Gringas & Guacamole

Gringas & Guacamole

By Gail Nott

Tennis, Anyone?

 

tennis-practiceIt 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.

 

Ojo Del Lago
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