Douchebags and deuces (on the tennis court)...

Lately, I've been trying to do better about not getting myself sucked into as many feuds. I've also been sucking at it, which blows because my feud roster is way too full already. I'm completely booked, and yet I can't. stop. hating people.

It doesn't help that I play in a competitive tennis league. Tennis, if you haven't heard of it, is a sport that's chock full of dudes too bratty (or socially awkward, as is the case with me) to excel in a team-sport environment. In other words, bring on the d-bags. Maybe that's not fair to say, but it's definitely true. You'd be amazed, or maybe you wouldn't because it's not amazing, at how seemingly normal a guy can be just before you start playing points against him. Watch out, because once he perceives the slightest bit of injustice re: your questionable unquestionably fair line calls, he no longer cares where you went to college or whether you enjoy wearing your new super-cool Rafael Nadal shoes that your fiancee makes fun of in the privacy of your bedroom. He wants to know exactly how far his ball was out. Then he wants to say something that's going to sound better to him in that moment than it will an hour later, like, "If that ball was out, then you're an ***hole!" Then he wants to get back at you by calling one of your perfectly struck balls out. In fact, the only way you can ever become best friends again is if you start losing to him, but since you refuse to lose to d-bags, even if you're one yourself, you douche on to the next deuce.

These stupid scenarios so frequently feature me -- as the victim, of course -- that now the first question my fiancee asks after my matches is, "Did you get in a fight?" I'm always tempted to lie and say no, but some dumb part of me likes telling her the truth, too, just to see if she'll take my side (not a sure thing).

This is what I told her last night. Picture it: The d-bag I was playing hooked me in the third game of our set. "What's a hook?" Caroline asked.  "He cheated me out of my rightful point," I explained. Then I questioned him, he made a sarcastic remark, and I went on to win the game. He got it back to 2-2 and decided to randomly sit down and towel off his stupid face. "What the hell are you doing?" I asked reasonably. He pretended not to know the changeover rules, muttering something about me taking too long to take a perfectly legal drink at 2-1, and then I told him to "Get the f*@& up and let's play." Rest assured it was said awkwardly, as all my F bombs are, even though I'm such a hard-*** when I have a racket in my hand. (Watch how fast I capitulate without it.) Anyway, I lost the battle and the war, because I ended up losing the match, and, yeah, guess whose side Caroline pretty much took? The d-bag who didn't detonate an f-bomb -- a.k.a., the other guy. F&#@!