Squash. Sigh! I love the game. Now I wasn't sure I was going to tell this story at all since well you'll probably see why once its told. Actually I like to sort of put a moratorium on certain stories if they happened too recently but well this one I think was just too traumatic for me to hold out. This is part of the healing process. Plus I tried it out on a few friends a week ago and they were absolutely bawling at my expense so I figured why not share it so the rest of you guys can also get a good laugh at me.
Well truth be told I had an incident on the squash court a while back and this event was so traumatic that I stopped playing squash for a bit. But a few weeks ago I started going back out to play so the healing process must have started.
Ok enough hoopla I wont build the story up to be more than it is. So where do I start? Well I've mentioned in previous blogs that I play squash. Its quite a nice sport in my opinion, great for keeping in shape if a bit hard on the knees but I guess one of its appeals to me is that its an individual sport. Yes I am definitely not the proverbial team player. Must be that whole raised as an only child phenomenon.
So I've been playing the sport (in between injuries) since the spring of 2002 and I
Now usually I play with these two friends who taught me the game and initially they royally kicked my butt for about a year but now I can hold my own and win a few. So early this year I was hanging around the courts with my friends, taking a breather while they played, when this older lady came up to me and asked me if I wanted to knock the ball around on another court. Now when I say older I think this lady could be in her 50s or so.
I said sure, why not and we went to another court and for about 10 minutes just knocked around the ball. It was good exercise. Later her husband came over. He's this older guy who's been playing for years so he's a pro and he was watching and giving us pointers. Actually for some reason the guy reminds me of the Lloyd Bridges character in that Seinfeld episode where Jerry's dad hired him as a personal trainer for Jerry. Anyone remember that?
Anyway we all chatted a little bit and it turned out that both myself and the lady work in the same area and she said she needed some practice to improve her game and since I was closer to her level than some of her other squash partners she asked if we could play on the occasional lunchtime. I said sure since I was always open to getting in as much time on the squash court as possible trying to stay fit and to improve my game.
So we started playing once a week at lunchtimes. At first it was just working on various shots and stuff and I found that I took more chances with my stroke play, playing lots of shots out of position or not moving to the ball until relatively late. Just working on my speed or playing closer to the front wall to see how good my reflexes were when the ball comes screaming off the wall towards me. Plus I was trying to change some stances I had picked up in the hope that like with Tiger Woods changing his swing technique it would eventually pay off and make me a better player. It was sort of like a self discovery squash mission for me as I was teaching myself how to play tough shots in difficult scenarios that I would probably face against tougher competition.
Now the only issue with that is that I wasn't feeling very competitive most of the times as we played as I was just kind of trying to find my limitations on certain shots so on most occasions I played mainly to her level. Think I mentioned this a while back.
So occasionally this lady would think that she was ready to give me a run for the money and she would challenge me to a game and most times I would show no mercy when it was game time. I'm not as bad as Humanity Critic with the 60 year old guy playing basketball or maybe I was but I just felt that I had to show her that she still wasn't ready to beat me on the court.
So about two or three months back, my boys weren't really playing a lot of squash anymore and I started to play two sometimes three times a week with this lady to keep in shape. We started playing more and more games and although I still wasn't playing flat out I was still making sure that the games weren't close. She was improving but so was I. I think so there were still lots of 9-0s, 9-1s and 9-2s.
Now the thing about squash is that it can be a fairly dangerous sport. Its played in a small enclosure and there is always the possibility of some sort of entanglement with the opposition. Now playing with this lady I realized that she has this tendency to come in a tad bit too close on occasions when I'm making a shot in the middle of the court so I have to be really careful not to hit her and we've had a few kind of close misses. And its like she tends to sneak up on me too sort of like the big haired lady who ruined my perfect photo just appearing from out of nowhere at the last minute. Oh maybe its that I'm so focused on the ball that I'm not watching her movements and I only realize at the last minute that she has come close, close up under me like she is a chossel (that's a bajan term for girlfriend).
Oh I should also mention that the lady is like the energizer bunny, we can play for 40 minutes to an hour and she doesn't tire at all, its pretty incredible. So the day in question we were playing and had already gone for a good 40 minutes already and I was getting antsy to get back to work and grab a sandwich. More water was running off me than if I had just been caught in a torrential downpour and I man was well tired just ready to go take a shower and head back to the office.
So we had played a few games already and one or two had been a bit closer than usual. I think it was just one of those days where I didn't have a lot of energy. She had rushed out to a 3-0 or 4-0 lead in a couple of games before I really started to go but I would still win before she reached 5 or 6.
Anyway we are already past our playing time but she insists on one last game. I'm pretty fatigued but I said ok. So she comes out still unflagging in her efforts and I'm sort of half assed about the whole thing. She gets to 3-0, then its 4-0 and I'm like ok wake up Jdid time to play. Just put in an effort, kick her butt and you can go. Then she reaches 5-0 and I'm like wait a minute but it still doesn't register that she can beat me, then 6-0 and I'm thinking I've never been beaten by this lady ever and now she's going to beat me at love. Oh hell no!
So I'm focused man! Time to play serious squash. I'm concentrating on the ball but I'm guessing seeing the score has energized the lady even more than usual because she is making some phenomenal gets everytime I break her serve and serve for a point. So it stays at about 6-0 for awhile and I'm still drained but now focused. Oh oh 7-0! How did that happen? Lucky shot on her part I think! Oh man she's seriously going to win and not only that but win at love. Oh I'm never going to live this down.
We stay on 7-0 for a while cause I'm giving it my all like fighting to the last man. No surrender no retreat, take no prisoners. Except some games you just don't get the bounce and this one seems to be one for me. So now its 8-0.
Last chance J-did. Do or die time! Last shot to get out of love and at least regain some small crumb of respect. So with luck I break her serve and I serve for a point only I serve too hard and its out and its back to her again looking for game point. The pressure is on.
8-0, she serves. Nice serve in the corner, I return it, she hits it back. I get a decent attempt at a kill shot but she's there to drop it in the corner, I get to it and make a good shot and she finally makes a mistake on the other side of the court leaving me open for a shot to at least stop her from winning this point. Ah ha finally something is going my way! The ball is traveling at super speed but its all like its in slow motion for me. I watch the ball as it hits the side wall, I pivot and get ready to turn in a brute of a kill shot.
Meanwhile she's nowhere near me or so I think cause last I saw she was still in the corner. So I focus and watch the ball off the wall and hand and racquet become one as I get ready to beat kill this ball, just hit the crap out of it. In cricket venacular I seeing the ball big like a breadfruit and I gine lash this one for six! My arm is cocked and I'm starting the downward stroke when what the ?? Where the hell did she come from? She's suddenly right in the path of my racquet. Abort shot, abort, abort!
So still all in slow motion I try as much as possible to take some of the energy out of my racquet-arm combo and ease up on the shot but too much momentum has already been imparted to the racquet and its impossible to stop the shot now. The lady seeing she is in danger is now attempting to duck like an English batsmen facing Malcolm Marshall (R.I.P).
WHAPAX! Racquet still with considerable force hits the lady in the side of the head and she drops down Bruggadown! like a log holding the side of her head. Oh No! See me now eyes open wide with fear. Either she got a concussion or I kill the white woman. Jdid ya gine jail, I should run to the border, change my identity, get plastic surgery, grow a jerri curl, I must FLED!
Cuhdear what kind of man beats up on a poor innocent older lady with a squash racquet. I can see the news already, that Jdid fella is a vicious black criminal, he want deporting, (I hear 'im from Jamaica cause ya know every black man in Toronto that do something bad duz got to be Jamaican right) attacking a poor white lady, he want lossing way in jail. Look how the woman aint trouble he, all she was doing was beating him in squash and he takes the squash racquet and lash the woman just so for no apparent reason. He could only be a sick sick fella, mad in he head.
Well luckily the lady stood up proving she wasn't dead but I aint out of the woods yet cause they could get me for assault with a deadly weapon. Time to seriously start growing that Jerri Curl and get that face change. She is clutching the side of her head like she is in serious pain and I'm beyond terrified. What damage did I do to her head?
I'm shouting 'Are you ok, are you ok, are you ok?'
And then I realize she's actually holding specifically her ear. 'Are you bleeding, is anything broken?' Still no answers from the lady as she slowly moves around trying to shake off the blow.
And then it happened! She cocked the ear she was holding to a side and lo and behold all I see was plop! plop! Two flesh like parts drop out the woman ear. Oh shoot Jdid, ya sure to go to jail now I panicked! Look how ya went and hit the woman in her head so hard that ya brek she ear bones. Breaking of earbones will give ya 3 to 5 in maximum security. Look how you cause all sort of fracture of the malleus and the pinna and them sorta things to the extent that they un-hinge and drop out she ear. Ya Ever see something hard and flesh covered drop out somebody ear? Trust me people it was one of the most traumatic things I ever experience.
Ear bones fragile ya know and you with your brute force gone and lik up the woman head so. Wicked wicked Jdid! It was an accident I'm silently screaming but who's going to believe that.
Anyway it turned out it was just a hearing aid and the lady was fine. I had no idea she had a hearing aid but what a relief that I didn't cause any permanent damage cause I man too pretty for jail.
Still I was totally traumatized by the experience and I didn't play for quite a while after that.
And the joke was everyone I told the story to hoping for some sympathy were bawling their head off at how I break the woman hearing aid. Even de wife who I called first thing I got back to the office just stand up and laugh in my ear on the phone. Then some bajan fellas I know was telling me things like 'boy Jdid, I din realize you was such a vicious fella beating up on the handicapped and senior citizens and tings so. You like you is a dangerous fella wid nuff pent up rage. We gine have to send you to anger management.'
See what I mean absolutely no sympathy.
I've played with the lady since and I think I was more traumatized by the event than she was. She was making jokes about it and didn't seem too disturbed at all. Meanwhile I'm still having nightmares about body parts dropping out of peoples ears. But oh well I'm trying to recover.