My wife and I are tagging along with an athletic man on his way to play a tennis match. He has a racket, but he isn’t very happy with it. When we get to the court, he grabs a handful of strings from his racket and pulls them up into a loop. Something else happens and now the strings are cut. He hands the racket to me and asks me to restring it using the old, now very stretched strings. I wonder if this isn’t going to make for an awkward delay in the game, but he seems unconcerned. I don’t know whether the audience, for there is an audience, is his entourage and he has just lost all respect for them, or whether this is a real match, and absurd delays like this are just accepted as normal. There is no mention, or appearance, of his opponent.
I turn to the task of restringing the racket and right away I can tell it is not going to go smoothly. The strings are like wet noodles. Trying to push them through the holes is going to be a real pain. But never mind that, we have another problem. Seems the strings in the lower section of the racket have gotten individual black cloth covers, the strings themselves have turned to straps, and they have gotten somewhat misarranged. So before I can start with restringing the racket, I need to sort out the existing strings, er, straps, but the covers are in the way so I can’t see which ones are gray and which ones are red, which makes it a little difficult.