In July, I experimented with being LJBTC. This was my first time, and I have to admit — once I got used to it — I really liked it.
The Bear is up for it too. It was kind of her idea.
The La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, ljbtc.com, (I shit you not, that’s the real web address) was awesome.
Coming out of the closet of the 3rd world club in Tucson, I expected to be “the weird kid” in La Jolla.
That’s how it was when I was young. I had a rich grandfather, who had us stay at “Westchester” in NY. It was super-expensive with a stop on the PGA tour. It had a beach club, 2 golf courses, and hundreds of pasty, red-faced, protestants.
My parents were teaches in Ohio, and we were the dirty refugees from the rubber factories. All 5 of us kids would pile out of the rusty GM station wagon like the Beverly Hillbillies.
If we got on an elevator, the members would get off. If we went into a locker room, they would leave and mumble shit under their breath.
If we were in their way, they’d tell us to move or call one of the “staff”.
I can’t type a Puerto Rican accent, but I was shoed away by many a waiter who didn’t speak English like we did in Ohio. They used words like Cabron or Tonto. I had no fucking idea what the Lone Ranger had to do with getting out of the “poker room.”
It always felt like I just stole something and any second these rich fuckers were going to show up with the cops.
So I’m dealing with my Post Tight-ass rich-Fuckers Disorder (PTFD) as we pull into the LJBTC community. There’s a gate with “guards.” I’m expecting to be ejected. But the smiley blonde boys, who look like the beach volleyball team at UC San Diego, let us in without finger-prints or a strip-search. So far so good.
The 2nd test for PTFD is on the beach. We got the “cheap” rooms — parking lot view.
The comfy chairs are in front of the expensive beach-front suites. The Bear and I pop into the nice chairs and wait for sunset. I’m waiting for the beach-front rich fuckers to call the attendants.
One appears from the suite. “Beautiful evening,” he says. Here it comes. That’s the nice way to say get the fuck off my lawn.
The conversation ends like this:
“Are you having a good time? We hope you really enjoy your stay.”
For the next 9 days, all the beach conversations end like that.
3rd PTFD test — getting time on the tennis court. Here’s where the douchebaggery will kick in. Tennis players can be real assholes (think John McEnroe without the talent…).
A couple of the Tucson pendejos told me to talk with “Doug” (the pro). They warned me Doug would be gruff. I have a losing record at 4.0.
“Tell them you are a 4.5,” Pussy Joe and Goat-fucking Geno said. “Otherwise you won’t get the good matches.”
“I’m a 4.5, and I’m from Tucson,” I said. Doug looks me up and down like I just told him I’m a Nigerian Prince and I can out sprint Usain Bolt.
I panicked. “You know Joe and Geno?” Rookie mistake. Doug’s face is overcome with disgust. “Well, if you play with those guys, you probably think you are a 4.5.”
Within 20 minutes, Doug had set up 2 matches. I found out, he is the La Jolla Tennis Nazi.
He tells the members when to show. If they don’t, it’s “no drink tickets or tournaments for you”. The Tennis Nazi makes sure the “guests” have the right matches at the right time.
That’s right motherfuckers, I’ve moved up from pest to “guest.”
So as an LJBTC, I get “good doubles” every day. I even get invited to the “special” doubles on Friday and Saturday.
After a couple of sets on Saturday, one of the guys pulls out some cold Natural Light beer cans from his tennis bag and offers to the group. I can’t be impolite… I take 2.
They have a bar 15 steps away, but here we are drinking the cheapest beer possible at one of the most expensive places to play tennis on earth.
We sometimes do the same thing at the 3rd world club in Tucson, but we only drink IPA’s and micro-brews in bottles or growlers.
I couldn’t believe I was drinking this canned swell in La Jolla… Where was Larry and his juice, for fuck’s sake. Jesus, maybe I’m too good for this community…
Who the fuck am I kidding. In 2018, I’ll be LJBTC again.