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Mark humbles me at raquetball

Back when I was in college, somebody put together a raquetball ladder in the CS department. It was a single-elimination ladder, and in the end it came down to me versus a guy named Mark. I had heard that Mark was good, but I thought I was too, and I wasn't worried.

We met at the courts and commenced to play. The match was best of three, each game to 21 points.

I played what was, and probably still is, the best game of my life. I was on. I was in the zone.

He beat me 21 to 4.

It wasn't that he was that much better than me, but he was like that character in Top Gun: he never made a mistake, and he just kept returning shots until I screwed up.

The game ended, and before we started the second, he went over to his gym bag, removed his raquetball glove, and retrieved another one. "What are you doing?," I asked.

"I'm not left-handed."


Second game: 21-0. I think I might have returned about three of his serves.

There was a professor in our department who was also a good raquetball player, and he always bragged that he had once managed to score two points against Mark. Mark told me that he'd never had the heart to tell this guy that he had played that game left-handed too.