Judging by the cars in the parking lot – the Alpha Romeos, the Porsches, the Teslas (not the cheap one), Range Rovers and BMW’s – one finds that mostly the ‘elites’ (the nattering nabobs) are playing at our table tennis club. I’m talking about rich people, the kind who have holes in their refrigerator doors dispensing ice (not just cubes, but crushed – they have a choice!). And when they come to play in a tournament, they arrive dressed to the nines (some to the tens), decked out in what most of these silly people think are elegant and stylish uniforms. They think this gaudy and bombastic garb that clowns would wear in a circus are chic. They ain't. I’m tellin ya, the colors and patterns are so dizzying with all that DayGlow stuff. It’s hallucinatory, what they wear, harkening back to Haight Ashbury 1960’s hippie clothes. And the shoes!!! Nowadays they’re all psychedelic and glow in the dark. Chartreuse, turquoise – colors you can’t even spell without the help of a dictionary – these are what they put on their feet! Who would wanna be caught dead in that stuff? Not moi. Nunca!
Me? I’m a Gremlin, Pacer, Pinto guy … even Yugo – great cars of the 70’s (not). These should be the vehicles in our parking lot! Let the proletariat play our game (a few commies ain't gonna spoil it). I say, bring back the basement player bumping into asbestos pipes. By the way, each of these aforementioned stately vehicles was a technological marvel in its day – or, as we would say on my block back then, a real beaut! Flawless in design and engineering, absolutely ne plus ultra … until you put the key in and started one of ‘em up (if they could actually start).
(As an aside: I happen to know something about these fine motorcars, because I actually owned the first 3 at one time or another. (Editor: hint – they were cheap.) Never bought a Yugo, though. Those Yugoslavian rattletraps weren’t available when I looked, and I wouldn’t have been crazy about their Briggs and Stratton 3.5 HP power plants, anyway. In retrospect, I have reflected on these choices of tuna wagons as a model for my selection of a wife, and it has served to help me understand how I ended up with a clunker (a real beaut!). Well, all I can say is that she looked good in the used car lot (they only display the new cars in the showroom), but the simonize wax job soon wore off and then, just like that, I found myself duking it out in court with her. Do I have to tell you that she ended up with the Town Car but magnanimously allowed me to keep my rusted out AMC Pacer hunk a junk with the retreads.)
It’s the same thing with some of these aristocratic players. Sure, they look real snazzy in their tailored table tennis uniforms and special shoes and all, waiting their turn to play while sitting on the side of the court. But when they take their 400 dollar rackets out of their special custom cases and start to play … they can’t! Well, some of them can, but they usually don’t do so well against a chopper. They turn out to be just a bunch of Edsels! In practice, hitting forehand to forehand topspins, they appear dazzling. Some of them can hit the ball at 75 miles an hour to each other and keep it up like that for a few seconds. You know what I say to that? I say, so what! Because when you cut a ball against most of these pretenders, they’re good for only a few across the net until they flub.
Now, me, I don’t play table tennis, I play ping pong. I’m a freaking ping pong basement player and I’m damn proud of it. And you won’t find some manufacturer’s logo on anything I wear – no siree Bob! But these guys are covered head to toe with these odious logos (it’s free advertising) and their other officially approved apparel. Then, compounding the obscenity, add all of their damned technology into the stew. I’m telling ya, they are kidding themselves. C’mon! Using one of those advanced techno rackets, it’s like fouling off a ball in a hurricane and seeing it go for a homerun. It’s just unsporting. We should all be playing ping pong, not table tennis. Look, the game is farcical enough with the supernatural spins and speeds generated by those techno-bats. Adding the freakish attire to the mix just compounds the immorality of it all. Just too icky for me even thinking about it. Yech! Excuse me, but I gotta go and barf. Lao Du