"The Ball Boy on the Court" Challenge
|by Kyle Nazard|
Copyright on this story text belongs at all times to the original author only, whether stated explicitly in the text or not. The original date of posting to the MMSA was: 02 Jun 2011
SERVICE WITHOUT A SMILE
By Kyle Nazard
Dennis Love stood nervously in the changing rooms, lined up with the other ball boys. He was hot and sweaty, they all were but he was sweating more. He felt stupid. His face was still so flushed and he could feel himself trembling. One moment's lack of concentration and he had run onto the court while play was still in progress. He just couldn't believe it. 'Embarrassed' wasn't the word, nor even 'humiliation' – it was worse than that. His whole world was shattered and he had never sunk to such depths before. Being hit by a ball, dropping a ball or falling over can happen from time to time but running onto the court during play? NEVER!
“What the deuce were you thinking of, Love?” the ball-boy manager shouted.
Dennis could sense the other boys smirking. “I d-don't know, sir,” he plaintively replied.
“You DON'T know!” the manager bellowed in a higher pitch. “This isn't a game, you know. There are set standards expected of ball boys. They rally round serving the players. We expect them to be ace representatives of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. You are on public show to the world. Did you have a lob on thinking about your girlfriend or something?”
Dennis just nodded his blushing head in denial while the rest of the line burst into raucous laughter.
“Shut that racket up!” the manager yelled. The room turned to silence in an instant. “How old are you. Boy?”
“You're old enough to know better...”
“I know I am sir,” Dennis interjected suddenly, But I just...“
“Don't you dare interrupt me when I'm speaking,” the manager growled. “And I don't want to hear any 'buts'. Now get those plimsolls off, the plimsolls that trod where they shouldn't have, and bring them to me. NOW!”
Dennis jumped to it after an intial hesitation and, nervously, took his footwear off and stepped forward; his short white socks feeling cold on the tiled floor.
The manager accepted the offering of the plimsolls and ordered Dennis to turn round and bend over a strategically placed chair. “So you just ran onto the court without thinking?”
“Yes, sir.” Dennis caught the stern look of his boss as he took up his position, feeling quite terrified.
The manager placed the plimsolls on the chair. “What if my hands were to just pull your shorts down without thinking?”
Dennis heard giggling behind him as his shorts fell to his ankles and his bare buttocks were now totally exposed for all to see.
“Just open your legs a bit more,” the manager said, adding, for the amusement of those present, “You are a ball boy, it's only right we see your balls.” While laughter filled the room, the manager picked up one of the plimsolls. “You're lucky I haven't a cane here, Love, or I could have painted some nice tramlines on this court.” He rubbed his hand over the displayed bottom. “Let me just ask the rest of you,” he continued, speaking to the orderly line of boys, “Is there anyone for Dennis not being punished for his unforced error?”
All the boys looked as serious as they could, trying not to show they were enjoying all this and no one spoke a word.
“Right,” the manager said, returning to the task in hand, “You are at fault, boy and will be punished for that fault. You will be served with a set of six, Love.” He placed the sole of the slipper on the left buttock. “A forehand into the left service area,” he declared as he raised the shoe up and whipped it down onto the bare flesh.
The flesh indented and wobbled. “OW!” Dennis shouted, clenching his buttocks and rising up on his toes. It stung!
“A cross court forehand!” The plimsoll landed with a thud on the right buttock and Dennis reacted in a similar manner.
The manager calmly walked round to the other side of Dennis and turned the plimsoll round in his hand. “A backhand into the right service area,” he announced and, with all his tennis skills, planted a terrific whack on the right buttock. Dennis elbowed himself as his jumped and squirmed to cope with the searing sting and he had no sooner coped when a 'cross court backhand' struck his burning left buttock.
The manager moved back again and a 'low volley' struck so low it caught the top of both thighs. The sting was unbelievably intense and water welled up in Dennis' eyes. “And finally,” the manager declared, taking a step back, “An ace, right down the centre line!”
The subsequent 'crack' echoed around the room and Dennis jumped up clasping his bum, hopping from one foot to the other. He was ordered to turn and face his audience, his shirt not long enough to cover his exposed genitals.
“Well done, lad,” the manager said, putting his hand on Dennis' shoulder, “You took your punishment well. You've certainly got balls, boy! Off you go and have a shower.”
Dennis was more than happy to escape from the embarrassing ordeal and hurried off.
As the manager saw the bright red buttocks disappearing into the distance, he called, “Better get some cold water on that 'bum pyre'!” He remained stern, trying not to crack a smile at his attempt at a joke.
Dennis was not smiling!
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