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OTHER ITA SITES:
Country Tennis, Anyone?
It really is true that you learn something new each day...
I was in Juliette yesterday teaching my son Will how to drive. He turned fifteen recently and got his learner�s permit, so we now go driving most Sunday afternoons. We both like Juliette cause it�s the perfect place for him to practice - not much traffic and a whole lot of country roads for him to drive around on. It also has one additional thing going for it - if we practice driving in Juliette, we can ease over to Ed Jr.s� house after we�re done and spend some time with him.
That�s exactly what we did yesterday. We drove around Juliette for awhile, then rode over to Ed Jr.s� house. We�d barely gotten out of my truck when he appeared at his front door, yelled hello, and told us both to come on in the house. And that�s exactly what we did.
The three of us talked for a good half hour, and we had a blast. During our conversations we pretty much solved the Middle East crisis, decided which Georgia flag is best, and figured out whether Britney Spear�s chest is real or silicone. It was all great fun.
After that we decided to go outside and stretch our legs. As we walked around Ed Jr.s� front yard we happened to amble over to where his combination storage shed/garage is located. After serenading us with a couple of slightly off color jokes, Ed Jr. asked Will and I the following,
�You boys ever played country tennis?�
Will looked over at me like I�d know what his grandpa was talking about, but I didn�t have a clue. I shrugged my shoulders and said,
�Can�t say that we have. What is it?�
He replied, �I�ll show you.� And with that, he walked around the side of the shed and returned with a tennis racket.
Will and I didn�t want to say anything, but I�m sure we both wondered just how you�d play tennis standing right outside a storage shed. I think Ed Jr. sensed this as well, so he handed the racket over to me and then pointed around a corner to where some bumble bees were flying around...
�Yeah. Those are our tennis balls. Those and wasps and yellow jackets or anything else with wings that�s zippin� around out here. In country tennis you get points for knocking down stuff that flies.�
�You mean you want me to stand here and swing this racket at wasps or bees?�
�Isn�t there a chance I could be stung if I swing at one of them and miss?�
�Yeah, but anything worthwhile has some risk involved in it. Now, are you gonna play country tennis or do I need to buy you some pink drawers?�
That was all it took. I grabbed the racket and broke down into a Kung-Fu like stance. A few bees buzzed by, and I swung at �em but came up empty. Finally, a big, quarter-sized bee flew directly at me. I eyed it, raised my racket, and BAMMM! A direct hit - ole� Billy hit the ground, and I was sure I�d scored some major points!
That hope lasted for only a few seconds. Ed Jr. glanced at the bee, then at me, and said,
I thought he was kidding, so I asked,
�Yep, just one. Son, that bee was huge. You have to earn points, what you just did would be like someone using a baseball bat to hit a basketball. Anybody can do that. Give me the racket and I�ll show you how it�s done.�
I handed it over to him. The old man took it, got really still, and held it maybe waist high. No more than a minute passed when a medium sized bee flew right into his line of vision. Ed Jr. tensed up, flicked his wrist, and...
POPPP!!! The bee dropped like it�d been shot. I looked at it for a second, then looked over at Ed Jr, who promptly announced,
�Game, set, and match.�
And there you have it. My first country tennis match, a 2-1 loss to Ed Jr. Will and I left right after that, cause it was getting late and he still had some homework left to do. On our way back, Will looked over at me and said,
�Guess you learn something new every day, huh dad?�
That might be an understatement....
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