public park time etiquette

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by topdog123, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. topdog123

    topdog123 New User

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    I often take tennis lessons and then I want to go and practice on my ball machine for a couple of hours.

    Today I was playing and a couple walked up and was wanting to play. I had been playing about 45 minutes, but I needed to practice about another 45 minutes to an hour to get all of the reps I have to get in after taking the tennis lesson.

    How much time should I have taken to continue playing in that situation? (I should probably note, that I offered them directions to other courts that were pretty close, if they didn't want to wait).

    What if someone walks up and I'm playing doubles or singles?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    In my world, you don't get to decide how much time you get on court unless there's nobody else around, which is only true in the hottest part of the day (Florida). For a court fee, you typically get a set amount of time on court such as 60:00 for singles, 90:00 for doubles - then you may be allowed to stay longer if nobody wants your court.
     
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  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Savvy players will immediately revert to a 1-1 score in the first set without blinking an eye or getting confused about the next to serve, etc. Of course, someone honest in the group like me will loudly point out that it is 5-4 in the second set, and get hate glances.
     
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  4. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Public courts around here have a similar sign posted - if someone is waiting for a court limit play to one hour for singles or 90 minutes for doubles. So by that guideline you should have played for 15 more minutes and then given up the court. That said, there's no one there to enforce it; it's based on courtesy.
     
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  5. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Same rules here in the Great White North! :)

    -Fuji
     
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  6. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    In my opinion, it is bad form and rude to use a ball machine by yourself while people are waiting to play on a public court. You should have let them play, or play with them if they needed an extra person.

    Not to mention, if there are no barriers, you shouldn't use a ball machine when people are playing next to you. Your balls are probably spraying everywhere.
     
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  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    In my world, the signs say that courts must be vacated on the hour if someone is waiting. So if you took the court a 2:15, then you must give it to the people who are waiting at 3:00. But if you took the court at 2:00, then you can make them wait until 3:00.

    That said, I would finish the balls in the machine and then surrender the court if I had already put in 45 minutes.

    I practice by myself a lot. I use a hopper. I make efforts to keep balls away from people who are playing, even if it means I can't do everything I'd like to practice. So you should be careful with your ball machine to avoid bothering others.
     
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  8. omega4

    omega4 Rookie

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    One person's savvy player is another person's dishonest, selfish player.

    Just sayin'.
     
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  9. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    As one person, you can not hold a court if two people are waiting - EVER. Everyone used to abide by this rule of tennis etiquette, but now people are selfish and any sense of what it means to be a good person is gone.

    You weren't playing singles or doubles, if you were, there are usually posted rules but local custom usually overrides those. Some places people usually invite the others to play doubles. Some places it is expected that you play as long as you want, while the people waiting know that once they get a court, they can play as long as they want. Some places the posted rules are followed and people waiting will time you and get in your face if you stay too long.
     
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  10. OHBH

    OHBH Semi-Pro

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    Depends on where you are really. Here in NJ, it is first come first served for the most part, and I prefer it that way. Though we have plenty of courts relative to the amount of people that play over here. In places like Florida and California where tennis players abound I can see the need for such rules.
     
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  11. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

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    I try to practice in off peak hours on public courts if I am going to be by myself.
    Like week nights 4-8pm it is hard to get a court....but show up at 8:30 and you just about get the place to yourself.

    Thing that bothers me the most are the tennis snobs...like the other day I was playing singles with a friend and the court next to us was 2 guys and 1 girl they had blue jeans on...one was wearing flip flops that had some walmart racquets and the were obviously new...or just doing it for fun dinking shots back and forth.(high school kids making good use of the nice weather)

    then a group of 4 ladies show up...NIKE head to tow matching tennis bags and tell the girl that they need to get off court so they can play "real tennis"

    My friend was closest and said "Ladies the wait time is 1 hour and they started 5 min after us and we have been here for 30min so you can wait for us for 30min...or 35 for them

    Lady says "fine but I am calling the parks department"

    :roll:
     
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  12. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I think this may be a local thing. I simply do not see that around here. It seems that so long as a person is actively using the court to "play tennis," they have every right to use the court.

    I don't doubt what you are saying for where you live, but I think things have changed around here. Two people cannot bump one person, and four people cannot bump two -- around here, anyway.

    That said, I do think it is kind to be as considerate as you can regardless of the rules.
     
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  13. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Fortunately in my immediate area there are more than enough courts to go around. If you show up and and the courts are full, you can drive 3 minutes down the road to some other courts.

    Because of the plethora of courts, we generally do not have time limits imposed.

    However, at my regular place ... if someone was using a court alone while others were waiting, something would definitely be said. And I can almost guarantee that solo person would pack it up, or end up being included with those that were waiting.
     
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  14. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Just one court? I don't know if there is a right/wrong answer. Everyone has the "right" to court time with first come being most important criteria. I'd have probably told them I'd be off in 15 minutes and given them directions to other courts - hoping they'd leave. If they stayed I'd have gritted my teeth and packed up after the hopper was done.... I couldn't hit by myself with others waiting.
     
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  15. librarysteg

    librarysteg Hall of Fame

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    Here in central IL tennis as a hobby doesn't seem very popular. We have countless courts in our small-sized town so it's never, ever a problem to find a court. They're not maintained so they're not much fun to play on, but we've never had to wait for a court, and we've never had anyone waiting for us to finish. The only drama we've ever had was the night some kids turned the lights off on us. It was pitch black and or course takes forever for the lights to turn on again.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
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  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yeah that is why I am not one of them
     
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  17. omega4

    omega4 Rookie

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    Hi Sureshs,
    I didn't think you were (I'm not one of them either) and my apologies if my post gave you that impression.
     
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  18. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Good for you! Everyone has the right to play tennis equally. There is no judgement on how well they play.

    Didn't used to be that way in Northern Virginia. No one would have thought of being that selfish with a scarce commodity. It is because society has changed and being selfish is no longer thought to be out of the norm. Besides, we would have harassed the person to leave if they didn't leave. If they were cooperative, we would have helped them pick up the balls and, if somewhere close in tennis-level, might have invited the person to hit with us a little during the warm-up.
    Never seen 4 people try to bump two, though. Might have led to a knife-fight or gunfight at some of the courts we used to play at.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
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  19. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Then what happened?
     
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  20. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    The only issue here on LI tends to be the courts with lights, which are few and far between.

    During the day time there are courts at every high school in addition to public parks, so it's not hard to find a free one, especially since no one plays tennis anymore.

    My favorite place to play is a local high school that just had all of its courts resurfaced (they used to be awful) almost no one knows about this so there are 9 courts and no one is ever there during the summer.

    I only bring my ball machine out early in the morning to avoid bothering people on adjacent courts.
     
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  21. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

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    They walked off in a huff and started asking other courts if they were done and eventually got one
     
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  22. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I had a bad experience at my club. A member had brought some guests over (which is allowed) and they were playing doubles. When their time was up, they would not move because my partner was delayed. I often practice serves by myself, and sometimes will do that for a long time without a partner, but evidently they thought that at least 2 people should be there or they would not give up the court. I had to call the office and have them thrown out. Before that, they started using tactics like starting a game in the middle of the dispute and then claiming they needed to finish it, etc. Luckily it never happened again.
     
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  23. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

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    Yeah..when time is up time is up... at our club at least on clay the kids that work the courts show up at the top of each hour to broom off the courts and then at 5 Min after the hour the next person in line can come on unless you have scheduled multiple hours which they Give you a 2 hour card that clips to your score keeper...and the kids collect your card after the first hour and then return in the 2nd to broom your court.
     
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  24. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    And you paid for it? You asked them nicely to give up the court and they didn't? I'd be out there on one side of the court running around hitting balls as hard as I could.
     
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  25. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No question of paying on the spot, it is a semi-public, semi-private facility and I am a paid member.

    And there were four of them, and they were playing mixed doubles. You know how it is - if women are around, the men become more stubborn. The problem seemed to be the guests, but the member should have told them how it works. The guests had coolers and drinks out and evidently expected to be around for hours.
     
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  26. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

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    LOL Just run out there and start crushing the ball like Tom Hanks did in that movie 'Bachelor Party'
     
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  27. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Not a good idea. If you injure someone, you could be held liable, regardless of the merits of your claim on the court. There was a recent thread about how players are suing other players for injuries, and there seems to be a gray area there - assumed liability can be overridden if action was deliberate or extreme in nature.
     
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  28. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    "Let me show you how this is done people"..overhead smash right between the eyes of one of the women....whoops!!!
     
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  29. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Okay Mr. Litigation. :)

    Actually, at a local tennis party, one of the coaches just missed hitting me in the eye with an overhead on what I thought was a casual goofing around point that I wasn't prepared for..I actually felt the ball graze past my eye lash, that's how close he came.

    After the initial thoughts of turning him into a popsicle stick with his Dunlop, I told him he was lucky he didn't hit me because he'd probably have a lawsuit on his hands, as well as the club he was working for. So what you say isn't completely invalid. I would not hesitate to just walk in the middle of the court under the proposed scenario, though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
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  30. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Good on your friend for having balls (tennis) to stand up to the tennis witches! At my club they even putting charging stations for their brooms. I wonder what the "laidy" was expecting to happen when she called the park dept--they're probably on the beach at Cancun with the money that should be going to maintain the courts and have a college PE major as a monitor like they use to have in the good old days, that actually did exist.

    I think if someone's practicing their serve that's a legitimate use of the court (probably, because I do it a lot). If someone goes to the trouble of hauling a ball machine onto a court I think they've earned the right to use it. If I see someone lurking while I'm practicing, I'll ask them to "help" me with my service practice by returning the serve, they are always happy to oblige, and that way it helps them too--the dynamic of practicing one's serve changes when there's a living, breathing body on the other side of the net.

    I'd say the main thing is to communicate with the folks when they show up, be friendly, explain what you're doing and the your time paramaters and all should work out alright--if they are all not witches.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
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  31. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    If you have a reservation, it is your court. You paid for the time (either per hour or monthly dues). You can have a party with cake and ice cream if you want. This is different than a public court where you should not have a party with cake and ice cream and prevent someone else with equal rights to the court from playing tennis.
     
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  32. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

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    I'm failing to understand how their behavior would be selfish. If anything, it sounds like you and your friends were quite selfish in the use of your "intimidation" tactics to get people to leave the courts whenever you wanted to use them.

    All that aside, I would love to live somewhere where there were enough people that wanted to play tennis that fights over court time actually broke out.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
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  33. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Agreed.

    If I had set up a ball machine and you showed up later and started heckling me, I'd never vacate for you. When did people get so entitled that they think they can evict others in a first-come, first-served situation?

    I would order a pizza to be delivered and eat it in front f you before I would let you play. And I wouldn't offer you a slice.
     
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  34. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    What about a topspin shot?
     
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  35. Fusker

    Fusker Rookie

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    If single individuals should vacate a court for 2 or more people, I guess the only way to work on your serve is to play matches or show up at 6 AM in the morning? It seems that I was lucky that as a teenager training I didn't run into one of these confrontational foursomes (that seem common according to posters here) that go around threatening people until they vacate the court.

    Who knew that tennis bred so many tough guys!
     
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  36. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Finally got that, I would do nothing but slice.
     
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  37. Sumo

    Sumo Semi-Pro

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    You have to be joking.
     
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  38. dcdoorknob

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    Seems like there was another thread on this topic not too long ago.

    And it had lots of people calling anyone who disagreed with their own notions of what *should* happen in every case everywhere names like "selfish" and "not a good person" too.

    Fun!
     
    #38
  39. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

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    I remember there being a guy commenting from the sidelines with a holier-than-thou attitude as well.

    Disclaimer: All in good fun
     
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  40. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    Considering it's your first post in the thread too, right back atcha buddy!

    Except you manage to come across with a holier-than-thou attitude by accusiont someone of being holier-than-thou, which admittedly is more impressive.
     
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  41. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    For a single person, they were not supposed to hold a court by themselves and were breaking the rules. I guess we could have called the police, but since this was an area with a real crime problem, they just would have laughed at us.
    If it was people playing tennis and we had been waiting more than an hour, so that they were overstaying their allotted time no matter when they had shown up, we would just mock them with nonsensical exclamations in French.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
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  42. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    LOL ... You were playing a point ... whether in a match or practice it's still a point and hitting an overhead is completely within the rules. Your lawsuit would have gone nowhere.
     
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  43. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

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    It was my third post actually. Don't take it too seriously though. That's why I left the disclaimer. It was meant as a joke. I actually chuckled at your comment when I read it because it's pretty much what happens in every thread. (End sentence fragments)
     
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  44. Venetian

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    I think the police would have laughed at you regardless of whether or not they had better things to do. But even if it was the rules of the court, I would still have left the person alone to play, or offered to jump in with them. You have to learn somehow, and maybe he has no one else to play with.
     
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  45. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Are you saying the posted rules state that singles must yield to groups? If so, I understand your point.

    If you are just talking about your own perceptions of etiquette, then I think you are being quite rude and selfish to harass a solo tennis player because you and a buddy want to use a public court.
     
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  46. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    I'll have to check for posted signs here. It's a rare problem here. There are courts everywhere. It does get crowded when the weather breaks but for the most part, there are enough courts and enough different levels where people can jump in. The main courts where I play I want to say there are about 10 or 12 courts. They just refinished them. There are also certain days where it is ghost town so me and the guy I normally play just go out like on Wednesdays there are usually 8 courts available on that day. Tuesday and Thursday you may have to jump in, but again there are so many courts I have never really looked for a rule on it.

     
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  47. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    But many people have not got it yet .........
     
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  48. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I thought you had lost your mind completely and did not get the joke at all.

    Which brings up the question: If a joke lands in a thread and nobody gets it, is it a joke?
     
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  49. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    No, that's a redwood tree falling in the forest.
     
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  50. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It was cold and damp on Tuesday and I missed my usual tennis session. So I am all upset and picking on everyone. I think it is going to rain tomorrow so I will continue to be upset and making jokes like this.
     
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