Friday, September 26, 2008


The infamous ping-pong table. When your kids reach about age 10, you start thinking about getting a ping pong table. Heck, it’s hard coming up with ideas for Christmas...and you’ve already given the easy-bake oven and pogo-stick. Oh wait, that’s what I got, when I was ten. So you decide…it’s time for the ping pong table. The kids say they’ll really love it…really use it…all the time. You have visions of the whole family smiling…pinging and ponging for hours. So Santa brings one.

Thanks a lot Santa. We look for a place to put it…so we clear space in our basement. The kids play with it…for about two weeks and then it just sits. The ping pong table is just a large piece of plywood taking up space. Then I decide…I’ll use the ping pong table as a gift wrapping station. At least it will get some activity.

After a couple of years pass, there is renewed interest in the table. The kids have a few friends over and they all play. Colinboy and his buddies really seem to be into the sport. They like the competition. I can hear them hitting the ball, ping…pong….back and forth. Love that sound. And then whacking the ball…at each other. Throwing the paddles around the room and putting holes in the ceiling and walls. They’ve pulled the rubber coverings off the paddles and are using just the wood. They are destructive sons-of-guns, but at least the table is back in use.

Then it all goes silent again…no one is interested in the table. It sits and gathers dust. It gets broken down and shoved into a closet. The table seems to be approaching the end of its useful life. We think about giving it away, but deep down we hope for its return.

After a few more years pass, the table makes its return. Colinboy and his peeps have grown and come home from college...and YES, they want to play ping pong again. They pull the table out of the closet…find the paddles and set up the net. I am happy …brings such joy and a smile to my face.

The boys have to go back to college…they aren’t majoring in ping pong. I walk downstairs to view our infamous table. Wait…there is…something different about it. It looks…damp…it smells…yes, it definitely smells…and it’s sticky. What is that smell? Suddenly I am hit with a barrage of images…flashbacks of my own college days.

It can only mean one thing….beer pong. Well, that explains the smell. Ping pong is no longer a family game of pinging and ponging skills. It is a rowdy, beer swilling, drinking game...requiring a new skill set. The ping pong table has morphed and taken on a new life. So now, anytime the kids talk ping-pong...I know ping pong=beer pong.

So, my friends, if you’re considering purchasing a ping-pong table…for a little family fun…please consider the ENTIRE life cycle of the ping pong table. Don’t be ponged!

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