Editor: Lao Du has been responsible for most of the blog entries for Ping Pong Parkinson since its inception. Mostly, these blogs have consisted of rants and diatribes revolving around his strong distaste for… well, everything , and they all have been mostly pointless and inanely foolish. Occasionally he has tiptoed into Parkinson’s Disease topics, but only tangentially. For the most part, his flapdoodle and screwy-hooey has revolved around sandpaper ping pong and his bountiful ill-will directed at the bane of his existence: the ITTF (the International Table Tennis Federation).
But here’s the matter at hand: Lao Du is a volunteer at Ping Pong Parkinson, but he is not a “Ponger” (i.e., he does not have Parkinson’s Disease). It’s time, well overdue, that we should have People with Parkinson’s (PwP) write about their own personal experiences from their own unique points of view, and to share their stories, impressions, ordeals and achievements with our expanding group. It would also be refreshing to hear what criticisms or favorable comments they might offer. Thus, starting now, we are officially soliciting blog submissions from any and all members of Ping Pong Parkinson.
(Note: I will be forced to allow Lao Du to write about satanic pedophiles and alien abductions if we do not get any responses. And while we are waiting for our first real blogs to come in, I have permitted one last fanciful, mentally aberrant offering from our resident heretic. )
Ya know, I’m getting real tired of those birds I feed every morning. Bunch of ingrates. Here I go out and spend over 32 bucks for a sack of black oil sunflower seeds every month – the ones they love the most, the best for their health (high fat content) and the most expensive – and you’d think they’d be grateful. Nope! No gratitude, not even when there’s snow on the ground and they can’t find anything to eat anywhere.
I have been giving myself haircuts ever since this pandemic began. I’ve nicked my ears – both of them – a few times, and once my scissors actually went in quite deeply. If I hadn’t had any duct tape around when this happened, I might have surely exsanguinated. I’m tellin’ ya, I came close to cutting my ear off – not that I was trying to be beat out Van Gogh in that department or anything (although I can draw better than he could).
This self-haircut stuff is definitely not advisable. I base this conclusion on not just this recent personal quarantine experience where all of my coifs could be termed ‘hatchet jobs.’ Yeah, it turns out this wasn’t the first time I’ve had a problem. When I was a kid, oh, maybe 7 or 8 years old, my old man decided this one Sunday morning that he’d give me a haircut. Now I had never gotten a haircut from anyone other than a Sicilian and with the Italian crooner music going on in a barber shop, and when I saw my father limbering up his fingers by going snip snip in the air with those large silver blades from my mother’s sewing kit scissors, I was starting to get nervous. Real nervous. And he wasn’t calming me any by directing his cautionary ‘not to worry’s’ directed to my mom alone – not to me! He went even further with his reassurance that he was going to use a bowl. Wasn’t very reassuring to me, but then he repeated to my mom, that she shouldn’t worry because the kid (presumably me) had a hat. He was referring to my Brooklyn Dodgers baseball cap. Now I didn’t quite understand what the bowl was for exactly, but my intellectual development at the time was sufficiently adequate to grasp the significance of the hat. And, man, I was shaking. Real nervous. And, of course, do I have to tell ya that I was forced to wear my Dodger hat for several weeks following this atrocity. My head was ravaged. A genuine hatchet job! And I still don’t know what the hell that bowl was all about.
Anyway, my advice to any of you ‘do-it-yourselfers’ in our Ping Pong Parkinson group, is that you let your wife or some other trustworthy person cut your hair for you … and only if you have a Brooklyn Dodger hat. Also, if your Parkinson tremor is not well controlled, I would strongly recommend that you not attempt any self-circumcision at this time, either. Wait until you get vaccinated and then let a pro (who has a just-in-case tourniquet) do it. Lao Du
Big day ahead of me today. No, it’s not the weekly arrival of the ShopRite flyer, it’s something almost as exciting as that. Oh, yeah, big, big, big day: I’m gonna water the plants! When I’m through doin’ that I’m gonna write on my calendar that I did it … and then I’m goin’ back to sleep. When I wake up I’ll have some of the food that I made a week ago that I have to eat today because there are blue moldy spots starting to form on the edges. See, I don’t want to waste the food …because, as you know, there are people starving in the world. Oh, boy, but there are hairs coming out of the mold, too. Jeez, never seen that before. I’ll have to do a little surgical excising to get rid of those parts. I’ll add it to the stuff I feed the birds and squirrels – they shouldn’t know much about micotoxins. (Don’t look at me like that – what, are they gonna throw up or get cancer? They don’t live that long, so don’t worry about it, okay?).
And, then, let’s see … Oh, yeah, I have to do the mail. I’ve got about three dozen bills sitting on my desk that I have to pay. You know, the cable and internet, the electric company, the oil delivery and a bunch of medical bills from my insurance company that are 5 pages long and that I can never understand. I should have done that – paid the bills, I mean – but up to now I’ve been playing ping pong at the club and didn’t have time. That’s right! Believe it or not, this ping pong addict aint playin’ nowadays.
So, you may be wondering why I’m not at the club anymore. I’ll tell you why: Fear. And Disgust. And some unadulterated bitterness and resentment mixed in with revulsion. It all relates to the fact that some fellow denizens of our ping pong world refuse to wear masks (or wear them incorrectly – under their noses or just on their chins). By refusing to follow Fauci, they pose a clear and present danger to all of us (including themselves).
I did try to tell many of these ping pong brethren to put their masks on, but the animosity engendered by my doing this was palpable. I could really feel the anger and, in fact, even see the hostility on their maskless faces. Well, okay, I could have been a little more tactful, but whatever wrong I was committing by my clumsy insensitivity paled before their double wrongfulness of potentially killing someone, so I’m only partially regretting how I behaved.
One thing I did do, though, which I don’t regret, was that I did earnestly, and with some persistence, bring this grave matter up with management. They listened courteously and seemed even to convey agreement with the need to implement the chief recommendations of the Public Health Service of the State of New York. But, disappointingly, didn’t happen, and I just didn’t feel like being the ‘mask police’ anymore. Turned out, I was talking to the wall and, what with the infection rates and death count spiking, I just figured the risk was even too much for this particular risk-taker. I’ll wait for the vaccine and, meanwhile …. I think I’m gonna let the air outta every bum’s car in the club parking lot who refused to wear a mask. Lao Du
This crazy health nut, whom I’ve known peripherally for several years, comes over to me the other day and starts in with this phony flattery on how I know so much about ping pong – like I’m an expert or somethin’. And then he asks me out of the blue what size ping pong table should he buy? This is really freaky stuff. This guy apparently thinks ping pong tables come in different sizes and colors, and all. So, I look him over carefully to see if this is a joke. Maybe next he’ll be asking me if bacon is kosher? And last year he comes over to me, probably thinking I’m a gastroenterologist, proclaims he’s got “hard stools,” what should he do? I mean I thought maybe he was trying to pull my leg. But he wasn’t. No, he wasn’t. He was dead serious. I told him to sit on a sofa, that it was much softer. Anyway, I eventually told him to buy a ping pong table without a net so that he’d finally be able to hit the ball to the other side. Look, wasn’t my intention to openly disrespect the guy but, truth is, I never cared for this simple-minded shmuckeroo to begin with, so I just tried to dust him off.
We have touted Ping Pong as a remarkable means of improving body and mind, and we’ve noted how beneficial it can be for those with Parkinson’s Disease. But perhaps that’s just too narrow a view of this sport’s potential benefits. Consider this: Ping Pong (table tennis) can also help you choose a spouse. No kidding! Take me, for example. I was married once. Big mistake. I knew that this … eh, vixen, my ex, might have been the wrong woman from the start, but figured I had nothing to lose. I was thinking that if everything else failed, that at least I could use her as a tax deduction. Was a stupendous, stupid miscalculation. I ended up losing the house, the car … my underwear (she got a court order which prevented me from getting even my size 34 stuff in the drawers). Well, my ex had a better lawyah than me (which is to say, more vicious), but all of that pain in court could have been avoided if only I had known that I could have vetted her out by having her play a game of ping pong. That’s right – ping pong! Look, it’s quite obvious that you can’t tell what a person is like by just taking a cursory look-see. Don’t judge a woman by her cheek bones, okay? Put her to the test: A Ping Pong test.
This is a dangerous sport we’re engaged in. Who would have thunk it? Ping Pong? Hey, you should be asking yourself whether you should you let your toddler start playing ping pong in the first place (think football as a possible safer alternative; maybe rugby). Your little rugrat can get a finger caught in the net. His head could hit the table. And then there are the rest of the injuries connected with the sport – that’s the quandary parents are facing these days. I’ll tell you straight out: I wouldn’t let my kid play ping pong. No way! I mean you’re talkin’ real pain and suffering from arthralgia, myalgia , neuralgia, proctitis (well, maybe not that), arthritis and rheumatism – all kinds of ‘itis’es and ‘isms’ and ‘algias’ – enough to make you sick. As I write this, my shoulder is killing me, and that’s after taking two Advils. And, of course, I can hardly put any pressure on my right knee – the one without a meniscus. My Achilles is acting up, too, which is right next door anatomically to my plantar fasciitis (that’s not a political affiliation, by the way). I blame it all on ping pong.