Each year between late March and early June is table tennis season at our house. Or, for the unwashed masses, “ping pong” season. During those months, the temperature in the garage is just right, so out comes the table and out go the cars to sit for a short while in the driveway, exposed to the elements.
It is a season when a 46-year-old man with a bad back and a nagging case of turf toe can shine. Cocky young men from near and far flock to the garage, gird their loins (what little they have), and try in vain to knock off the “old man.”
There is only one caveat: They must serve correctly, or I will not play them. Ball held in the flat of the palm, above the table, tossed at least 6 inches without spin, contact made on the way down behind the endline. None of this cheesy, hitting-the-ball-out-of-your-hand crap. This is my house, my rules (which happen to be International Table Tennis Federation approved).
But they cannot beat me because I am The Spin Doctor. I Am Legend (sorry, Will). I have a headband and a set of vintage 1970s wrist bands. They have no chance.
Sidespin, topspin, underspin, knuckling no-spin, you name it, I have it. I have more spin than a Hillary Clinton press conference. I have more patience than Job. That is something that cocky young men do not have at all.
This spring is no different. They come, they play me, they lose, they cannot believe it, they sulk.
I am the Spin Doctor–look upon my wicked, diving topspin smash, ye mighty, and despair.