The Day I Almost Killed My Wife Playing Tennis

My wife and I have not played tennis since.

The incident is referred to rarely, in hushed tones…simply as “The Drop Shot.”

Several years ago, the Mrs. and I were playing tennis at least once a week.  Never in a competitive way mind you (although that is an unfortunate point of contention relative to the incident as you’ll soon learn)…we simply went out for an hour of hugging the baselines and keeping each other there with our responses to serve.

That is, until “The Drop Shot.”

It was a week night, early in the evening when we took to the court – say 6ish.  The temperature was 70 or so.  No wind to speak of.  No one playing on the court next to us…although there were a couple of guys playing on the court one removed so periodically we had to serve as ball boys for each other.

In short, ideal conditions for a spontaneous visit to an outdoor, public court.

We were about a half-hour into play that day when the incident occurred.  Mind you, we always kept score but our play was designed to extend points, get exercise and enjoy the sport…not finish off the competition by running them ragged (again, a point of contention on this day…).  As I recall, my wife was somehow winning for a change.

And that is where the point of contention comes into play…for in the midst of this particular point as my wife had just returned my shot from deep in the far corner…I executed “The Drop Shot.”

To this day, my wife insists it was because I was losing and I consciously wanted to win the point in question.  My take is that my competitive mind and muscles simply converged at an unfortunate moment in time and created…“The Drop Shot.”

It was the greatest drop shot I ever hit.

It also was the most costly.

My wife, also reacting to the moment and coming out of character with the spirit of our session, attempted to sprint from the back court in an obviously futile effort to reach the greatest drop shot I ever hit.

Futile intersected with fall.  My wife went down several feet from the net in a full-on concrete face plant.

I thought she was dead.

I was gratified to have won the point but I decided to check on my wife before retrieving the ball.

As I got to her, she was rolling onto her side and making some low, unintelligible sounds…which indicated she was, a) alive and, b) able to move somewhat.

“You OK?  What hurts?”

“My hand.”

“Just your hand.  Great!”

“Great?  No, my hand hurts.  A lot.  I think I BROKE it.”

This is when I went into ultra-positive mode.  Knowing my wife as I do, it would be important to assure her she was, a) OK except for the hand and, b) the hand would be fine with some rest and TLC.  She’s as tough a trooper as I know, but in any accident situation I always have felt with anybody it is important to isolate and deflate potential injuries.  Getting stressed about what may or may be wrong doesn’t help dealing with the reality of what is “currently” wrong.

My wife feels to this day in addition to trying to calm her by having her quickly walk it off…I quickly got her to her feet and into our car also to reassure those guys playing a court removed a hearse would not be required.  I will admit there was some concern one or both of those players might have seen my wife stick the landing.

I can see it like it was yesterday.  I will never forget that horrific sight.  Apparently, her hand took the brunt of the landing…which was a good thing because her head was on deck if that hand wasn’t extended to break her fall.

The question now was…was the hand BROKEN?

First stop was a convenience store to get some ice on the injury.  I left her in the car briefly, returning with a cold drink, cold ice…and a TV Guide.

“You thought to get your TV Guide during ALL THIS?”

“It’s the next week’s edition.  I’m getting it early.”

As I was getting her arranged for the drive home, making sure the ice was located properly, the drink was readily available…the headrest somehow came loose.  For a brief moment, I thought she was going to go from the front seat to the rear.  She managed a laugh.  I then knew I had gotten some form of control of the situation.

Until the next day of course…when her hand looked like it was inflated for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Off to the doctor.  Then the hospital.  X-rays negative.  Bad sprain requiring a couple of weeks of rest.

Since that time, our conversations regarding “The Drop Shot” go something like this:

“You know you hit that drop shot on purpose.”

“I did not.  I just reacted in the moment.  It was an instinct.  You were so far away and the shot was there for the taking.  I didn’t mean to almost kill you.”

“Well you almost did.”

“I’m sorry.  If it makes you feel any better, I thought you were dead and I’ll never forget that sight.  It was terrible.”

“Good.  I still can’t believe you bought that TV Guide.”

“It was out early.”

“Idiot.”

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About sportsattitudes

Doesn't matter who ya cheer for...connect and communicate...you can also find me at http://www.lifeattitudes.com. bruceaburns@comcast.net
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24 Responses to The Day I Almost Killed My Wife Playing Tennis

  1. dionnemast says:

    My husband and I play tennis … this was hilarious!

  2. Longworth72 says:

    That’s gold – Women just don’t appreciate our ability to pick up a TV Guide in a difficult situation. That’s some A1 crisis managent AND your TV viewing sorted ahead of time – Brilliant.

    Great post.

    • I have to give you credit for helping in the production of the post. It was rolling about in my head for some time but your tennis-related writing gave me the final push I needed. Thanks for your inspiration.

  3. Great stuff, SA.

    I’ve always felt personal experiences make for the best writing and it shows in this case.

    Al Roker wasn’t on the cover of that TV Guide was he?

    • Thanks, Chris. And I will use your question to score some off-the-court points with the wife…as I truly don’t remember who was on the cover. That has to count for something. (I just saw that Seinfeld ep too…)

  4. Pammy Girl says:

    I love that TV Guide was your priority! And I hope sincerely hope she’s been punishing you ever since! :)

  5. Blog Surface says:

    Real funny Bruce, well more for the TV Guide and not your wife’s injury. Hope she’s alright now. The Mrs. is probably looking to take revenge on the tennis court.

  6. Hilarious post. You had a great title – but the opening! Outstanding. And the rest of the story didn’t disappoint. Enjoyed this tremendously – well done

  7. Ha! Buying the TV Guide was such a guy move and one that I would have done as well. I tried playing tennis with my wife once (she used to play competitively). We both wanted to win so badly that things didn’t work out so well on the court. Consequently we’ve never been back out. :-)

    Great story Bruce.

    • Thanks for sharing Jed. Perhaps you should give tennis with the wife another try…with a copy of this post in hand…just to make sure things don’t get out of hand! Even in crisis mode I’m always focused on the truly important things…like what’s on TV next week.

  8. chappy81 says:

    I guess I’m fortunate enough to have a girlfriend that isn’t all that competitive, so I pretty much always win!

  9. Funny post! :)

    My husband and I don’t play tennis that much, but the one time we did, he could have smacked me in the face with the tennis ball when he hit it AND, (if that wasn’t enough) hit a car in the parking lot adjacent—his shots go well beyond what the tall fences around the court can guard against! ….So it’s probably a good thing we don’t play tennis. Besides, we already engage in enough other competitive sports as is (e.g. laser tag and paintball) lol!

  10. Steven Jeffries says:

    Hey my friend. Long time no hear…is everything okay? Let me know when you can…

  11. Hey Steven! I am just fine. Probably should hang out the “Gone Fishing” sign on my sites however. Have retired from blogging at this time. Still try to at least read my favs (yours included) even if not commenting. Take care!

  12. dianerivers says:

    Oh, I know about those guy moves. I spent my career in law enforcement outnumbered by men. Once when I was hurt on the job and one of my colleagues was taking me to the ER, he actually stopped to flirt with a nurse in the parking lot. Yes, while I was bleeding in the front seat. True story.

    I felt your wife’s pain – and had a good laugh – reading this post. Thanks!

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