10/6/2010 2:00:00 PM
Tennis is a drug. Last week, I brazenly pushed it on the masses. It was pointed out to me that that was patently irresponsible - bordering on criminal - without listing the side effects.
WARNING: Tennis may cause…
* Sleepless nights staying up into the morning to watch tennis in some god-awful faraway land that doesn’t even believe in Jesus. Or staring at live scores (what are live scores? Oh are you in for it…) when there’s not so much as a live stream to be found on earth (what’s a live stream? I pity you.). Or simply worrying about how your favorite player will do tomorrow against that miserable SOB he or she drew (AGAIN!!) who always beats them for absolutely no reason whatsoever because you KNOW your player is way better if only they’d just cut the crap and get down to business!!!
* Loss of appetite.
* Monopolization of any and all conversations:
Your friend: Hey Suzie, sorry your mom died.
You: Thanks. You know what else died? My DVR, right in the middle of Del Potro’s comeback match! He lost his first two matches back and people are already jumping on him, why won’t they just give him a @%$# chance?!
* Loss of cash as you spend ridiculous amounts of money on clothes, underwear, watches, Nabisco 100-Calorie Snack Packs and anything else associated with your favorite player. Just cuz.
* Loss of cool points as you walk on court in your favorite player’s gold embossing, head ties or ridiculous shoulder ruffles.
Loss of cool points
* Injury to anything with a joint, bone or cartilage when you try to play – and you will try to play – and not just normal injury, but injury brought on by thinking you too can twist in the air for a backhand like Novak “Gumby” Djokovic, or do the splits like Kim Clijsters. You can’t.
* Watching Home Shopping Network, and not to buy anything, but just to try to figure out if your favorite player had a nose job.
* Ridiculous tan lines, including two-toned foreheads, farmer’s tans and the appearance of wearing bright white socks when barefoot. You’ll grow accustomed to them as if they’re not freakishly abnormal. They are.
* Speaking in tongues. Usually in anger, usually in a language you only picked up the curse words in. Common expletives include Spanish, Serbian, French and especially Russian.
* A sudden increase in snap judgment. You will be convinced players are filthy liars for a number of perceived offenses, from retiring in matches to not showing up at all.
* Depression, when you discover that many are, in fact, filthy liars.
* Monopolization of any and all thoughts. You’re thinking about Marat Safin right now, aren’t you? Hey! Put his clothes back on right this minute young lady.
* Fever dreams.
* Excess fluids in your stomach. Mostly gin.
* Desensitization to unsanitary habits like compulsive wedgie picking, ringing sweat from hair buns or blowing snot rockets onto your workspace.
Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms: sore throat, chills, fever, swollen lymph nodes, excessive tiredness, nausea, lack of energy, loss of appetite, heart palpitations, headache, flu-like symptoms, pale skin or shortness of breath. If you experience them all at once, you’ve got mono. What did I tell you about hanging out with Mario Ancic?? Way to go stupid.
* Hair loss.
* Lung damage, as you will take up smoking. Smoking what is between you and Betty Ford.
* Stomach ulcers.
* Befuddlement as you try to figure out WTF else WTF could possibly mean, along with KAD, GSM, FTW, MP, BP, TB, STB, YEC, DF, MTO, and a whole host of largely unnecessary nicknames for players. You’ll be forced to learn what a GOAT is, and debate it furiously, leading to loss of lunch.
* Delusions of grandeur as you become convinced that whatever mistake someone just made on court, you would’ve done it differently and, like, totally pulled it off.
* Homicidal behavior as your favorite player inevitably lets you down. Loss of property as HULK SMASH!
* Warped sense of reality as you experience a plethora of generally unpleasant-looking athletes with modelesque (or even model) spouses. Depression as you realize this does not apply to you.
* Willingness to put up with abuse. (Sure they’re sociopathetic official-abusing, racket smashing maniacs, but look at that sweet forehand!!)
* TZP, or Time Zone Panic. (&%#!, WHAT TIME IS IT IN UZBEKISTAN?!)
Talk to your doctor if you’re considering playing with your significant other, as that may result in loss of love. And loss of nookie.
Tell your doctor if you or your partner is pregnant or plans to become pregnant. Cuz that will just ruin your game.
* Loss of social life. You’ll think you’ll gain all these new friends. You won’t. You’ll watch a lot of tennis alone in your Bjorn Borg underwear talking to players who can’t hear you because they’re on TV and because you’re slurring, all the while you’re drawing a $#@% face on a tennis ball with a felt-tipped marker in a blatant rip-off of Wilson from ‘Castaway’ because no one else will $#%@ talk to you on your sad pathetic %$@# desert island you call %#@$ tennis. ...I’ve heard.
So what are you waiting for? Stop existing and start living. With tennis.
Follow James at twitter.com/JamesLaRosa.