Sunday, September 16, 2007

Serious athletes

We've been playing a bunch of tennis lately, the LWI and I, every day through the end of the summer and weekends now that we're into the school year. We're not all that great, and we do it more to run around outside and have fun than to keep score. The neighborhood park has a tennis court ringed by part of a long walking path, so we're often accompanied by a variety of folks out strolling or skating or walking their dogs, for a nice festive weekend atmosphere.

We don't buy new balls all that often, and at the moment our sack of balls includes a bunch of fairly worn-out Wilsons plus a few slightly newer balls we've picked up around the court. (We've lost our share of new balls, so the ones we collect usually balance out the ones we lose.) One of the foundlings is more thickly felted than the rest, and slightly heavier, and we've found that it handles with noticeably greater speed and accuracy - when we play with the Fuzzy Ball, we get some viciously fast rallies going.

As I said, we're not all that good, but we do take pleasure in a great deal of bluster and mock-toughness. So when we've played for a while and one of us starts feeling cocky, we'll pull out the Fuzzy Ball for a serious attack. It's also fair to warn your opponent about the change in balls, since Fuzzy Ball handles differently than, for example, Old Grey Ball.

We feel pretty intimidating breaking out the serious-game ball, but it wasn't until we noticed the strollers in the park chuckling to themselves as they walked by the tennis court that we realized a bloodcurdling yell of "Fuzzy Ball!" probably does not sound quite as fierce as we thought.

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