Tennis, tennis, tennis! Crapping all over my TV schedule! Well, maybe not all over, but it's totally rearranged my Must-See-TV.
I sat down this morning with a Diet Coke, the Sunday paper, and a plan to catch the news on TV at the same time. I expected to watch Weekend Today at 8:00, like I always do, so I was a little surprised when I flipped on the TV at 7:58 and Weekend Today was ending. Hunhh?
When Meet the Press started immediately afterward, I had to go look at two clocks to be sure I hadn't somehow lost a whole hour of my life. And then it hit me: Wimbledon.
I've never been either an athlete or an athletic supporter (old joke, sorry). I've never enjoyed playing games where balls were being hurled or batted toward my face. My instinct, which should have been to hurl or bat the ball back, has always been to throw my arms over my head and duck.
There are only two games involving a ball that I actually enjoy. The first is fetch, which I'll play with my dogs as long as they agree to bring the ball back to me, not throw it, and the other is bowling. I like the fact that the bowling ball moves relatively slowly and is supposed to stay away from people's heads.
I haven't been bowling in a long, long time, but I still think of it fondly. That's probably because the only athletic achievement of my life occurred when a friend talked me into joining a bowling league way back in the '80s. My score didn't improve much from beginning to end of the season, but I did win a trophy--for perfect attendance.
Tennis, on the other hand, evokes memories of nothing but pain and humiliation. I enrolled for tennis lessons in the early '70s. (What was I thinking?) At the first lesson, we chased balls for the better part of an hour, then we started working on our serves. I watched the instructor intently and listened carefully. Still, when it came time for us students to try it for ourselves, I was apparently the only one who'd missed a key piece of advice. With my left hand, I tossed the ball up into the air, just as he'd demonstrated, but with the racket in my right hand, I reached back and whacked the hell out of the backside of my head. Somehow the concept of straightening out my elbow had escaped me.
That first tennis lesson was the last one, too. Wimbledon, schmimbledon!