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What I Watched Last Night

Reflections upon watching the U.S. Open this week.

I've been into tennis for years. My dad is a great player and my mom was until her pesky knee gave out and got a bionic one. Nowadays, she's fights rudeness and bad behavior with her knee. It's quite the sight. Two of my sisters, Liza and Catherine, are solid players, but we hardly ever played together because the bickering got to be too much for players on the surrounding courts. I grew up playing on green clay courts in the western 'burbs, where one had to wear white tennis togs and the Wilson T2000 was the racquet to have. My dad had one, but ended up ditching it for a Wilson Jack Kramer. What was great about the clay is we could do awesome Bjorn Borg-esque slides, and get green clay everywhere. Those were the days.

Whenever I think of the U.S. Open these days, though, I'm more apt to remember that time when George was caught on camera in the stands wolfing down that ice cream sundae. That was the same year that Jerry fell for that deaf lineswoman and Kramer became the Open's first ballman. Ah, memories . . .


*

At the comedy club

Jerry: Professional tennis. To me I don't understand all the shushing. Why are they always shushing. Shh, shh. Don't the players know that we're there? Should we duck down behind the seats so they don't see us watching them? Tennis is basically just ping-pong and the players are standing on the table. That's all it is. And that goofy scoring, you win one point and all the sudden you're up by 15. Two points, 30-love. 30-love. Sounds like an English call girl. 'That'll be 30, love . . . And could you be a little quieter next time, please, shh.'

In the bleachers at the tennis court. Two players are hitting the ball back and forth.

Jerry: Are these seats unbelievable or what?

George: Where's the sunblock?

Jerry: Here.

George: 25? You don't have anything higher?

Jerry: What, are you on Mercury?

George: I need higher. This has paba in it, I need paba-free.

Jerry: You got a problem with paba?

George: Yes, I have a problem with paba.

Jerry: You don't even know what paba is.

George: I know enough to stay away from it.

George: So are you going to Todd's party this weekend?

Jerry: I'll go if someone else drives. You going?

George: Gwen really wants to go.

Jerry: You're bringing a date to a party?

George: No good?

Jerry: A party is a bad date situation. It doesn't matter who you're with. You could be with J. Edgar Hoover. You don't want to sit and talk with Hoover all night. You want to circulate. (Makes hand motions) Ho, ho, ho.

George: Why'd you pick Hoover? Was he that interesting to talk to?

Jerry: Well I would think, with the law enforcement and the cross dressing. Seems like an interesting guy.

George: Yeah I guess. What can I do? I gotta take her with me. Todd introduced us, I'm obligated.

Jerry: That woman is absolutely stunning.

George: The Croat? [the tennis player]

Jerry: Not the Croat, the lineswoman. That is the most beautiful lineswoman I've ever seen.

George: Yeah, she's a B.L.

Jerry: B.L.?

George: Beautiful lineswoman. I'm going to go to the concession stand and get some real sunblock. You want anyting? Jerry? (Jerry is staring at the lineswoman) Jerry?

* * *

At the tennis court concession stand. George is eating a sundae. At Jerry's apartment. Kramer is watching TV.

Announcer: And that is it. The match to Ms. Natalia Valdoni. Comming up next, mens single, but for now let's stop a minute and take a look at our beautiful tennis center backdrop.

Kramer: Hey, hey, it's George.

George is on TV eating a sundae. His face is covered in ice cream and fudge. He is taking a bite of ice cream and dripping it around his mouth.

Announcer: Holy cow it's a scorcher. Boy I bet you that guy can cover a lot of court. Hey buddy, they got a new invention. It's called a napkin. We'll take a station break and continue with more . . .

* * *

At the tennis court.

Jerry: I can't take my eyes off that lineswoman. That lineswoman is absolutely mesmerizing.

George: Boy you are really smitten.

Jerry: I gotta talk to her. What do you think?

George: Cold? How are you going to do that? You're not one of those guys.

Jerry: I'm going to psyche myself into it like those people that just walk across the hot coals.

George: They're not mocked and humiliated when they get to the other side.

Jerry: I have to. I won't be able to live with myself.

George: Wait a minute Jerry, there's a bigger issue here. If you go through that wall and become one of those guys I'll be left here on this side. Take me with you.

Jerry: I can't.

George: What are you going to say?

Jerry: I don't know, "Hi".

George: You think you're going to the other side with 'Hi'? You're not going to make it.

* * *

At the tennis court. Jerry is standing behind the lineswoman.

Jerry: Excuse me. (Woman ignores him) Excuse me? (Still ignores him) Oh that's nice. That's right ignore me. That's real polite. Nobody's even talking to you. All you big lineswoman. Oh you've got some kind of a cool job. I know your type thinking your too good for everyone, but it's women like you (woman turns around and notices him) oh well, what are you deaf?

* * *

Kramer: You got it. Hey Jerry, do me a favor. The next time you see that lineswoman ask her how those ball boys get those jobs. I would love to be able to do that.

Jerry: Kramer, I think perhaps you've overlooked one of the key aspects of this activity. It's ball 'boys', not ball men. There are no ball men.

Elaine: Yeah I think he's right. I've never seen a ball man.

Kramer: Well there ought to be ball men.

Jerry: All right I'll talk to her. If you want to be a ball man go ahead, break the ball barrier.

Elaine: Hey you know a friend of mine from work said that she saw George at the tennis match on TV yesterday.

Kramer: Yeah, yeah me too. Yeah he was at the snack bar eating a hot fudge sundae. He had it all over his face. He was wearing that chocolate on his face like a beard and they got in there real nice and tight. And he's . . . (Imitates scooping up ice cream.)

* * *

Kramer: Hey, George, I saw you on TV yesterday.

George: Really? At the tennis match?

Kramer: Yeah you were at the snack bar eating a hot fudge sundae.

George: Get out of here. I didn't see any cameras there.

Kramer: Oh, the cameras was, vrooom, there. The announcers, they made a couple of cracks about you.

George: Cracks? What were they saying?

Kramer: That you had ice cream all over your face. They were talking about how funny you looked.

George: Maybe Gwen saw it. Maybe that's what [made her break up].

Kramer: Well I'll tell you it wasn't a pretty sight.

George: She must have seen me eating it on TV.

Jerry: So she sees you with hot fudge on your face and she ends it? You really think she would be that superficial?

George: Why not. I would be.

The phone rings.

Jerry: Hello . . . Oh hi dad . . . You saw him? . . . Really with the ice cream? . . . All right I'll talk to you later, bye.

George: You're parents saw me on TV?

Jerry: Yeah.

George: This is nightmare. Kramer how long was I on?

Kramer: It felt like 8 seconds.

George: One-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand.

Elaine enters.

Elaine: I heard you *really* inhaled that thing. Did anyone tape it?

* * *

At the tennis court.

Elaine: It's so amazing getting to see Monica Seles playing in the finals.

Jerry: I know and on the first tournament of her comeback.

Kramer is sitting poised on the sideline. He waves back to the group. George and Elaine gives him a thumbs up. The two players hit the ball back and forth. The ball lands in the net. Kramer springs into action running toward the ball and runs into Monica Seles. Monica falls to the ground in pain.

Jerry: Thus ends the great ball man experiment.

-

More TV goodness in the What I Watched Last Night files.



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Posted on September 6, 2007


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