tell us something about that latest trip to Shanghai."
Jeebus, where to begin.
Well, this year the cameraman that covered the player walkouts for the broadcaster is a slight Spaniard named Juan.
We usually stand together for about five minutes waiting for the players and the ATP Tournament Managers to arrive, then we walk out for introductions before start of play.
I'm usually there because we transition a semi-public area where high-end sponsors can stand and watch the behind-the-curtain pre-match ritual.
Part of the percs of being a title sponsor at a 1000-series ATP event...
It would be bad for some crazed fan to rush a player to get an autograph/selfie when the players have their war faces on...
So... while we wait, I usually shoot the breeze with CameraDude.
Except this year the usual CameraDude (Skippy) isn't there. Juan is the videojockey.
He is on headset with the Director in the TV Truck...
As we chat, he gets the thousand-yard stare then he points the camera at my face.
He keeps the camera on me as he relays the conversation.
Juan CameraDude: "uh...From the director I have a message."This exchange escalated daily... Always started by Director via JCD.
Yours Truly: *raised eyebrow stare*
JCD: "He says that you are the big man but he can...-his words- kick your ass."
YT: "(scoff) I'm sure."
JCD: "He is saying this. Not me."
YT: "Players coming. We'll pick this up another time." I give the camera the forked-fingers to the eyes 'I'm watching you' gesture and we walk the players out to the floor.
JCD: "The Director...I'm sorry, he says to tell you he will be...opening the can of Whip Ass? on you.."
Points camera at me to get reaction.
YT: "Really. Well... tell him his won't be the first snot-nosed TV-dweeb ass I have kicked, but he can be the next."
JCD: "Director- he wants to know if you are ready for your ass kicking."
YT: "This is getting tiresome... Tell him to bring a sandwich, a cold drink and a band-aid 'cause I'm going to be hungry and thirsty after I'm done whipping his ass."
JCD: "Director would like to know what kind of flowers your widow would like."
YT: "Tell him when we tangle, I'm gonna knock one of his lungs loose... I'll be on him like rust on a pump handle."
JCD: "Uh, Sir. The Director. He says you are obviously the little girl, and he has won the war with you. He has lost all respect as he can insult you and you will not face him."
YT: "Hm." I address the camera directly- "Hey Director Man- I hope you wore your pretty pink panties today... After I do this walk-out, I'm coming out to the truck and I'm going to bitch-slap you silly, then knee-walk you to the middle of the broadcast compound, bend you over and have my way with you, and I'll sell your ass to any takers for 5 kuai a pop. You're going to fly back to Australia with a size 14 poop-chute and knot on your head so big it's gonna need it's own postal code."
JCD: "*speechless*" then "In the truck, they are all laughing."
YT: "Laugh it up, ladies. I'm gonna tear into him like a stray dog into a restaurant dumpster."
YT: "Where is that piss-ant motherfucker who needs a mudhole stomped into his ass?"
One of the Back Benchers: "Oh shit... Someone better call 999."
I stomp past them up to the front.
Front Bench Guys: "He's the one who thinks he can kick your ass..."
YT: (*loudly cracks knuckles*) "I've been waiting all week for this... Are you ready, Little Man?"
A long moment passes. The truck is deadly silent.
Finally we both break into a laugh and have a firm and hearty handshake and bro hug-
YT: "Dude! Good to see you... Sorry I couldn't make it our earlier."
Director: "Absolutely... Glad you could make it out. Drinks tonight after we get back to the hotel?"
YT: "Absolutely... See you tonight."
We all played it perfectly.
TBG - - ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE