I got the inspiration for this post as I was making a comment over at Viki's blog. It's amazing how the mind bubbles up some interesting memories...things you've totally forgotten about. This one was from about ten years ago.
At the time, my son was a very heavy duty tennis player. I won't go into details...suffice it to say he was highly ranked in the USTA junior program. Anyway, some friends in New York gave him a standing invitation to play at their country club anytime he was up visiting. So, one Sunday when we were up there he went over to play.
After about half an hour a pretty sizable crowd started to gather and watch since no one had seen him before and since, with his ability, he definitely stood out.
Then along comes my sister...proud aunt that she was. She hadn't watched more than a minute when she began jumping out of her chair to cheer him on. A few of her more memorable words of encouragement:
"Kill the bum!"
"Ram it down his throat!"
"Knock him on his ass!"
"Take no prisoners!"
There were a few more but I think I'll stop right there...though I still can't figure out how you knock someone on their ass in tennis. ;-)
Do I even need to say that she stood out as well...but in a different way?
So, being the ever dutiful father, brother, friend, and to spare everyone any further embarassment, I gently informed her that tennis spectator etiquette is a little different than in other sports. For example, clapping is permitted, but only if you clap for both opponents (she didn't like this one), and the occasional "ooh" or "ahh" is tolerated (this was a real test of her self-discipline)...and that's about it.
Fortunately...for everyone...she was a fast learner and complied.
Now, what I thought was kind of funny about this incident is that just a few years before it happened, when I went to my son's first tournament, I have to admit that I was almost a clone of my sister. Luckily, a friend sitting in front of me gently...and quickly...taught me the proper etiquette.
Ciao for now.