1: Question: If I lose the first game in a match, I inevitably become nauseous. Why?
Lao Du: You’re probably pregnant.
Questioner: But I’m a man!
Lao Du: That’s what you think, but you’re no expert. I’m answering the questions here.
2: Question: What is the greatest threat to our planet?
Answer: Jeese, what in blazes kind of existential question is this for a Q and A relating to ping pong? Okay, I’ll answer it anyway. The sponge/squishee paddle is by far the greatest known threat. Stephen Hawkins, the great (and late) physicist, considered an asteroid collision to be the largest “threat to the planet”. Well, I don’t know about that. Maybe he’s wrong. Maybe only 100 % wrong.
3: Question: What is man’s greatest overall evolutionary achievement?
Answer: I dunno , but it aint Long Pips … unless you consider its use to clean dishes. And it’s a dumb question – probably the same guy who asked number 2.
Occasionally you come across a player using a very unorthodox style, and you say: How the heck can anyone play like that! There are a few players in the club, for example, who have adopted a particularly bizarre strategy of retreating 15 feet from the table, hitting a few defensive shots and then creaming the ball while on the run returning toward the table. These players are entertaining to watch (I can’t help laughing), but this whole enterprise is devoid of any brain engagement, and these guys usually lose to anyone hitting the ball back 3 times.
But once in a while, there comes along that rare exception who is able to conquer using the most unconventional, oddball style. This is what happened when Danny Seemiller became the US Nationals Singles champion 5 times using his eponymous grip (the Seemiller Grip) in the 70’s and 80’s. Believe me, this grip is more than weird – it’s freaky. It’s a strange thing to behold a guy hitting the forehand and backhand on the same side of the racket, but that’s what this is about. Yet … he did it … and successfully.