Gringas & Guacamole
By Gail Nott
It was becoming increasingly apparent that tennis was the new “in thing” among the residents living around Lake Chapala. The ladies at lunch raved about the new instructor´s patience and skill. He wasn’t hard on the eyes, with or without glasses on. Being as health conscious as the next person, I pondered taking lessons. I’d been banging my head against walls for a long time, but that only burns 150 calories per hour. There had to be a better way.
I showed up for my first half hour lesson. Body parts I had ignored before were painfully demanding my attention. My buttocks hurt; they felt like I had indulged in foreplay with a pair of vice grips. The loose skin under my arms gave up and drooped to my elbows. On weak, wobbly legs, I shuffled off the court. I was going to have to get into shape. One possible exercise came to mind; order larger and heavier drinks at Happy Hour.
I blamed my lousy performance on the racket. It had been retrieved from an dumpster in Baltimore and I used it to beat rugs. The instructor suggested I purchase a new racket and offered suggestions on weight, size, face and make. I didn’t want to appear dumb, but names weren’t computing -Prince (didn’t he do the movie, Purple Rain?) Spaulding (Yuk, isn’t that something that salmon do?) and Head (oh, I don’t even want to go there!) Hey, life is tough, but it’s tougher when you’re stupid!
On my next trip to the U.S., armed with all the pertinent data, I walked into a sporting goods store. I was faced with walls, ten feet high, of tennis rackets, Wandering around I was shocked at the prices, and couldn´t find the grip size or weights. I tried to impress a salesman by offering the information the instructor had given me. There was no reason I should be blatant about my ignorance. When he handed me a racket, I inquired knowingly, “Where is the “G Spot” on this particular racket?” With a very solicitous attitude he responded, “Do you mean the “sweet spot?”
The $300 rackets didn’t seem much different from the $100 ones. Eventually I settled on one for $169.00, but was still hoping for a bargain. “OK, I’ll take this one, but now how much for the strings?” I think he threw in the carrying case just to get rid of me.
I was so proud of my tennis racket. Packing my suitcase with great care, I placed the new garden hose on the bottom as a cushion. Wedging the racket between the Miracle Grow and panty hose, I used bags of hard beer pretzels to cover it. I could envision myself thundering around the court in my Evonne Goolagong´s. I had gotten them out of the same dumpster as the old tennis racket.
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com