I don’t know about you but sometimes I get to a point where I become so saturated with national and international news that I can’t bear to put my TV on channels like CNN. I know that I should because it’s important to keep up with world events. But then I find myself getting to a point when I just have to say “no mas”, and I turn it all off. And while I’m in my state of blissful denial, something dramatic invariably happens. Like a tornado that damages scores of houses in the city I live in – except that yours truly was on a self-imposed blackout and only found out about it the following day.
It wasn’t until the next day that I put two and two together and figured out that when I was changing lanes on the highway the day before, and my car went slamming into the next lane – thankfully not crashing into anyone – well that was a tornado just warming up. And lucky for me I went straight home. But others were far less fortunate, weren’t they? When the sky opened and started thundering and lightening, it never once occurred to me to jump into the bathtub. No, yours truly grabbed a novel and hunkered down to a cozy read by candlelight.
Next day I read about the devastation. And just like that thinking or writing about tennis suddenly began to seem so frivolous, so trivial, in light of people’s massive losses. Next thing you know, I am at serious risk of coming down with a major case of writer’s block.
The breakthrough came with Barack Obama. And no, I am not referring to his terrific terrorist termination talents – although those too are deserving of commendation. You have to hand it to the guy that he kept his cool, all through making jokes about Donald Trump, while history was unfolding in a country far away in the dark of night.
Because it is Obama, I did not celebrate. Not because he wasn’t deserving of celebration but because I knew that the nature of racism is such that a Black President will always have to work fifteen times as hard as any preceding Caucasian ones for people to cut him any kind of slack. So I knew that the backlash would soon follow.
And so not even 24 hours after his feat, the drum roll of criticism started. What’s up with the changes in the story about what really went down? Why isn’t he showing the bloody picture? And was it right to kill an unarmed man – never mind the fact that he was supposed to be the terrorist behind the World Trade Center bombings? And I’m sure that over the next few days and weeks, his detractors will find other points of contention. Because truth be told, no matter what this poor skinny-assed Black man does, he will never get it right. And it was in anticipation of this very outcome that I never supported his bid for Presidency in the first place, remember?
But in the middle of all this destruction and drama, into my mailbox plops a photo of our Commander-in-Chief playing tennis. And just like that my fingers started tingling again, eager to type about this singular moment of hilarity. In the middle of all of this world drama, there’s something insanely delicious about seeing Barack Obama holding a tennis racket. No really, it is funny. Just look at that photo below and tell me that you can contain your mirth.
Really, he looks worse than El Flaco. I mean to say, couldn’t he at least change into tennis sneakers and track pants? And aren’t you seriously fearing for that child standing behind him? What if the President elects to try a big take-back on his lefty forehand? Isn’t he going to hit that kid smack in the face? Mind you, I am partial to the open stance. And it is commendable that he keeps his eyes on the ball and does not seem distracted by Chris Evert’s lethal butt. I mean really, it’s only so often that I can repeat the “you in danger girl” joke about this woman. Not that I think Michelle would lose a moment’s sleep over her.
But seriously I am happy that the President made the time to participate in Quickstart Tennis with a group of children at the 2011 White House Easter Egg Roll. There is no doubt that he is a seriously busy man with lots of other important axes to grind. That he would make the time to support the USTA’s ‘10 and Under Tennis’ initiative is wonderful. Of course his real motive may have been to endorse his wife’s commitment to getting children off their butts and moving. I’m happy that both the President and the First Lady have made tennis a central part of this tremendous mission.
Photo Credit: USTA. Photo Caption: President Barack Obama plays 10 and Under Tennis with tennis stars Katrina Adams (l) and Chris Evert (r) and a few lucky children at the 2011 White House Easter Egg Roll.