I know who I am: I’m a basement player. I always have been and always will be. Just a humble basement player. (Well, maybe not that humble. I don’t talk to anyone with a rating below 1400 unless they make an appointment with my secretary.) And I play with the same kind of racket (sandpaper) I used in the 50’s when I used to drive balls off at an angle so as to cause my best friend to hit the multitudinous asbestos pipes he had in his cellar at the time. (If I lost the point, at least I had the consolation of knowing my good pal would end up with a good case of mesothelioma. Thankfully, no guilty conscience on my part for having done this, because my paisano didn’t end up dying of lung disease. In the 80’s he got run over by the Q44 somewhere on Main Street in Kew Gardens. Hey, I had nothin’ to do with that.)
Okay, here’s the Parkinson’s connection with this. Within our group there is talk of getting ‘better’ paddles. It’s mostly among some of the volunteers who have been imploring (and badgering) for new equipment so as to enhance the ping pong performance of our Pongers (PD persons). Well, it’s not that I’m against helping someone play better with superior equipment, but , well… I just don’t want to be outgunned, is all. I admit, I’m competitive. I wouldn’t look kindly on any up and comers who, by using any of the new trick bats, could drive the ball down my throat. It’s not right. It’s not nice.
I’m tellin’ ya, these new techno rackets are so fast, you can’t even see the ball (maybe Superman can). And the spin! Jeez, the spin. So much spin. The other day I was playin’ with this guy who changes his rubbers every month (no, not those kind of rubbers), when I had to fetch a ball that had escaped the curtains. I’m telling you, I was half way across the room when I got to it about a minute later, and it was still whirling like a gyroscope. His damn rubber is so soft … softer than butter left outside on a July afternoon. Disgusting.
All of these table tennis players today are preoccupied with technology. They should be preoccupied with basic ‘ground strokes’ and just playing ping pong (not table tennis). Besides, if they would forgo the Cypress wood blades with the carbon layers and flared handles, if they would shun the long pips rubbers and antispin, if they would refrain from concentrating on the thickness of their sponge layers – and ADAPT SANDPAPER RACKETS – then they could … use it as an emery board and polish their toenails. Lao Du
(PS: Despite my protestations, we’ll probably get some newer paddles.)