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Table Tennis anyone?

I just got worked by a 70 pound midget.


I've been wanting to play some ping pong (yeah, what's that?). Umm, table tennis. Right. I brought it up in my 11th grade HL (high level) class today and Linda's head about popped off when she flipped around too fast. Seriously, she nearly fell out of her chair. "You play table tennis?!??!" Of course this lead to a conversation about it. I grew up playing in our garage when I was young. Mom wanted to keep us around the house so she bought us some toys like a ping ping table and pool table. She preferred that friends came to our house. I'll never forget trying to pay pool in a room that was way too small for a pool table. We learned real fast to lift your back hand up in the air to avoid the wall behind you.


I got to watch my older brothers have some epic battles. John liked to tell everyone he always won, but that was a bit of hubris. Dale could beat him. I was a bit too young then, but had some fun getting beat by them now and then. I can't say I'm good at the game. I'm alright I guess. In my experience anyone that can play at all is convinced they're very awesome. I can play fairly decent with my left hand. One of the first times I ever spoke to my ex I pissed her off when I was playing left handed ping pong. Was it that she felt insulted? Or that I was still winning?


Of course I ask Linda if we can play sometime. She says practice is today at 4:30 and I'm welcome to come play.



I would have liked to share a picture of Linda and I playing, but they have photograph rules, so this is the best we get from afar. Further, this picture doesn't do the table tennis team justice. There were 20 students playing when I first arrived.


Amazingly I'm done for the day around 4:15. Head back to my apartment to start some laundry and change my clothes. Hit the lower school gym and find Linda beaming. She discards her opponent and hands me a paddle. Her coach says we can play, but have to go the other end of all the tables. They have 12 tables all lined up in the gym. Table tennis is serious business here.


One of the boys in my 11th grade class, Hong Ye, laughed at me when I said I wanted to play. He immediately said I needed to play Linda. Apparently she placed second in ACAMIS last year. That's their equivalent to a state title. Linda might be 5 feet tall. Maybe. She's way under 100 pounds. Perhaps 70 pounds soaking wet. We hit the ball back and forth a bit. It didn't take long to feel competent. So a game began.


Some different rules in scoring and serving. We play to twelve. Serve switches every two serves. First game was close. 10-10 to start. Game to two points. Linda was careful letting me screw up. She wins game one. The kid puts everything back on the table. Game two was similar, but again she put me away in the end. After 8-8 she throttled me again. I only scored 6 in our last game. She was a machine, but a very happy machine that I was willing to submit myself to the torture. We shook hands and shared a "thanks for the games". Now I'm going to wonder if she was taking it easy on me early out of pity. The odds there are good.


Good times. I'll be back for more humbling.

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Heresolong
Heresolong
Oct 15, 2022

I admit it, you are better than me.


Then why are you smiling?


I know something you do not know. I am not left handed.

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Andy Donahue
Andy Donahue
Oct 12, 2022

I wonder if she was playing with her off hand?

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David Shick!
David Shick!
Oct 12, 2022
Replying to

I did some scouting beforehand. Unless she was destroying some other poor kid with her offhand I think it's safe to say I was worthy of her best game. We talked about it afterwards. Next time we get to play left handed.

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Mike Durkee
Mike Durkee
Oct 12, 2022

Made me think of the games we played at Steve's and Serfozo's. Those kids would throttle me into next week (year). Side story, want to know how to make a ping pong ball disappear?

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David Shick!
David Shick!
Oct 12, 2022
Replying to

I feel a cringe coming on. Does this story have something to do with a bar in Thailand? Ok, let me have it...

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Good story! Wonder how a sport invented by the English came to be dominated by the Chinese?

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David Shick!
David Shick!
Oct 12, 2022
Replying to

From Google:

Although its name may sound Chinese, the sport of table tennis (ping pong, Pīngpāng qiú, 乒乓球) did not originate in China; invented as an after-dinner diversion in late-19th century England, it made its way into China through the Western settlements via Japan and Korea only in 1901.


Mao Zedong, President of the People's Republic of China, said that table tennis was the national sport in 1949. The leader believed that table tennis could bring people together, build confidence and at the same time help China to connect with the rest of the world.


Also worth a read if you're curious:

https://pingsunday.com/top-5-reasons-why-china-is-so-good-at-table-tennis/

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