Editor’s Cautionary Note: Lao Du, a.k.a. “Retro Man,” is not a relic of some bygone era – he is a relic of today! His views are anachronistic and outmoded. He even talks like he’s from a bygone century. For example, he uses “22 Skidoo” all the time; nobody – and I mean nobody – knows what it means except him and Gabby Hayes. Yet, somehow he has survived from the distant past, from some faraway, remote, nonadjacent galaxy. He shouts from the rafters and other high perches of his, wailing and moaning about the injustices of his losing to what he often refers to as the corrupt world of the squishee. When he occasionally wins, you don’t hear any bewailing or bemoaning – not a peep out of him. He only gripes about “techno-bats,” as he refers to them, when he loses! Try to disregard the crybaby absurdness that follows if you can, because every now and then – when there’s a blue moon – he accidentally, and very unintentionally, can come up with something sensible (in this case, about ‘nets’ – see below). Of course, you have to wade through his flapdoodle/screwy-hooey before you get to anything substantial. My advice: Put on some boots before trudging through all of his …gunk. Good luck. Try not to drown. Oh, and one more thing: The rant that follows is strongly influenced by the movie Elmer Gantry (Burt Lancaster), which Lao Du apparently viewed recently on the free Turner Movie Network (i.e., he didn’t pay to see it). Lots of hellfire preaching here. Try to just ignore the threats on your life.

Lao Du: Let me lay down the law first and give you the unvarnished and unimpeachable facts: The squishee is really a poorly designed contraceptive sponge device that has been manufactured to look and act like a ping pong paddle in order to evade confiscation by those who advocate a pro-life position. Beneath the rubber layer of the racket lies a polyurethane foam component soaked in spermicide (marketed artfully as a ‘speed glue’). Do not be conned by the hyperbole coming from the vendors selling you these godless products. The only speed, spin and control you’ll get from these paddles, is when you’ll be “hurled headlong” to “bottomless perdition” (John Milton, Paradise Lost).

Rallies – if there are any – are usually very short with the modern unsporting sponge paddle. See, that’s the problem. As a result, the fun part of Ping Pong is squeezed or, more rightfully, squished out of the game. Now, Buddhism tells us that the road toward happiness requires us to forfeit material possessions. Thus, discarding your squishee is necessary to be in compliance with one of those Noble Truths of that great religion, and will ultimately lead to longer rallies. It’s just common sense: Give up the squishee!

Knowing about human behavior as I do (Editor: he’s a genius), there is no way the average Joe or Josephine is gonna do this voluntarily. That is why we have to criminalize the squishees – or at least send to prison those that use them. That also goes for anyone using long pips or antispin. These evildoers should be sent up the river (we’re lucky SingSing is close close by), or maybe they should be given a one-way ticket to Alcatraz or some place where they can’t escape. Maybe Devil’s Island or … New Joysey. Yeah, New Joysey (shamelful land of the urine-colored license plates)! Yes, indeed, they should be sent to these places where there is plenty of sulfur and fire (especially Joysey) for a long, long time. For their crimes against humanity. For the way they torture opponents. Hey, they deserve life!

Yee (Editor: Yee?? Really?) sinners who insist on using these diabolical instruments must rid yourselves of your misguided cherished beliefs. These bats (rackets) may make it easier to hit a topspin loop, but they also lubricate the slimy road to Hades where you’re surely headed. Oh, yes, without making amends you’ll slide swiftly downward toward the infernal region faster than you would on a free fall water slide in an aquatic park. I say to you solemnly and for your own wellbeing, take heed. Open your minds now – this instant – and return to the fold. The ITTF has sold you a bill of goods. You’re all doomed sinners facing perpetual torture in inextinguishable fires… hot ones, unless you turn around and follow the righteous path.

When I walked into the club the other day, I was totally shocked by being suddenly accosted by a scene as odious as I would have encountered entering a smoke-filled opium den in the 19th century with painted women and other nefarious types. It was horrible. I was overcome with a wave of convulsions at seeing before me an endless line of squishees at the tables. The place was thick with them – (Editor: as thick as his curly hair used to be … in the back.) I saw a Killerspin JET 800, an Yinhei, a Stiga Carbonado 290, a Tenergy 80 FX Proline, a DHS Hurricane and, of course, several Yasaka Rakzas 729’s. To witness this wickedness, these perversions – was enough to cause projectile vomiting, which I could not suppress.

Lisen, if you don’t want reprobates in the club, then why make an exception for those using the devil’s treacherous equipment. Killerspin will kill ya. Stiga is a contraction for smegma and stigma – you want those on your racket? Yasaka means ‘devil’ in Japanese and 729 is Satan’s favorite number. And, also, Yinhei means eternal suffering in Chinese. (Editor: Nonsense. Lao Du made this all up.)
Now, I ask you: Do you really wanna burn in hell, or would you rather be saved? Better wake up to the reality of a hellish future, my brothers and sisters, if you don’t get straight with the Ping Pong Gods right this moment. Repent! I say, Repent! Save your souls! You can still have your greed, lust, gluttony and sloth, but leave the squishes with the speed glue behind. Don’t let your rubberized spongeitis blind you. Lucifer is between the layers of your immoral paddles, and he is bursting to come out and spread his demonism. Cleanse, I say! Wash away the evil and vileness that you hold in your hands. Return to the righteous path of honorable primal and chaste materials. Discard Lucifer’s synthetic composites – the Lord does not want DuPont and Dow interfering in his favorite table game – and come back by cleansing your souls with primal materials – sand and paper. Amen. (Editor: Point of information: There is absolutely no sand in sandpaper.)

The wicked deserve to be cast into hell – that is divine justice. But there is one thing that even immoral degenerates using these cheating devices can do to redeem themselves. They can join the righteous in demanding that THE NET BE RAISED! This will at least neutralize some of Satan’s ping pong influence. Well, I have spoken. 23 Skidoo! Lau Du

Editor: I thought it was 22 Skidoo.
Lau Du: Whatever.