We were practicing our serves at the Pickleball courts when a couple we know, Mark and Deb showed up. They’re new to Sun City and recently bought a house here near Mark’s parents to help take care of them. Mark’s a ‘retired’ tennis player (code word for really, really good tennis player), and an excellent Pickleball player, so he’s been teaching Deb the fine art of Pickleball for the last six months or so. When they spotted me and Bill lobbing the ball back and forth, they stopped to say hi and we invited them to play.
After four pretty good games where Mark was kind and didn’t beat us too badly, we decided we needed to head back home and check on Mom.
“That was fun,” Deb commented.
“It was. Thanks, Mark,” I said with a smile and wave, “for going easy on us.”
“He really behaved himself, didn’t he?” Deb whispered to me. “You know he hates to lose.”
“I know,” I said with a smile. “I kind of figured that out the first time we played you guys.”
“I think that’s why he started to put spin on the ball during the last couple of games,” she continued. “When the score gets tight, he just can’t help himself. He did it the other day when we were playing against another couple, Lois and Bob. They were both pretty good, so when the game got close he started to… well, you know.”
I nodded knowingly as I grabbed my bottle of water and started taking a long drink. “In fact,” Deb continued, “Lois even mentioned how great Mark’s spinning balls were.”
I stopped in mid-sip, lowered the bottle and, trying really hard not to laugh, looked Deb square in the eye. “I hope you told her that’s the main reason you married him.”
We’re meeting for another game as soon if Mark can get his spinning balls under control.