Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ping Pong

"We're going to go where no one has ventured before."

I was sitting at the end of our dock, catching the tail end of the sunset, when I overheard my neighbor from down the shore announce where he was going.  He was telling my next door neighbor, but I was within eavesdropping distance, and presumed he wouldn't mind if I joined the conversation.

So I question, "Did you just say you're going to go where no one has ventured before?"

"Yep.  Do you want to come with us?" 

"Okay."  So I join the two guys in their boat and head to this mysterious place - which, turned out to be a home across the lake that many people have ventured to before.  (I was slightly disappointed, but didn't say so.) 

At the home we met up with another boat, and then hung out in the middle of the lake until my neighbor from down the shore insisted we go back in to play some ping pong. 

I had mentioned having a ping pong table in our basement and that my Dad was really good.  In doing so, my neighbor from down the shore challenged me.  "I'll bet you $100 I can beat your Dad." 

"I'm not really in the position to be betting $100."

"How about $20 then?"

"Okay, I'll bet you $20."  After all, I reasoned, I have full confidence in my dad's ping pong playing abilities.  And even he somehow beat my dad, he'd deserve the money, because my dad is that good.

2009 Dad's 70th Bday Celebration - Dad (on the right) & his BFF from HS

And so we get to shore, and I find my parents playing a late night game of Upwords (he's good at that game too; both he and my mom know every 2 letter word found in the Scrabble dictionary.)  I ask my Dad if he would be willing to play some ping pong; he agrees, and my parents put their word game on pause. 

My dad puts his special, velcro sneakers on his feet, and then he and my neigbor from down the shore go to ping pong war.  And of course my Dad wins and so do I. 

While my other neighbor challenges my dad, neigbor from down the shore comes over and says to me, "Double or nothing."

"No, no.  I already won the bet.  I'm not going to lose the money."

"Come on."

"Well, how about this -10 or 30?"

"Deal."  We shake on it, and neighbor from down the shore goes back up to bat against my dad, and loses once more.

Again, in between games, he returns to me, "Double or nothing."

"Heck, no.  No more betting for me." My dad had been playing the other neigbor boy too; this would be game 5, and I could see he was starting to get a bit tired. 

"Okay, well I'm playing one more game.  I'm going to beat your dad; this time I'm playing for honor."

And well, the third game, the boy from down the shore finally does win - in overtime 25 to 23.  Neighbor boy from down the shore insisted my dad had an unfair advantage.  My dad had shoes, and he did not.  Perhaps, but regardless, I still win $30.

I should probably clarify, the boy from down the shore, isn't actually a boy.  He and I are the same age, and we both went to the University of Michigan for undergrad. However, he went to a different high school and was on the swim team with a guy named Rich who made me fall for the guitar.

I wrote this piece (found in my July 22nd blog post) in my early 20s, but it's one of my favorites.

It is well past midnight... see July 22, 2012 blog post.

*More on Sabatina another day

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