Friday, March 02, 2001

I PLAY a little tennis. There's a nice, not-too-expensive indoor club across the Potomac in Arlington, Va., and I'm in a Wednesday-afternoon mixed-doubles league. I also get the occasional call to play as a substitute in a Thursday-afternoon foursome. Actually, it's no longer a foursome: These are older gentlemen, and one member recently passed away. That's sad, but what's really sad is that I'm playing at the same level as these seventysomethings.

There's no inherent shame in a guy who's Jack Benny's age not being able to blow a septuagenarian off a tennis court, but when I say "I play a little tennis," it's a little misleading. I might not play a lot, but tennis is a big part of my life. I started playing almost 25 years ago and quickly became a rabid fan. I used to string my own rackets. So it's a tad infuriating to me when people who don't know how to hit the ball properly are my equals on the court. I need to go to the gym.

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