Dear Urban Diplomat: How do I get rid of hipsters who just take up space on the Trinity Bellwoods tennis courts?
Dear Urban Diplomat,
I play tennis at Trinity Bellwoods Park, near my house, and I’m sick of hipsters ironically doinking the ball around with no regard for serious players waiting hours for a court. Shouldn’t there be a rule about that? What’s your best suggestion for getting them off the courts without dragging them by their vintage headbands?
—Not feeling the love,
Along with cultivating their facial hair and claiming they aren’t hipsters, hipsters love anything steeped in nostalgia, especially when it provides an opportunity to wield rustic wooden racquets and don retro sports apparel (I’m guessing they’re dead ringers for John McEnroe circa 1978). Whereas you, the furrowed-brow ace, enjoy perfecting your Federer-style backhand and exhaling audibly with every forehand, they, the alleged doinkers, enjoy zany athletic irony. Either way, it’s supposed to be about fun, and you’re both entitled to 30 minutes of it on public courts, according to parks and rec rules. Once they exceed the time limit, you’ve got a legit reason to kick them off the court (instead of ousting them because their twee existence is infuriating). By reminding them of the limit, however, you may come off as uptight and country clubbish, thereby piquing their anti-establishment reflexes and further exacerbating the court hogging. If that’s the case, appeal to their inflated sense of badassedness: shake your racquet at them menacingly, rattle the chain-link fence and heckle them with a play-by-play: “Short Shorts hits a high lob. Aviator Glasses backpedals for it. Oh, but wait, the ball sails over the fence. The score remains love-love here at Trinity Bellwoods Park.” If none of that works, you have two remaining options: acquire a sense of humour and some patience, or sign up for one of the city’s private clubs, with dress codes and schedules. Like it or not, public courts are for the public.
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