In Mrs. Linklater's continuing efforts to educate the world about the great white sport of Platform Tennis [which you can read about in the previous entry], she continues today with a heartwarming story about The Paddle Palace -- how one little hut rose from obscurity to dominate the paddle world.
Plus she will provide a head count of how many white people she saw at the country club where yesterday's nationally sanctioned paddle tournament was concluded.
The litmus tests for the quality of the facility where a sport is played are usually its size and the amenities provided. Platform tennis is no exception. The paddle hut is where country club morale can be lost or lifted.
The unfortunate truth is that paddle huts are usually little more than heated toilets with a window for viewing the courts, plus a sink and a popcorn machine. Since you can't see them from the circular drive up to the country club, nobody gives a rip how fancy they are.
Frankly, you might as well blame the economy for the ridiculous cutbacks of much needed funds to leave no country club paddle hut behind.
In recent years budgets have been slashed so much that there is one facility of Mrs. Linklater's acquaintance which doesn't even pretend to have a toilet -- pretty much the only reason for a paddle hut's existence.
Instead paddle players must walk all the way to the club proper to take care of business, as it were. News of this travesty sent a wave of shock through the paddle community when it was first discovered.
On the other hand, there is one bright beacon of hope on the horizon -- one notable exception to this spartan spate of service for paddle players. A respite from the deprivation they must endure for their sport.
Located just outside Chicago, there is a paddle hut where paddle players can come in from the cold and not only find both men's and women's restrooms, but a staffed bar and grill, a cable television with a remote that works, a huge stone fireplace, a selection of matched furniture that you wouldn't mind having in your own home, and a Hinckley Springs water dispenser made from oak. Not to mention all the beautiful bay windows for watching the matches on the courts, unobstructed from your comfy seat.
So glorious is this venue that Platform Tennis magazine [yes, there is one] nicknamed it The Paddle Palace, gently mocking its grandiosity, like Donald Trump making a joke about his hair.
Of course you'll never see the Palace if you're not a member of this particular elite country club or a bona fide guest of a member of this elite country club or you play paddle for another elite country club, which happens to be playing a match at this elite country club.
Luckily Mrs. Linklater knows somebody who knows somebody and got some up close and personal pictures for you.
In the first picture you can see the former paddle hut, which was considered quite adequate, certainly well within the standards proscribed for paddle hut quality. In the second picture you can see what can happen when a paddle hut uses steroids.
In an effort to put lipstick on this pig [yes, Mrs. Linklater just used this metaphor in a another entry] the powers that be decided to embrace the gargantuan proportions of this giant restroom for rich country club swells, instead of trying to pretend otherwise. And so a nickname was born -- The Paddle Palace.
Rich warm appointments make the Palace a place of peace and gentle comfort for your trip to the throne. Only two ply tissue is used. A scented soap is at your disposal. Real cotton towels are provided. Surely, this is what you signed that prenuptial agreement for. That and the privilege of paying expensive interior designers who continue to soak the club for a ton of money.
Proving that even paddle huts can be recycled, the old, boxy style edifice is now covered with pegboard inside and used as a place to store socks, handwarmers, wristbands, paddles and other items players with lucre [that is redundant] can buy. Clearly this has been a win-win for everyone. Mrs. Linklater, for one, is cheering.
As for the number of white people sightings at yesterday's tournament finals competition, Mrs. Linklater found it was easier to count the number of minorities in attendance. She only needed one hand. There were two, Jeff and Jose. They were the bartenders.