My new love is the sound a ping-pong ball makes hitting the table, followed closely by the sound the ball makes when it hits a paddle. This is made even sweeter when it’s my friends and I playing the game.
Whack. Pop. Whack. Pop. Love.
I have a lot of strange friends. Most of my friends are, shall we say, eclectic. And so it’s probably their fault that I’ve become a ping-pong devotee. I started playing ping-pong at Sister’s Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium at the Telephone Factory. I would play while visiting my friend Grant Henry, or stop by after an art opening in the building or when I was taking of Hollis Gillespie’s Champagne & Ping Pong Writing Classes.
I look back to those years and realize I was just a neophyte. I didn’t know how to serve correctly, kept the ball in play even when it was clearly dead, cheated, lied – anything to make a point. Clueless. Those days are over. Grant moved his ping-pong table to his own bar – also called Sister Louisa’s but know to the locals as simply Church – changing my destiny forever.
When I returned to the table, John quietly informed me I had not actually won because I didn’t have a two-point lead. Lesson learned. Grrrr.
Since that day, I haven’t beaten John, or Tim, or Mohan, or Steven, or Jamie or anyone else, but I still try to make it to every tournament at Church (which are held on Monday nights), I practice at Victory Sandwich Bar and I got my picture in Creative Loafing’s ping-pong article. I’m representing!
My secrets are simple: Watch the ball, play people that are better than you (in my case that’s everyone there), wear lip gloss in case you’re gonna be photographed (it happened to me, I wasn’t wearing any, it wasn’t pretty), wear wedge heels or seriously cute boots, an urban/edgy outfit and try not to cuss. No cheating. Always be a good loser until you win, which I’m sure will be some day soon.
My goals for my illustrious ping-pong career are to make it to the second round at the Church tournament, then the next round, then one day beat Grant. He’s promised me $1,000 if I can beat him and I will post the picture on Atlanta INtown’s website of me holding the check up after crushing him like a gnat.
Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium is at 466 Edgewood Ave. (corner of Boulevard). For more, find the bar on Facebook.