For most places, the holidays are time to reflect and improve. Not at the Third-World Racquet Club — these are the times when everything goes straight to the shitter.
I’ve been a dues paying member of the Third-world since 2009. I rarely use their “towels.”. But when I have, I just ask, and they hand over the nearest crusty, used, yellowing, sweat towel in the pile.
Not last week.
“I’m sorry, you don’t have towel service on your account. Would you like me to add it?”
But I guess the club sees gold in them there towels, and is upping the fee for a “towel membership.”
Towels are not the only thing headed for the Third-world shitter.
I went back to the bathroom, and the door was gone.
It’s impossible to know what destroyed that door.
Let’s play 20 questions — I don’t know the fucking answer — but it could be animal, mineral or vegetable.
Answers for “animals” would be drunken patrons fighting at the door or the maintenance guy tried to “fix it”.
Likely mineral would be ammonia. The little boys and old men go off like golf course sprinklers in there. It’s a full 360-degrees of pee. All that’s missing is the tink, tink, tink sound as the sprinkler turns.
If we get to vegetable, I’m guessing someone threw onion rings at the door 20 years ago, and the grease finally treated the wood like it has my bowels.
I left the building and headed for the courts.
Between courts 7-8-9 and 10-11-12 is a narrow passageway with chain link fence on either side that is laced with the deadliest metal “screens” you have ever seen. Feels like the last stretch of freedom on the way into death row.
On the real death row, they cut off all the loose metal ends so the prisoners can’t turn them into shanks.
At the Third-world, they just leave the shanks in their natural habitat and wait for the legs, arms and heads of small children, drunken adults and staggering pickleball players to brush up against them and start to bleed. Look close, that’s not rust, that’s dried blood.
Exit the death row hallway and you find “the courts.”
Usually tennis courts are defined as a level surface with lines at specific measurements. That’s not how we roll in the Third-world.
“Level” follows the theory of “Relativity.” It’s level relative to the shifting sand of the dry river bed on which the entire club is built.
The National Geographic Society was confused by arial photos of the club, and started mapping the fault lines, until they realized there were far too many and they ran off in every direction.
“We have never seen a section of the earth crack like the windshield of a 1972 VW bug,” they said.
All the shifting also means the lines are “relative”. Tape measures are discouraged at the Third-world. It will only make you frustrated to know that all your balls you thought were “in” were really “out” by 2 inches. (Getting anyone to say you got your full 2 inches in, is pretty good? Right, Pussy Joe?)
Metal shards can cut and cracks can break ankles, but the deadliest items at the Third-world are the nets. It doesn’t look like it in TV, but a tennis net has 400-450 pounds of tension.
If it snaps, the parts will target you like an NFL safety on steriods.
This net post is hanging on like the last belt loop on the 600-pound man.
It’s a slow-motion race. Either the wire is going to snap, or the entire crank is going to be catapulted across the court. Winner gets to impale a small child or a member of my fucked-up tennis team.
Do we still play on this court? Hell yeah! it has the best lights and the fewest cracks in all the Third-world. A little fear of death or dismemberment only adds to the fun.
After all my bullshit bitching and these pictures (provided by Jeff, the angriest engineer at the bomb factory), you may ask why anyone would come (or bring their children) to the Third-world club?
The Nelson Step, the broken bathrooms, the cracked courts, the awful lights and all of the items in the Third-world shitter, make it what it is. A place where people are real. Unlike some clubs, these members fucking work for a living. Most of the time you can’t tell the difference between who works there and who plays there. The staff can’t seem to muster up enough fake respect to make it obvious either.
It makes for a better place to bring kids.
If they fixed this shit, we’d all have to make $5 million and pay massive “entry fees”. We might as well join the Goddamn “Tucson Country Club” (or better yet, the LJBTC community in La Jolla).
You don’t want your children growing up around those pompous assholes and having staff kowtow to them like they are the fucking princes of Bel Aire. Let them learn how to survive in the Third-world. They might come home with a few scars, but those are just visible signs of social skills.
Let your kids make all the money on their own — when they are taller than you and have more body hair, they can choose to become the biggest pompous assholes they want to be.
In the meantime, let us all spend our time in the Third-world shitter. It’s where most of us belong.