- as I was to discover.

After the first couple of WTF shots I returned a few way up in the air, high lobs too far back for any great smash. It's the one thing I can do. Then my friend showed and I said adios and figured it would be the end of it. To be polite I introduced myself as I was taking my leave.

He then approaches us and starts in like the lion in Wizard of Oz, "I'll play ya both, two against one, c'mon..". Any minute I was expecting him to offer to tie one paw behind his back.

My friend explained I was just starting out on a program with a local guy and wasn't playing any games just now. He then turned on me like a rabid dog, "Let me see your grip!!! You know the difference in a bla bla grip and a yadda yadda bla bla bla. None of the people around here knows a damned thing, What about...bla bloa bla".

My friend was so amazed at what a prick this old Brit was that he froze with his jaw hitting the floor. It was funny. I did that horizontal hand wave thing like a referee ruling an incomplete pass in football. I hate intrusive pop quizzers. He was not invited.

Finally I'm doing the throat cut signal and the incomplete pass thing while saying, "Woa!! Let's cut this off right here. I'm not interested, and like it or not I'm going to go about things as I see fit! I'm not going to debate it." He went grumbling off. He had no one to play with. I wonder why.

This guy had about forty balls with him and he hit them all to one end of the court then back the other way. Some other old guy met him there for about two minutes then he took off. I think this jerk may have been trying to hustle up students.

I like to play and want to be better and I have a plan. It's simple and easy. Amazing how people you don't even know want to get in on things like that. It turns out this guy is known to some people who go to that court. He has had run-ins with anyone he can find.

It's completely unexpected and almost out of character that I would ever play tennis. I happen to enjoy destroying myself on a tennis court--just worked out that way. Another of the odd things on the Tour. What's even stranger is that I want to take the time to learn the correct basics before I worry about beating the overzealous nutcases and naysayers. I have the tennis Nazi in my sights. One day I'm going to find a way to drive him back home. All the way to the UK. I've rarely encountered a ruder dimwit.

It was funny in the long run. That may have been because it wasn't a case in which someone's nerve and lack of couth left me bulldozed and stunned, so that I regretted my actions or inaction. I think I cut him off properly and in a timely fashion.

Ignoring him while I did my nursery school hitting with my friend was the real challenge. We managed to ignore him long enough so he finally got tired of hitting by himself and went away.

If you see him, he's about 5'6 in all directions, wears Bucky Beaver tractor treads and garb, and looks like one of those aged muppet curmudgeons. Beware, I did some checking and understand he really likes to play the bully when dealing with women.

Apparently he lives just a few houses from the place. My guess is that he has a telescope fixed on the place so he can scope out potential trouble to make. I remember when learning to fly getting cornered by run amok pop quizzers. They'd just start quizzing you if they thought they could get away with it. I was young enough I probably could have said I wasn't allowed to speak to strangers. Hindsight. Have you ever been assaulted by a hostile pop quizzer? Are you one?

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
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