The Tennis Curmudgeon


Too Big

What am I? Playing tennis or straining pasta for the 7th Calvary?

I’m not one who thinks technology is the devils lipstick. But things have gone pretty far afield when we’re talking about the head size of our current crop of rackets.

My old racket was showing it’s age and starting to catch the wobblies. For my birthday my beloved bride said she’d buy me a new racket. I’m sure she didn’t cared about helping my game because, after this very generous offer, the next line out of her mouth was,

“If you’re not going to work around the house I figure if I get you a good racket maybe you’ll stay out of it longer.”

Love has many tentacles. Most of them with suckers.

I’m wandering around my local sporting goods super store past the canoes, miles of clothes, sorry, work out ensembles and jumping/running/stepping up to injury machine before I find the tennis department hidden off to the side like a video stores porn section.

Now I may not have been in search of a new racket in some times but have we gone crazy? I mean, sure, I’ve seen some monstrous rackets on my local court but I didn’t think that’s all you could get now-a-days! Does everything have to be super sized?

I pick up one of these rackets and, just to see if I really could, tried to slide it down my entire body. I’m sure that’s what got the attention of the snotty sales clerk, oh, sorry, Athletic Equipment Facilitator. I remember trying that trick back when I was using my trusty old Wilson T-2000. I was much more svelte then and couldn’t get that racket past my neck! But these rackets slide down me like I was climbing down a manhole.

I asked if they carried any normal sized rackets and he looked at me as if I’d asked to send a wireless.

“These are average sized rackets, sir.”

Average? One hundred square inches is considered average? Sure, I know your average American is getting fatter but do our rackets have to  keep pace?

I remember when The Prince hit the scene. It was the tennis equivalent of bellbottom. That monster had a face that was one hundred and thirty square inches! You set that thing on fire and, I swear, a lion would jump through it.

“Have tennis balls got bigger?” I ask the smirking sales twit. “I’ve seen some giant balls on that Tennis Channel.” I attempt to clarify. He brazenly informs me those are special balls used for autographs.

“So tennis balls are still 2 1/2 to 2 5/8 inches (unless you use them until the covers damn near worn off)?” I ask. He says they are. “Then why would I want to pay for ninety-seven inches of useless racket?”

Exasperated, both of us, he takes me to the, “Smallest racket available.”

Ninety-three square inches.

Wouldn’t you know? It was the most expensive racket that had. Good thing it’s a gift.

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

Dennis

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