Oh, silly me! You know what I forgot to do when I was talking about the 10-and-under tennis matches my son plays in?! I completely forgot to mention how WACK the moms-of-the-opposing-team can get.
So to correct that error, I’m gonna tell you ALLllllll about it now.
And just so we’re clear, I’m not talking about ALL the mothers. Because, for the most part, the mothers are very nice and make polite small-talk for the hour our kids play tennis against eachother.
But today? Today an opponent’s mother brought her Crazytown A-Game.
And even though I know her real name, to protect the guilty I’ll fondly refer to her as Crazy McGee.
The singles match starts between Cray-Cray’s daughter and my son. Cray-Cray’s daughter serves and my son calls her serve out.
Cray-Cray (who had JUST screeched up to the court) says in a loud voice to herself, “That was in!” and then louder across the court, “That was in!”
Her daughter darts an anxious look over our way but plays on while C-C turns to me and says, “Is that your son? You should teach him not to CHEAT!” (I’m pretty sure spit flew out of her mouth on the CHEAT! part.)
Ok, B*^#H. Them’s fightin’ words. But instead of saying what I really wanted to say, I access my inner reserve of calm, cool and collected and say, “That’s language is unnecessary. I didn’t see where the ball landed so I’ll just have to trust my son’s calls.” Crick, crick, crick. <– That’s the sound of me ratcheting her up because then I say, “And there’s no coaching from the sidelines so you’ll have to be quiet.”
All the while I’m thinking: you just got here and you didn’t even see the warm up which consisted of your daughter missing every one of her serves. Also? You were behind a chin-level bush, under a shady tree, on the complete OPPOSITE and CATTY-CORNERED side of the court from where the ball landed. My son was watching the ball land. And therefore had his back turned to us, standing between us and the ball that was landing. So unless you’re using the power of your mind to see THROUGH humans, you could not POSSIBLY have seen where that ball landed. My suggestion at this point would be to climb back onto your big ol’ That’s the Truth…Ptttthhhhttt! Ruth Buzzi rocking chair and stay there. ‘Cause next time you come down off that rocker? I’m gonna go medieval on you’re a$$.
But nopey, nopers. C-C didn’t clue in and continues to grumble and rabble rouse, especially after my son asks her daughter if she’s “sure” that HIS ball was out.
I take the opportunity to state that any worthwhile tennis player crick, crick, crick who has an ounce of tennis etiquette knows that it’s appropriate to say, in a nice tone-of-voice, “Are you sure?” if the opponent called your ball ‘out’ when you think your ball might actually have been ‘in.’
Tennis etiquette, schmennis etiquette. C-C flips her lid again, spouting nonsense about how my son is so rude to ask questions like that. Who does he think he is questioning her L’il Angel?!?
Ok, so none of this is real, right? These kids are not playing with real balls, real rackets or even real lines. I’m pretty darn sure that none of what happens here today will go in their college transcripts. [Well, other than that part where C-C’s daughter’s transcript will say in red, bold letters that her mom is a FULL-ON WACKADOODLE.] So even though none of this really matters, all I can think is, “Oh no you di-int. Now it’s on like Donkey Kong!”
So to prove my point, I seek clarification from C-C’s daughter’s tennis coach about whether or not it’s “polite tennis” to simply confirm that the shot was out. He verifies that it is, that it ABSOLUTELY is ok to ask what my son asked.
At the tennis coach’s response, C-C says, “I’ve never seen that man before in my life. I don’t believe what he’s saying. I’ve never seen him before in my life. He’s not OUR coach.”
Ok. But just so you know, that guy I was talking to? Just now?? He was here starting the match and going over the rules. After that he started conducting drills for the older kids on the court behind us. I’m pretty sure someone doing all that would be a…ohhh, what’s the word I’m looking for…COACH?? And when he was doing all that coaching stuff, I saw him. So I’m sorry that YOU didn’t see him. But then again, you must not be able to see many people from OUTERSPACE! Where you apparently LIVE!! Which means that you must have missed that part where we moms-on-earth got together and agreed to act normally during a 10-and-under tennis match. We were probably covering that right about the time you were orbiting past the dark side of the moon and maintaining radio silence – so yeah, you musta missed that discussion. But now I’ve taken it as my personal mission to clue you in to everything you musta missed. So hang on to yer hat, here goes…
But before I can go all ‘shock and awe’ on her, she tells ME that I just have to be quiet, “Be quiet already!”
Whaaaaa?! Whaaaa the fuhhhhh???
So I say, “Oh. Ok. So glad you asked nicely. Will do. But everyone here knows that I’m not the one being antagonistic.” Crick, crick, crick.
Then? She snaps. She takes affront to the word ‘antagonistic’ and says, “I don’t know what that word means. I don’t even know what that word means. I’ve never heard that word before IN MY LIFE!”
At which point she stomps off. Just grabs her bag and walks away while her daughter on the court watches her go.
Gee. Seems like lots of stuff is happening in your life that you don’t know about. Which means you have to repeat it twice? Repeat it twice? First you’ve never seen your daughter’s tennis coach. Now you’ve never heard a word that I’m sure has been used DAILY to describe you. In fact, I’m 100% sure people say that word to you – and about you – all. the. time. Take me for example: I’ve spent fifteen minutes with you so far and I said it to you at least once. Out loud.
After C-C has stomped off, the club’s head tennis pro comes over and profusely apologizes. Huh. Seems like this must happen…a LOT.
Soon enough, though, C-C’s back. Yay! Turns out the creepy stalker view of the court she excused herself to (also known as “standing outside the courts, looking in through a rip in the windscreen”) didn’t afford her an adequate view of her daughter’s Olympic tennis team try-outs. So she’s back. And better than ever.
You have GOT to settle down, Sparky. Despite what the voices in your head tell you, C-C, these kids are NOT going to the Olympics next year. Not even in TWO years. But hang in there because I can see that it’s clearly your entire retirement plan to have your daughter get a scholarship to Wimbledon. And we’re in luck! Because by then, her 10-and-under tennis team results will have been expunged from her permanent record and we can all act like this was just a dream. Lucky us. Lucky, lucky, lucky.
The kids-on-the-court switch sides. C-C opens the gate and starts walking towards her daughter. I say, “I’m going to have to ask that you not coach your child while she’s on the court.” Crick, crick, crick.
C-C tries it again, this time during a set break. I politely remind her that the children only have a 90 second changeover break during a game and 120 seconds between sets. And they’ve already run over due to her illegally coaching her daughter on the court. Surprise, surprise she’s never heard of the time limits. Crick, crick, crick.
The Wackjob, Party of One Extravaganza went on and on. In fact? It may still be going on. But Sonny lost the match and we left. So I don’t really know if it is or not. Don’t really know if it is or not.
P.S. Mrs. McGee? Cray-Cray?? By the way, just wanted to let you know that your L’il Angel foot-faulted on EVERY ONE of her serves. How ‘bout THAT? You ever heard of THAT?? Ever heard of THAT?? Your head tennis pro saw it. The coach saw it. I saw it. My son, her opponent, saw it. And as such, he coulda dinged her for points every time she did it…because she shouldn’t have been doin’ it! My son coulda won the match in about twenty minutes if someone had said something. But instead, no one said a peep. [See note above about NO COACHING FROM THE SIDELINES, YOU WINGNUT!] We just watched my son play tennis like a gentleman and give your daughter a few friendly warnings instead of pulling points. It may not get him a college scholarship, I may not retire on his fame and glory, but he will have a reputation for playing nice, polite tennis. And maybe he’ll become a better person in the process. Crick, crick, crick.