We’ve all had it happen. It’s the end of the day. A very long day that started with a prelim match at 8am finishing 8 hours later… 5 matches… 2 of those matches you lose 8-6 in a 3rd set tie-breaker. Your bottle of Advil is empty – so is your post-last-match beer for that matter so you reach for another.
You’re gathering up all of your sweaty, smelly t-shirts that are strewn all over the clubhouse in various locations desperately searching for the ‘lucky’ one that got you through the 2pm killer match against your rivals that you play every single week in league and now face in a tournament. Who made up this draw anyway?
You’re late to pick up your wife/date/significant other who you promised you’d be SSSS’d (sh*t, shaved, showered, and shined) by 7pm and it’s 6:56 to go to meet up with her work people. So you race out of the club, throw your bag in the back of the car and bee-line for home.
Then in a blink of an eye, it’s Tuesday night at 6:56 and you’re rummaging through your bag that is still in the car (waiting so patiently for you to take in and empty in the laundry room) looking for your paddle… and it’s not there. Hmmmm… you think. Where is it? What did I do with it? It’s always here. Right inside this smelly old… wait a second… the tournament, I must have left it in the clubhouse.
No problem, you think. It’s only Tuesday. Not whole lot has happened since the weekend. It has to be there. Luckily you have marked your paddle (you know, the same paddle that 90% of your league players play with) with markings that will immediately identify it as yours… or… NOT.
It’s not there. You have to play with the Sorba that night, the only one in the used paddle box that remotely resembles something from the 1990’s. Now what? Where is it? My paddle, my paddle, where are you??? I miss you Optimus!!! And I have tennis elbow from the Sorba, uggh!
You’re so distraught, you start to make crazy deals with the paddle devil (no, not Dan Mott, although, sometimes he does have that look about him).
If I find you I promise:
- I will never, ever leave you in my cold car overnight in January again.
- I will never, ever use you for any purpose other than for what you were intended, like a serving tray, a snow shovel, an ice pick, a shield, a rainhat (you’re not really great at that anyway).
- I will never, ever bounce you off the court, chuck you into the net, throw you over the wires into the field, stream, 18th green.
- I will never, ever look at you with disgust after I hit the back wire with my forehand drive on the fly, like it’s your fault.
Oh Optimus… where are you Optimus??? Come back to me Optimus!!!
This was the cry of one Mike MacKay, a rookie Canuck Paddler from the Kingsway Platform Tennis Club, who played in his very first tournament at the 2012 Canadian Open in April. This is his story.
Stay tuned, there is more to come…