It’s Just A Game To Me
PICKLE BALL? I’VE HEARD OF IT. I’ve never played it. I have no desire to play it. It sounds strenuous and I don’t do strenuous any more. I’ve seen pictures of people playing Pickle Ball and at first glance it looks like a combination of Tennis – Ping Pong – and Cardiac Arrest.
The only reason I’m looking at it at all is that I know someone who is into Pickle Ball in a big way. He is always heading off to play here in Terre Haute (That’s French for “I’d like a Gherkin, please.”) or to take part in some National Championship tournament.
This Associate Usual Suspect is from St. Arbucks and, Oh, let’s call him Bubba. That’s not his name, but it is a perfectly good pseudonym for a fluff piece like this.
Bubba, my only contact with the World of Pickle Ball is 80 years old. He comes in for his morning coffee dressed like he’s going to Gym Class. He may be 80, but he looks decades younger. I don’t know how he does it. We suspect satanic intervention. When I ask him why he looks so much younger than the calendar would dictate, he attributes it all to good genetics and that he never gets sick. In other words – dumb luck. I think that his high level of physical activity has something to do with it as well. But, then again maybe it is just dumb luck.
Bubba is retired of course and has a lot of free time on his hands. I understand that he used to own a Sporting Goods Store. I see a pattern developing here. Today his product is Pickle Ball. Somehow, I think he gets a cut on every person he seduces into the game. I tell you – whoever is the Pope of Pickle Ball should make Bubba the game’s poster boy.
Bubba was in for his morning coffee the other day, prior to heading off to Atlanta or some other southern city for a National Championship, dressed in shorts and a “Pickle Ball!” T-shirt. He was a walking billboard. I asked him a question.
“Bubba, my friend, why is your game called ‘Pickle Ball?’ On the surface it doesn’t make any sense to me. Football uses your foot and Baseball uses a base, but what about Pickle Ball – and keep it clean.”
He thought about it for a minute, his brow wrinkled, and he finally answered me.
Here is a man who is, for all intents and purposes, “Mr. Pickle Ball” to me, and he was clueless. There has to be a reason. It may be as simple as the inventor of the game was noshing on Kosher Dill when he got the idea, or he was drunk as a skunk when someone asked him, “Hey, what do you call that game?” I dunno either.
Considering the other problems facing my world and the larger world as a whole, this question doesn’t amount to a hill of Sweet Pickles. I think that Bubba is just some 80 year old dude who likes to get out there and mix it up with other geezers. He may not be any good at this game and is successful mainly because, at 80, there isn’t a whole lot of competition that is not lugging around an oxygen tank. Just being upright and mobile has to give him an edge.
I’ll have to quiz him about this when he returns from Atlanta, or some other southern city.