Big time congrats to Flavia Pennetta, the newly crowned champ of the US ladies' tennis open. In a delicious twist of sports irony, the lovely Ms. P found herself pitted against her friend and competitor since childhood in the finals -- one Roberta Vinci.
da Vinci had cracked the Serena code, but couldn't seal the deal and get past her countrywoman. Nevertheless, an Italian was going to win it, and it turned out to be Pennetta.
To everyone's great surprise, after participating in her first major final -- let alone winning it -- Flavia promptly announced her retirement from tennis. This was very cool stuff. Nothing like going out on top. And that $3.3 million winner's check will likely pay the bills for at least a few months.
Yet yours truly has a confession to make. Before this US Open, I had never heard of Flavia. Turns out, she's 33, a bit long-toothish in the pro tennis world, and has a fiance named Fabio Fognini. He's a handsome rascal. Love has a way of being much grander when an attractive young couple has 3 million bucks to spend on an exotic honeymoon.
Still -- Flavia and Fabio. Somehow those names rang a bell from the past, but I couldn't quite place them. Were they singers from the 1950's? Two of the original Disney Mouseketeers? Characters from a Shakespeare play?
And then it finally dawned on me. Baskin-Robbins ice cream, from when I was a little boy. The 31 flavor thing was only a tagline meaning you could get a different flavor every day of the month. Actually, they had a variety of hundreds.
If memory serves me correctly, I tried a double dip cone of Flavia once, topped with Fabio sprinkles. Very tasty stuff.
Not as good as daiquiri -- those would also come in the adult form years later -- and I loved that green ice cream as a kid -- but who the hell wanted to risk spending their paper route money on something called Bear Claw, or Moose Jaw, or Grand Maw? I didn't want to lick something named after a wild animal, and surely didn't want to tickle my palate with the flavor of grandma. Ewww.
But for now, all hail Flavia Pennetta, the worthy champion of the US Open. May her and Fabio ride off into the sunset and partake of the best things life has to offer.
And who knows? Maybe you or I will run into them at an ice cream joint someday. They have three million bucks and we don't. The least they could do is buy. Hold the Grand Maw -- please.