August 10, 2019

August 10, 2019

Blast from past MARCH 14, 2019 NEWSLETTER • “Rocco, Sluggo, Damien, Gabriel, Thurston and Irving

We swept this team the last time we played, so I don’t mind throwing them a crumb. Captain’s Observation: UP Red has three players who run like Usain Bolt (Levinstem, Jazzar and Giaimo). This trio has turned back the hands of time. Congratulations!

We have two matches left. We have a home match against Esplanade Green and then we close the season with an away match against Heron Creek Blue. I was thinking: wouldn’t it be nice if we could guarantee two wins by getting these two teams to forfeit?

I know what you are thinking: ‘Pray tell, Mr. Dietz, how do we get tennis fanatics to forfeit when the weather is nice and the birds are chirping?

We do it by employing legal skullduggery. We do it b y using society’s evolving norms and sensitivities to our advantage. Let’s turn the politically correct crowd on its head.

On 28 January of this year a woman showed up at United Airlines with a pet Peacock named Dexter. She demanded that Dexter be allowed to sit next to her. Dexter, you see, was her emotional support animal. I was amazed when management at United Airlines told her no. After all, they allow dogs, cats and pigs to ride, so why not stretch the concept?

So my very creative brain went into overdrive. If a Peacock could be construed as an emotional support animal, why not a…Venezuelan Bird Spider?

Those of you unfamiliar with this species of spider need to rent the 1990 Jeff Daniesl movie: ‘Arachnophobia.’ In this film a Venezuelan Bird Spider (nicknamed by the cast ‘Big Bob’) chased Daniels and his family all over creation. Venezuelan Bird Spiders are the size of dinner plates. They eat tarantulas like they were finger food.

Now, it is considered politically incorrect to pass judgment on other people’s proclivities. If you can’t get through life without the constant companionship of a spider-well, other folks are just going to have to deal with it. 

So late Saturday I drove to the Nicolas Madura Pet Store on Simon Bolivar Boulevard in Sarasota. I purchased six Venezuelan Bird Spiders. I named them Rocco, Sluggo, Damien, Gabriel, Thurston and Irving. These six arachnids will accompany us to Esplanade next week. Each player will be given a shoelace so he can secure the arachnid to the water cooler next to the court.

Now, unless I am crazy the captain of the Esplanade team to going to take umbrage having to deal with six large vampire spiders in close proximity to his players. He might even say something like this: ‘Mr. Dietz, my players are locked in the bathroom peeing in their pants. Get those damn things outta here!’ 

I will of course use my most diplomatic tone: ‘I am sorry, captain, but I have a notarized letter here from my personal physician, Dr. Vinny Boom Botts. The letter attests to the fact that each of these men becomes neurotic  when his pet spider is out of sight. One of my players, Larry Giaimo, shakes like a leaf and his eyes bulge out like Marty Feldman. I am afraid those spiders have to stay.’

Stomp and curse he may do, but the Esplanade captain will be caught in a vortex of evolving standards.

I am pretty sure the Heron Creek captain will have the same reaction. And that is how we close out the season, singing like Freddy Mercury: ‘We are the champions…’- Jon