There are some who start their retirement long before they stop working. -Robert Half

Friday, May 8, 2009

Tennis Pro.

My little brother is a tennis pro. A few weeks ago he was even on the television as the Student Athlete of the Week. Yeah, it's kind of a big deal; he got to be King of Athletes for an entire week, putting him one step closer to world domination. Anyway, today was his final home tennis game (or maybe it's called a match? or a scrimmage? I don't know. I think I'll call it a scrimmage) so, I left work early and headed to Jeff City with Grammy and Papa. On our way up, we had two main conversations:
1) My driving/the upkeep of my car. Papa recently gave me a list of directions telling me how to start my car, since it likes to leave me stranded places. He instructed me to: Turn key once. Turn car off. Turn key just so battery starts, and do that three times. Turn car off. Turn car on.
He also told me I need to keep my gas above half a tank, which is hard for me because I drive so much and, unlike Papa, I don't like to go to the gas station every other day.
Along with that, we discussed my speed, how closely I follow cars, and "safe roads," which are roads with two lanes in each direction. I think Papa lives in constant fear that I'm going to pass someone on those two-lane highways. I try to keep him on the edge of his seat. Sometimes, I'll speed up like I'm going to pass someone just to see if he'll start to whistle. He does.

2) The weather. Today was especially treacherous when it comes to weather. On my way to work this morning, it got increasingly darker throughout my drive until the sky was almost black. Luckily, the heavens didn't open up until I got inside, but when they did, they opened with half-dollar sized hail and 70 mph winds. This also came with a side of flash flooding and tornado warnings. I even had to take an alternate route home from school today because the roads were covered with water!

Once we got to the tennis scrimmage, we grabbed our folding chairs and went and sat by Mom and Dad. For some reason, whenever I go to watch my brothers play sports, the moment I sit down, I instantly and unexplainably become thirsty. And by thirsty, I mean walking in the desert for days parched. I don't know why. It used to happen when I went to Andy's track and cross country meets, too. It's a phenomenon that will most likely remain one of those unsolved mysteries my children will talk about for generations to come. Anyway, once I sat down to watch Logan play, my throat obviously started drying out and I could hear my taste buds start begging for liquid. So, since I didn't have anything to drink, of course, I started asking around for some gum or perhaps a mint. I went down the line and finally got to Papa and remembered that he has a pocket full of butterscotch disks, so he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a butterscotch disk and a melted piece of chocolate, that, as you guessed, was smeared all over his hand upon exiting his pocket. He just sat there and stared at the piece of dripping bridge mix for a while, said: "Well, I wonder where that came from" and then popped it in his mouth. Another thing about tennis scrimmages is that you're not allowed to talk, or if you do, you must do so in a voice no louder than a whisper. In fact, it would be best if you could learn to read lips. Thus, Papa eating melted chocolate from his pocket is an event that should occur somewhere people are not so intent on silence because my whole family began to laugh. And if you've ever been around Brunners, you know that would throw off any tennis player. We're loud. And I mean loud as in when we were little and would go to the grocery store with Mom, she would give us all part of the shopping list and we would scatter to collect our assigned foods and the way we would find her again would be to listen for her to laugh. And then, it gets better, Grammy and Mom have the same laugh and, thanks to genes, I, too, have inherited that laugh. At least we're happy.
Anyway, Logan won both his singles matches (I think that's the word) and his doubles match. He even broke a string on his racket, to which Mom replied: "He's just so strong!" Papa kept telling us: "Boy, he's got quite an arm! He really hits that ball, doesn't he?!"

Then we went and ate Chinese food. Then we came back home and ate a seven layer chocolate cake that one of my students gave me last night when I gave a presentation about the Missouri College Advising Corps to the MU Extension Council of Crawford County. The meeting was at the Country Kitchen in Cuba and some of my students were working, so one of them sent me this HUGE slice of chocolate cake, complete with brownie crumbles and drizzled chocolate syrup. Needless to say, its taken us a while to eat. I don't like chocolate, but it looks so good that I keep trying it in hopes that I'll magically like chocolate. You know, like how people get older and magically like vegetables or magically become lactose intolerant? Yeah, I was hoping that would happen. It didn't. I still don't like chocolate. Unless it comes in the form of Grammy's special chocolate sheet cake. Anyway, Papa is glad my student gave me a huge chocolate cake. Maybe he could put that in his pocket for later, too.


  1. magically become lactose intolerant.....nice

  2. I wish my family would inform me more directly on the success of our sports star of a brother...

  3. Does your brother play tennis with my brother-in-law? I bet he does!!

  4. If you haven't already, you should think about writing a book because you are an amazing writer.