Sunday, November 11, 2012

Confessions of a Tennis Addict by Mike Stern

This unedited post is courtesy of Michael Stern. I got quite a chuckle from it and thought you might as well, so here it is, "straight, no chaser."  T. A.

Mike Stern incognito?

I am a non-drinker with a tennis problem.

And I can't find a tennis anonymous program anywhere.


I played tennis every day in October.

And i haven't missed a day this month either.

But it is worse than that.

Yesterday i played 4 sets of doubles in the morning.

And then played a 2 hour singles match that evening for my 4.0 team.

I am trying to find something less addictive than tennis.

You know.  Maybe showing up on a breaking bad episode injecting blue ice while foot faulting.

I can do without golf.

In fact, every time I play I am certain I will never try the game again.

But tennis is different.

And Florida doesn't help.

The weather is just too good.

And the players are plentiful.

I have over 70 people on my tennis list that I play with regularly.

I am currently captain of 4 different teams and play on two others.

This is not normal.

I restring racquets as often as the kardasians change sex partners.

I buy tennis balls by the case.  And I have gone beyond using to dealing.

It's hard to be inconspicuous when you arrive at the racquet club with 3 cases of penn clay court tennis balls cradled in your arms.

What's next?  A tennis video on the internet with Paris Hilton?  or Roger Federer?

I know I should stop.  At least limit myself to once a day.

But my refusal skills are not very good.

Just when I am ready to go home to my wife and dog I hear a whispered, "Hey, sailor, got your racquet?" And I'm off for a few more hours on the court.

I have no sense of shame.

I prowl the courts looking for a game.  Swearing it will be my last.  But knowing that I will be back for more.

After all, I can resist anything except temptation.

How many times must I tell myself "just one more set" before my friends do an intervention.

Someone suggested a 12 step program.  I thought it was a video on footwork patterns to improve your backhand.

I can't do this alone.  My friends need to help make tennis less fun.

So when you are my partner, double fault at least twice a game.

Tell me my drop shots are stupid.  Ridicule me when i hit a lob.  Fail to show up on days we have matches planned.

Or you can indulge my habit.  Make a charitable contribution to get me a new racquet.  Who says eight is enough?

So if you come visit, you know where to find me.  Lying in a gutter outside the Fort Myers Racquet Club waiting for them to open.  With a tennis elbow bandage on my arm, and a case of tennis balls for a pillow.  Better bring your racquet.

I came home late the other day and told Joy I had met another woman and had gone to a hotel room for a liaison.  She immediately replied, "don't lie to me--i know you were playing tennis."

At this point, only a hurricane can slow me down.  And i might be out on the courts with a snorkel mask and fins trying to fit in one more 10 point tie-breaker.

One more forehand and I can break even!

Somehow just say no is not a solution.  Abstinence from tennis is less likely than my embracing Ahmadinejad at a bar mitzvah.

And i can do this in moderation.  As long as you consider 6 hours a day moderate.

So hope for rain or breaking a string in each of my racquets on the same day.

Or that i develop will power.  Hah!

I hope that's a rain cloud building up over the Gulf.

The real Mike Stern

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