The Tennis Curmudgeon


So I grab my favorite frosty, plunk myself down in my favorite easy chair to begin a long afternoon watching finely honed skills on the rectangle of dashed dreams.

Or as my beloved bride likes to call it,

“Another in a long line of wasted afternoons when you could be. . .”

I’ve never actually heard what she says after that, the off knob on the old hearing aid sees to that, so I never quite get a handle on what she thinks I should be doing. But, whatever it is, it sure ain’t my beloved tennis.

I warm up the clicker until I get to that Tennis Channel. I’m new to that Tennis Channel. Up to they forced us to turn in our tin foil wrapped rabbit ears I never thought such a thing could exist. A channel that would show only tennis? Way back when Bud Collins and his gang was calling the sport for that public TV? Balderdash!

Back in the last century we never would have contemplated something as wondrous as a tennis channel. That was beyond comprehension. And a twenty-four hour one to boot? Never! Back then some TV shut down as early as 9PM! Most nights I knew it was time to go to bed when I’d wake up to the national anthem.

But even this Tennis Channel, although it’s ‘on’ twenty-four hours in a row, isn’t always showing tennis. One night I woke up to this commercial that went on and on. The last thing I remember was watching tennis from Brussels but the way this commercial kept playing I thought it must be a rain delay.

It wasn’t until my smart aleck neighbor boy told me they play something called infomercials to generate revenue overnight. I sure find it a whole lot better waking up to the national anthem than some screaming guy slamming some thing on a bunch of carrots. Even though it sure did look like a pretty efficient way to dice up a salad.

So, like I was saying, this Tennis Channel is quite something to behold. I don’t even begrudge them not really being a twenty-four hour channel. I mean, who’d be able to make it all the way through? I don’t even think I could make it.

Although, near on thirty years ago, I made an effort to watch this young boy break the tennis marathon world record. He went all the way to one hundred and five hours. I’d sit in the lounge watching him hour after hour and I don’t know how he did it! I nodded off near fifteen times the first day. And I was sitting.

It looks like what I wanted to talk about will have to wait. Seems I’m approaching something called a final word count. Now they’re even counting our words! I remember back then you could talk and talk and talk. But now. . .

‘Til next time, may your forehands land deep and your backhands full of pace,



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