5Automated Gary Carter Tells Me My Swing Is Fucked
With a prolonged slump limiting my usefulness to pinch bunting, numerous coaches attempted to help me return to my glory days (age 9) by explaining that there was a loop in my swing. The flaw was driven home when I went to a batting cage that had New York Mets' catcher Gary Carter giving prerecorded hitting pointers on a life-sized monitor. The arcade game immediately identified the loop in my swing, and offered a hearty, "You've got to straighten that out if you want to make it to the bigs!"
An enraged Carter throws off his gear after seeing a young fan drop a pop foul.
Keep in mind that robo-Gary was a piece of early 90s technology. There was no way that he was equipped to diagnose minor flaws in a swing. It was a little like being diagnosed with Parkinson's by a Power Glove.
My Father's Shame:
"That Gary Carter game was giving you the advice we were all giving you... I suppose it probably stung a bit more coming from an arcade gimmick."
4Turns Out, I Actually Have Negative Tennis Ability
In a stroke of good fortune, one of the best players in my tennis camp needed a new doubles partner, because his regular one contracted a bacterial infection. I filled in and we proceeded to win the camp tournament, earning an invite to the county championships. With each match in the counties, my partner entrusted me with less and less court coverage. By the finals, my assignment was to stand on the baseline and call out, "Let it go," if I believed the opposing shot was long.
"Well maybe you can start taking shots when you have a rad haircut too."
Due to my worsening eyesight, I couldn't accurately judge whether a ball would be in or out. I guess that, and the rules stating that I had to serve every once in a while, pretty much ensured our defeat.
My Father's Shame:
"Fortunately, doubles is to tennis what synchro is to swimming, so there weren't a lot of spectators."