The Writer's Cramp 9/7/21
It is torture. I really don’t like gym class, but I don’t like Amy more.
“You and Amy will now demonstrate to the class the game of badminton. This game comes to us from Great Britain. It is played with racquets and a shuttlecock.”
We took our places on the tennis court. The rest of the class sat on the ground. So now Amy and I were fighting to come in first. If I come in first, I can claim champion. If Amy wins, she will never let me forget it. Never. I know her.
Mr. Lawrence gave each of us a small badminton racquet. Then he held out a small plastic object called the shuttlecock.
“Okay, Jenny will start. You throw the shuttlecock into the air then try to hit it over the net. Easy peasy. Amy, you try to hit the shuttlecock as it comes to you. First one that misses, the point goes to the other girl. Got it? We play to 21. First one to 21 is the winner.”
Amy stared at me, those evil eyes boring into me. She thought she was so wonderful. An entire contingent of girls followed her every move, as if she were a god or something.
Well, this person does not worship Amy. I’ll be darned if she would win this battle. Little did everyone know that I play this dumb game with my father. He taught me when I was about ten. We play most nights when the weather is good. And in California, the weather is always good. So you could say I have some experience playing badminton.
Mr. Lawrence walked off the court. “You two can start whenever you’re ready. Jenny serves first.”
So I served the shuttlecock to Amy, she missed. I got to six before I missed. A stupid error. She hit one near the net, I stumbled getting to it.
Amy served the next set and got as far as four. She seemed a little winded. Too many sodas and chips, is what I think. Maybe too many DoorDash late night deliveries. Not enough exercise in the backyard with Dad every night.
I continued the battle. Again I sent that stupid little birdie over the net. Then I thought ‘why do they call it a shuttlecock’?
What kind of weirdo calls this a ‘shuttlecock’. I guess it’s an English thing, as in England across the sea.
Personally I think ‘birdie’ has more charisma. Smack the birdie over that net. And then I thought of the movie ‘Bye Bye Birdie’.
Now Amy cannot even compare to Ann-Margret. Her stupid bright red or neon blue or acid green hair. How can you even measure up to Ann-Margret with her wonderful red hair?
And then to have a movie about a rock star being drafted; well, we all know that was referring to Elvis. I think I heard that somewhere.
Does Amy even know who Elvis was? Or go back further, what about Fred Astaire? Ginger Rogers? Does she know anyone other than Brad, her boyfriend, or those weird YouTube stars?
Come to think of it, Amy isn’t the best student in school. Does she even know who is President?
Does she have any idea what is happening in the world? In our state? In our town?
I’m so annoyed that I have to play this game with someone who clearly doesn’t care about our world, the world we have to live in every day.
Mr. Lawrence calls an end to the game. “Clearly you’re the better player, Jenny. You’re the winner. Sorry, Amy. Good show.”
“Wait! It’s only 15 to 4. I still have 6 more tries coming,” I protest.
“Save the eagerness for next time. You can then show us how well you do at pickleball. Class dismissed. Go change, ladies.”
The teacher and the class left the court. Amy stood defeated on the other side.
I felt a little sorry for her.
“Yeah, well, I would’ve won you know. He stopped the game before I got a chance to catch up.”
“Umm, well, maybe, but we’ll never know. I’m the winner.”
“Just wait til I meet you in pickleball. I’ll take back the crown.” Amy stomped off the court.
“Pickleball. What a dumb name for a game. Who invented such a dumb name? Do you now throw pickles over the net and hit them? I guess if you can hit birdies with racquets why not pickles?” I muttered as I went to change clothes.