Tennis Elbow

by F. William Chickering

I recently received e-mail from a concert pianist friend, complaining of tennis elbow. Happily, it does not hurt when he plays the piano. This reminded me of preparing to decamp Atlanta for New York in 1976, a season of many goodbye parties, although I think my friends called them that as yet another reason for a tipsy Sunday afternoon. At one party attended by my father and Methodist step-mother, my friend Rich recited his woes. Having visited his doctor for persistent arm pain, the diagnosis was tennis elbow. As he told it, he began to shout his response to the doctor: “Tennis elbow... I don’t play tennis... it's masturbator’s elbow, you fool!”


F. William Chickering spends his working life surrounded by hundreds of thousands of books, but only gets to read microfiction (and picture books to his three wonderful small children).