DampAss had always been a practical man. He had even played tennis practically. He never understood the point of GaGassi expending all that energy running up and down on the damn court sweating like a horse when the entire point could be ended with a quick serve and volley. DampAss believed in finishing the point as soon as possible. He felt that within a match he should only accumulate as much sweat as could be removed with a simple flick of a finger. And that meant developing and perfecting a dominant serve and simple effective volleys. DampAss’ tennis was simple, streamlined, and practical.
He also lived practically too. He kept a budget and lived within it. He balanced his own checkbook, kept track of his investments, and carefully projected his income. Which was why he recognized that given the economy and that his earnings had peaked, it was time to start scaling things down.
And so he came to the decision that he had to sell the expensive multi-million dollar country club mansion his wife had persuaded him to buy some years ago. The mansion was so huge that Mrs. DampAss was able to keep her own separate wing which she would retreat to in times of distress. In fact she was up there right now. DampAss generally did everything within his power not to distress her. He regretted having told her about the decision to sell.
For him the thought of having to move was not painful – he was incapable of the kind of emotional attachment that would have made such a transition painful. But he was acutely aware of what this would mean for his wife and for that he experienced pain.
Because after all these years, after their wonderful children, after a pleasant humdrum life together, he still loved her deeply. He wasn’t sure if it was because she rationed it out as carefully as food stamps, but he craved her nakedness and would do anything to avoid her withholding from him. And he knew that this decision to sell would mean a period of significant deprivation which would hurt him to the core. Despite this, he felt that they had no choice but to sell. It was a practical decision. But he ached in advance for the inevitable punishment.
Over in the east wing, Mrs. DampAss put on her make-up with a shaking hand. This time she had probably gone too far. It had seemed like such a slam-dunk idea at the time. Sure it involved creativity and deception, but what was the point of being an actress if she could not deliver creativity and deception?
The harder part was the knowledge that she had flirted with danger. Those Mexican cartels did not play. And although she was not dealing with them directly, she shuddered at the memory of her conversations and negotiations with the fence who was going to help her pull off the forgery and trade.
The idea had seemed so simple. Her husband had all of these trophies lying around collecting dust. Why not make replicas of some of them and sell the originals to secret fans around the world with more money that they knew what to do with? Mrs. DampAss had always been intrigued by these private collectors, wealthy sheiks and businessmen who could afford to collect priceless art, knowing that their acquisitions would never see the light of day. Surely some of them would be interested in buying expensive pieces of tennis history?
The fence had assured her that it would be as easy as taking candy from a baby. In hindsight, as a mother herself, she should have known that the most difficult thing in life is to take candy from a baby. How stupid of her to get involved in this. Sure the advance payoff had been yummy, and she had acquired quite the little nest egg that would allow her to continue living in the manner to which she had become accustomed. How did things get so complicated?
The snag was that the forgeries had not been finished in time. She had stupidly assumed that she had had all the time in the world to get the replicas made. She had not counted on her husband’s preemptive decision to sell the damn house. The next thing she knew they were packing and preparing to move. She was caught unprepared. These replicas could not be rushed. They had to look identical to the trophies that were missing.
Turns out that DampAss not only knew every damn trophy in detail, but he was able to tell the police exactly which ones were missing, when he had won them, in which tournament, against what opponent, and exactly what they looked like. Over in the east wing Mrs. DampAss hands shook as she blotted her lips. How she was going to get out of this one?