Recently, I’ve noticed more and more people suffering from a new condition, which I have named ‘table tennis fever’. It can afflict young and old, male and female and can strike at any point of the year.
For the benefit of my readers I have listed some of the common symptoms. If you have experienced any of the following seven symptoms, you could be suffering from table tennis fever too.
1. You play imaginary table tennis shots whilst walking down the street
This has happened to me on several occasions. And I only realise I’m doing it when my partner Jodi points out I’m waving my arms around somewhat erratically. Embarrassing for her maybe, but not me, I was practising a new serve!
2. You switch off when someone else is talking to you because you’re thinking about table tennis
Friends, family, work colleagues – I think I’ve done it to them all. You can try and style it out by nodding your head and just hoping your nod makes sense in the context of the conversation. If you get found out, your only option is to confess. You weren’t listening because your were engrossed in your own internal thoughts about the world’s greatest sport. They’ll understand.
3. You have an illness and your main concern is about missing table tennis practice
This happened to me recently. A little cough developed into full blown pneumonia, which required a stay in hospital, via the back of an ambulance. What was my main concern during this ordeal? Missing social engagements? No. Missing work? No. Staying alive? No. Missing table tennis practice? Yes, yes, yes.
4. You have table tennis dreams
This is a serious symptom and one I have experienced more over the past year. The dreaded table tennis dream usually occurs after poor performance during the previous 48 hours. The dream itself offers little relief because you play poorly in the dream too! Come on brain, give me a break! Surely you can allow me a decent performance in the land of make-believe?
5. You’ve entered a table tennis competition whilst on a family holiday
Guilty once again. I just can’t resist. My last crime was a family holiday at Centre Parcs. There was a informal tournament, mainly attended by bored teenagers. I was the only person to turn up with their own bat. I tried to make it look like I wasn’t trying too hard, but deep down I HAD to win. And I did. I still have the medal. Centre Parcs Champion, July 2013. What a guy!
6. You have spent more than £200 on a table tennis bat
“You spent how much on a table tennis bat? Why? What does it do?” These are the usual questions those unfamiliar with table tennis ask. And then you explain about the special blade and the special rubber and the special spin you can generate. They look at you unconvinced. And you begin to doubt yourself. Maybe they’re right. Spending over £200 on a table tennis bat is ridiculous! It’s only table tennis for goodness sake.
7. Your friends and family get you table tennis related gifts for your birthday or Christmas
This is a sure symptom that your table tennis obsession has got out of control. If your loved ones are feeding your addiction, you may need to get professional help. Last Christmas, I got two table tennis books, table tennis shoes, a table tennis shirt and some 3* balls. My family looked on in sympathy as I opened my table tennis presents like an overexcited child. “He’ll sleep well tonight” they muttered to each other.
So as you can see I have a major case of table tennis fever. And if you are showing signs of any of these seven symptoms, then you have table tennis fever too. If you have experienced more than five of these symptoms, then you have a serious condition.
The bad news? There is no known cure.
The good news? The only way to alleviate the fever is to play more table tennis!
Who wants a game?