That’s the sound of an imploding ping-pong ball. At least, that’s the sound I believe an imploding ping-pong ball makes. I’m not even sure why I ever wondered that, but since at least the early 90s, that has been the sound. Recently, we inherited a ping-pong table and that is what brought this to mind.
The ping-pong table resides in the basement with my record collection, and my second favorite chair, and my Star Wars collection. Hmm…seems like a lot of my stuff has ended up in the basement. Oh well, c’est la vie. Truth is, I don’t really mind all that much. C. doesn’t like to be in the basement, and while it’s not really what you might consider a “man-cave”, it is a nice place to go and get away from it all for awhile. It even has a beer fridge.
So, the other day I was down in the basement listening to records and playing some ping-pong. I have it set up for one person to play at the moment because the epic ping-pong battle between the Neighbor and myself has not yet become a reality. I put on Georges Bizet’s “Carmen”, a lovely little opera with quite a few hummable tunes and it was then that I remembered the connection between this particular opera, ping-pong, and the sound that an imploded ping-pong ball makes.
Back in the day, when I first started college, I used to hang out at the Interfaith Center with several good friends, not the least of whom were my best friend J. and the leader of my particular faith branch office, Bryan. There used to be quite a few games of ping-pong played and, while I was decent, I was easily distracted. J. used to distract me with the mere mention of Natasha’s sweater. Natasha was a student from Russia who filled out a sweater like no other woman. I’m not ordinarily a breast man, but (and please pardon the overt chauvinism) the term “sweater-puppies” was not the least bit uncalled for. It didn’t hurt that she filled out the rest of her clothes either…but I digress. Bryan used to distract me with Bizet’s “Carmen” which may seem a bit odd, but allow me to explain. When we got into a rhythm, the bouncing of the ball sounded like the cello line of the aria “Habanera” and when Bryan pointed this out, I would be distracted listening for the rhythm, and I would inevitably lose. Bryan and I were also the ones who came up with the sound of the imploding ping-pong ball in a completely unrelated event.
Back to the basement, I found that while listening to “Carmen”, I was still unable to concentrate during the “Habanera” and would consistently lose to the table and have to chase the ball around the basement. Those were good times. And to that end, I’ve found the following video which, while not having anything to do with ping-pong, will certainly be enjoyable to anyone who enjoys “Carmen.” And, I suppose if you do play ping-pong, this particular video will make you unable to concentrate on that or anything else…enjoy!
See you in the funny papers!