Rick the Ping-Pong Star

Enzo wasn`t very excited as he walked up the stairs to the 5th floor of Modulo high school. He knew what he was about to confront.  He had been going from class to class all morning, recruiting kids to the school`s Olympics. Everything was going well so far, but now it was time for the “problematic” class, to quote the principal, to be asked to take part on one of the most important events of the school. If he could simply ignore that class he would, but he had to make sure every class would get the chance to participate.

The philosophy teacher didn`t mind at all Enzo`s interruption. He was barely interrupting anything; the students were doing anything but paying attention to the lesson. It took a while for them to notice Enzo standing there, and some struggle from the teacher to get their attention to him. When everybody quieted down, he started:

–          Good morning, everybody! As you all know, every year, we have the school`s Olympics and I`m here to know which of you will represent your class in each sport. – he heard some boring sighs – Well let`s make this quick, shall we? When I say the name of the sport you`d like to compete just raise your hand, ok?

Two or three of the 36 students gave a sign to be listening, so he continued:

–          Volleyball; – he looked over his clip board, no answer – Soccer; – a few boys raised their hands, barely enough to make a team – Basketball; Dodge ball; Race; – he kept listing the many sports with no answer at all from the students and was already putting his papers away when he finally said – Ping pong.


He wouldn`t realize someone had volunteered if it wasn`t for the student`s cheering screams coming from all over the class. He turned around to see Rick, the class`s pet, with one hand up, looking straight at him. Enzo couldn`t tell if that was some kind of joke, or if he was just going to ask the teacher a question, as he often did, or if Rick actually wanted to play ping pong. Well, if it was any of the first options, it soon became the third. The students were cheering so loud, yelling Rick`s name and making a party out of the situation; that made Rick feel so wanted that he couldn’t say no to ping pong.

The rest of the students were as puzzled as Enzo. Rick wasn`t sportive at all and the general opinion was that he was a very awkward kid. First of all he was bald, with a little hair on the sides of his head, which is pretty weird for a 17-year-old. He wore glasses, the kind of glasses that if any person with a perfect vision looks through he would probably see micro-organisms. Besides his strange look, it was also a little difficult to keep a conversation with Rick, he had some trouble expressing himself and he could only talk very slowly. He was also known by his frequent questions. Every time he raised his finger the class would listen to the next unnecessary question and the teacher`s obvious answer.

Despite all that he was now the ping pong star. Maybe that was a talent that nobody knew about and would now be revealed so Rick would upgrade from the class`s pet to the class`s champion. At least that was what Rick expected right before his first game. He was afraid to go down the stairs to where the ping pong table was. A massive group of students, not only from his class but from the rest of the school, was waiting for him to play, cheering with such a fervor he had never seen before. Everybody was screaming his name; there was even organized cheering. One girl would shout: “I want to hear an R!” and all the rest: “R!” Every time they finished spelling RICK they would jump and sing, repeating his name over and over. Nobody cared when he lost the game. The party continued in the class room and the next games until the end of the Olympics. At some point there was a huge sign with Rick`s picture in the class room, and he`s name was everywhere in the school.

None of the students knows exactly why Rick was such a success on their last high school year. They could be just making fun of him or maybe it was just a reason to have a good time. But at the end Rick became an icon, a hero, and nobody in his class will ever forget him.

These are Rick`s Youtube videos:

Rick`s Game

Rick Before the Game



It`s 10 o’clock and you are already on your PJs, watching American Idol with your mom, when you get a call from your friend, letting you know that she`s coming over because her boyfriend (affair? lover? friend with benefits?) is going out and offering a ride. She arrives 30 minutes later, announcing that she`s going to use your shower and dryer because she didn`t have time to get her hair ready. She asks for a towel and tells you to call a couple of friends to see what`s on tonight. You then find out your friends are at the bar around the corner and, after one hour of washing, drying, changing and making up, you and your friend go meet the group at the bar. When you get there you notice the bar is closing, because your friends are the only people that are still there. So you drink the rest of the beer and get in someone`s car to the next destiny. The four cars are parked in a gas station so you can get some more beer and the girls can use the bathroom. You spend 40 minutes doing that. Someone calls one of your friends from another bar nearby and that becomes the next destiny. You get in someone else`s car this time. After a few turns around the block you find a parking spot and the bar. You get a little more beer, vodka, and other weird drinks. Someone gets annoyed by the lack of music in this bar, so half the group walks to a Samba house down the street. There, one of the couples has a fight because the guy got too drunk and started to act stupid. They leave the place and you find out you don`t have a ride home anymore. It`s only you, the friend that had been with you from the beginning and her ex-(actual? only on holidays?) boyfriend. You enjoy the Samba and a couple more beers before you decide to leave the place. Outside you find the fighting couple discussing still; the girl is crying and complaining that she can`t find her cell-phone. Everybody tries to call her mobile and gets to the conclusion that she must`ve dropped it in the car. They fight all the way to the car and leave, while you and the two remaining friends realize it`s already 5 and you`re starving. So you walk 6 blocks to a Burger restaurant and have your meal. Before your friends finish their sandwiches you are already sleeping on your chair. The waiter wakes you up to hand you a napkin with the phone number of the pink shirted guy on the other side of the room. Judging by the color of his shirt you decide is not even worth to say you`re not interested. You leave the napkin on your dirty plate and head out to get a cab. Finally home, you and your sister, who just arrived 10 minutes earlier, watch the sunrise from the balcony and go to bed.