We walked out into the bright Beijing twilight to a roaring crowd. I looked nervously to Cricket, who gave me an encouraging smile and a thumbs-up.
He gave an enthusiastic, multi-lingual introduction of us and the umpire (who, as Cricket explained later, was an Olympic table tennis umpire with a day off, and had graciously volunteered. I give Cricket kudos for his persuasion skills.)
There was the coin-toss; I chose to serve first. We retreated to our corners of the court, I keeping my eyes firmly locked on the floor under my feet.
I’d read up on pickleball last night, but instantly my instincts shifted to ping-pong. I felt all the vim and vigor of those old days.
You know how I mentioned that the ping-pong games between Lin and myself were unlike anything this side of the International Date Line?
This match, I must say, was beyond comprehensible insanity.