“It’s In !” no “It’s Out !” A minor arguement almost broke up a long-time Friendship – by Billy Lee – July 2020

Too close to call

I was a bit late at getting to the tennis court that morning. I saw our group clearly behind Court No. Three, but all seven of them were standing – two were pointing at each other with arms stretched, and the others seemed shocked and frozen on the side. I got inside the court and noticed that the two pointing at each other were both yelling – faces red. One said it was clearly “In”. The other said ” No. I call it Out ! ” The one who hit the ball insisted that his ball was “In”. The other said, “When in doubt, the USTA Regulations give the receiving side the final say. ” ” But I swear it was in. I wouldn’t lie to you.” ” I won’t lie to you either, but don’t you know the USTA Regulations ? If you don’t even know the regulations you should not be arguing so stubbornly.” ” Are you suggesting that I am intentionally lying?” ” Are you suggesting that I am just making things up ? ” Their faces are getting redder and they were approaching each other closer and closer as if each step was going to improve their credibility. As the six other friends were watching, personal credibility and integrity became much more important. Oh my gosh !

Luckily two elderly friends in the eighties stepped in and pulled the two just over seventies apart. I also decided to inject my Chinese humor to help. Since I was the eldest member in the group, the group usually shows me extra respect. I said to the group,” My dear younger brothers. Whether the ball is “in ” or “out”, we know in this case it’s not that important since there is no trophy involved. I see here, we are questioning each other’s honesty and integrity. Let me be Judge Pao ( equivelent of King Solomon ) and resolve the dillema once and for all. I proclaim you both honest as your faces were both red as fire. If your were not honest you would not be that fired up. I congratulate both of you for being true and honest, But my dear younger brothers, you have yet to learn how to be more generous. So next week we start our lesson on Generousness.”

“Billy, you are full of Bull !’ The group yelled and laughed. The two seventy year olds shook hands. The Good Group Comrade Spirit sustained.