Thursday, February 24, 2005

Boorish Bellowing

Playing tennis the other night...
"Thank you!" I heard vaguely from another court over as I was about to launch a Ginnytastic power serve across the net. (Okay, just a regular serve.) (Fine. A gentle, sloping, lame lob over the net.) But it was definitely going in. I didn't need extraneous interruptions clouding my intense focus. I hesitated for a moment, then tossed my ball again.
"THANK YOU!" the voice came a bit more persistently. I caught my ball out of the air, exasperated. What was with this guy? I'm certain his thankee has been sufficiently thanked. Sheesh. Chill, dude. Deep breath, nice high toss, focus, racket back and...."EXCUSE ME! THANK YOU!" My ball bounced to the ground and I let my racket drop, frustrated. I turned to give this loser my best glare when I noticed the little man hanging over the fence gesturing rudely at me. Me? What had I done to be thanked for? He was pointing at my knees, my...oh. His ball had rolled into my court. Why didn't he just say so? Is this boorish bellowing of a polite word supposed to make me read his mind and feel grateful that he thanked me before I helped him? Am I supposed to feel guilty if I hesitate to help him since he delivered a pre-emptive expression of gratitude? That was the rudest thank you I had ever received. And when I did return his ball to him, he rolled his eyes and didn't re-thank me. I should have rightly been rethanked. I turned to my partner to express my scorn for this freakshow oxymoron of ungrateful appreciation. She held her racket beside her mouth as though to whisper a secret and hissed, "He's just a little intense sometimes." And it's a good thing she blocked her comment with that racket. Because no one could overhear her through the strings of her racket. Silly. Tennis is a strange sport. Thank you.


MM said...

Having played a little tennis myself.....What's more rude is when my ball does go on the next court over or even further.....3 courts down... the gracious players throw your ball back to you there I am chasing it all over the courts. When a simple toss directly back to me would have worked. They see me standing there waiting for the ball! I think they love to see me running around chasing a little green ball like my life depends on it.

Eddie said...

Not to mention that it's well-known etiquette NOT to interrupt someone in the middle of a point, or when he or she is serving. Ugh.