Author Aaron McHugh lets us know that pickleball is life this is the focus group they're all business except when they're not it's the focus group with Jim Bennett and John Nash hello everybody and welcome to the folks group Tim Bennett here as always of my.

Good friend of co-host Mr John T Nash we are the focus group find us here every Wednesday at 1 pm East streaming on our Facebook feed as well as our YouTube feed as well and you'll find our audio version on Saturdays but you can go to focus group radio it got focusgroupradio.com and find all of our media house there as well that you can.

Time shift at any time and we want to thank our friends at Deep Discount who bring us to you each week as well you'll find their logo when you're at focusgroupradio.com as well there's some great sales going on so click on then and start shopping away John and I will tell you a little bit about what we found there this week as.

We've we're doing some holiday shopping as I mentioned in the teas we have a special guest joining us today who was able to uh to stop by and visit with us Aaron McHugh many of you may remember who are fans of the show she's probably one of the people who's been on our show the most we were trying to figure out if she is she's certainly in the top three.

Oh totally totally in the top three yep yeah author Aaron McHugh she has a new book out called pickleball is life and it's all about the the sport of pickleball and she's uh she stopped by to talk to us about it and uh if you are going to be shopping for uh holiday gifts it's what she said it's a gift does she call it a gift size book I.

Think you would you would either it's giftable if it's like one of those things you find right near the register you know yeah point of sale right you would you would uh I think you would coined that term giftable or gift size book or something it's giftable and what did she say for 20 bucks you can get uh you get change back not too many things.

You get changed back back these days yeah so uh it's all a tongue-in-cheek or uh in the history of pickleball which I've wanted to play but I can't with my knee but uh it's really taken over although the game's been around since the 60s yeah it really has uh it really has since the pandemic I think taken the World by storm because it's easy to.

Learn a lot of people can play there's lots of Ages uh young to old that are playing it and uh so you'll have to get out there and and will you will you try it John oh sure I'm dying to try it especially after um you know looking at the book you know and it's.

And by the way Aaron's book is full of lots of pictures and stuff like that but she's coming on a little bit later so we'll let her tell you all about pickleball hey have you um did you catch this article that appeared a while ago about well probably about a week ago about a woman who hit a golf ball into the Grand.

Canyon no no it's apparently it happens all the time but it is that uh so I the headline was a tick tock star hit a golf ball into the Grand Canyon here's how much that stunt cost her so naturally in the age of social media this woman named Katie Sigmund she hit a golf ball into the Grand.

Canyon I guess the hit was so strong or I don't know what happened with but she also the club went with it as well so the driver's shaft flew into the canyon after the ball well she posted it to social media naturally the national park Association because it's a federal land got involved and you know she had to pay fines and they eventually.

Dismissed the case after she paid them but I just don't know why people think of doing these things you know it's a one of those famous overlooks or something he decided she was going to hit a golf ball in there uh let's see it didn't really say hmm it really just jumped into the fact that since it was posted law enforcement.

Was able to track her down pretty quickly and it is a federal violation to do that uh you could the the fine could be up to 5000 Max and six months in prison but she got off with a 285 dollar fine which included a sixty dollar processing fee I wonder what the uh is it a littering thing or is it what's the concern.

Uh yes correct the three charges were for tossing items into the Grand Canyon littering and creating hazardous conditions with disorderly conduct she was only cited for disorderly conduct and tossing or throwing items into the canyon which carry a maximum fine of 5000. but I I come back to this this I read.

This and I it wasn't worthy of caught my eye in my opinion but um I wonder about people's judgment I mean we we've heard the stories about people falling backwards taking the ultimate selfie or they'll go off a cliff or you know like they'll get injured and I I would it ever cross your mind if you're visiting the Grand Canyon to say.

Hey I think you can hit a golf ball in the Grand Canyon well she must have got the idea from somewhere but I I guess my concern would be if somebody was down there now the chances of you hitting them would be tough but you know I went on I were right I went on a five-day rafting trip in the Grand Canyon yes and well when we.

When we were leaving um I had taken a little Stone from the river so on our last day we'd gone to this Falls finally to get cleaned up and um the group of us were talking and I thought well you know you're not gonna we were in the Grand Canyon you're down there and somebody found a little.

Arrowhead or whatever so I just took this little Stone and put in my pocket and the other kid took something and a group of us and the guy just watching this all go on and then before we get into the raft to leave and we're going to go into the to the lake to get finally picked up by this power boat and then be taken taken away out of the.

Canyon he said to all of us okay empty all your pockets out and put everything back that you had had picked up and I mean a tiny little pebble and I said what are you talking about he goes well you're not allowed to take anything out of the canyon and I said well why because well what if.

Everybody did that I'm looking around but well first of all it'd be like you know it's like the Moon I mean what do you mean what if everybody did that you mean there's rocks everywhere well I mean you know it's it's thousands like it feels like it's 10 miles down right you're in this Canyon but um he said.

That what if everybody took something out everyone that came to visit took a souvenir yeah I said well that's probably how I got to be a canyon but um no if you were paying attention to your guide you know otherwise but I see your point but yeah you weren't allowed to take anything yeah so he you know I guess.

That's the rules yeah so if you go to it I guess if you go to one of those Parks you know you're not supposed to take anything nope yep although Tim uh we went to Craters of the Moon National Park which doesn't take anything I don't think it's a sea of lava um no.

I don't believe so no I guess we could have taken a piece of lava right no one would have known that right I mean it was a field of lava well nobody would have known as Tiny Pebble John out of the river out of the riverbed now by the way this article this little mention about the golf ball on the golf club going to the canyon was supposed to.

Be one of those how are you know don't do that and you come back with well I tried to take a pebble out of the Grand Canyon so I don't know what I'm wondering about that though that crater's on the what was that crazy the moon Craters of the Moon and I don't.

Remember that we took anything from there like it never we I remember we walked around took a lot of pictures in fact it was a lot of great pictures we took there did we take anything on that trip because we were in a lot of national parks no I mean we didn't take anything from.

The close encounters place which was um Devil's Tower nothing no well I mean we bought stuff and we took pictures but we it never yeah we were we're also on a very tight schedule as you recall and I wonder if there were sides did were there signs so you're not allowed to take anything I don't remember a single sign I do remember plenty of signs.

Staying staying with the the necessity to stay on the trails especially with craters in the moon because that lava was really sharp in some areas but no I don't remember any um I don't remember any sign of saying hey don't do this or don't do that I mean or at least for taking things that's interesting I.

Hmm okay I'm gonna have to go back and check that I'm surprised he wouldn't have taken a piece of a piece of lava hmm but maybe it'd been hard to take that I'm glad we went there but I don't know would you go back Craters of the Moon um I would go back to um was it you know did we go to Yosemite.

Yeah or he was at Yellowstone where where's um where's Wyoming Wyoming Montana I think it's Yellowstone it's one of the first national parks right um that I would go back to Old Faithful was there and that was robust well you and I had more fun watching Everybody waiting for the geyser to.

Start but I would go back because there are areas of the park we didn't see and there's some some really beautiful Vistas but you know for what for what time we had we did a good job I thought the the surprise of that trip was that Beartooth pass oh and we let the only person that could not drive drive it.

The worst driver drive it he did a good job but right petrified right you and I the two best drivers are petrified and we let the worst driver drive it right yeah yeah now that was not not not not a road I would go on again well no you wouldn't go on it again um although as I said before like having done it.

Would we never I think it was a lot of fun to do it I guess now that I know what it is I'd I'd be more attuned to understand it we were also in a hurry we wanted to get through because we wanted to get down before dark and we were trying to get to Bozeman and so well also I don't think we realized we were on the Beartooth.

Path you had shown me pictures of it before we left and you said this would be a fun road to be on but it turned out that you know yeah we had no idea where we were in that time yeah anyway so uh we'll caught your eye this week Mr Nash what caught your eye here's what Tim and John found all right mine is a visual.

One it is very short but I think I'll get a kick out of it when you see this and it deals with our old partner Volkswagen specifically in Europe now VW Parks things like vw.com or volkswagen.com but the individual countries and dealerships have their own social media so they sometimes have to.

Park their own handle I'm not sure why anybody didn't pick up on this one it's a visual thing but it's Volkswagen Italia all in one word unfortunately if you look at it quickly the only thing you see is the word genitalia which is you know.

Um so a user noticed this on Reddit and thought it was a very unfortunate thing because when you put I'm sure they'd even think about it Volkswagen Italia put it together and from the G forward you get genitalia well Swagger genitalia having a genital reference on the name of a popular automaker's social media account is not ideal for the image of.

The brand the marketing guys in VW Italia could avoid the confusion by following the example of their German comrades who opted for the at Volkswagen underscore d e for Germany um is free of anyone that's free of any unwanted references or the French one which is VW underscore France however to.

Italy's defense options including an underscore like VW Italia at Volkswagen underscore Italia and VW underscore Italia were already taken uh if you're wondering who got the best names well Volkswagen obviously is by the corporation at bws taken by the Americans so at Volkswagen is the German or the European side at vw's the.

American but um that's that's my whole thing it was really just one of those simple little social media things gone awry and do you see it on this if you're watching on YouTube I have a screen up of their social media page which I'm sure they're seeing it as Volkswagen Italia but now that I've seen it I see.

Volkswagenitalium do you see it Tim yeah well how'd they spoke how'd they spell wagon correctly with an O would have been a problem but yeah well no no Volkswagen w-a-g-e-n right no but I'm saying how'd they spell wagon correctly as in not the brand name but yeah you know you know we would always say.

Americans would spell wagon wgoli yes that's true it's very true well it's wagon not Volkswagen wagon so well you know when I worked at Saladworks they had they had Saladworks cares which came out Saladworks scares but that came from the brilliant the brilliant marketing mind from the woman who also did my box is fresh my box is.

Clean my box will make you money don't forget my box is white yeah and you're looking around the room like does anybody else's clean my box is fresh my box is white and my box will make you money and you're looking around looking for I actually thought it was one of those ridiculous Candid Camera the Ashton Kutcher thing yeah like you got.

To be kidding me and the woman next to me goes oh we're way past that way this was the owner's wife's idea oh okay my box so mine mine is short too mine comes from us from Lake Elmo Minnesota and the headline is long overdue book Return to the library after 47 years so remember these Chilton's uh foreign car.

Repair manuals when I worked at Walden books these were a big thing people would it was so funny people would come and buy them on Thursday and Friday and return them on Monday Monday yeah so uh I didn't know you just go to the library and get them but people would come buy them and return them the uh so then they started wrapping them in.

Shrink wrap so then it'd be harder to return so this book was uh was checked out 47 years ago and uh somebody was uh someone had returned the book with a little note in it and the notes said that the guy he was living in the Lake Elmo area in the 1970s he was working on an old Mercedes-Benz had a diesel engine.

And he had taken the book out and the book just was at his house he never got around to returning it and he moved and the book I packed up and all of the The Hub of a moving and uh wherever he moved to off went the book and so he had explained that as he was downsizing now 47 years later he came across the book and realized that he had never returned.

It back to the library in Lake Elmo Minnesota so he sends his note back and he said my apologies to anyone in Lake Elmo who was working on an old Benz he said I can't afford the overdue charges but I'll I've decided to send you enough money to purchase another book so along with the book he sent a check for two hundred dollars wow that's a lot.

Certainly more than the book right right and he said I apologize and you know so the woman said that the librarian said that this is the prize she said the note so she kept the book in the uh in the note and she's and she said of course we can use the two hundred dollars books are expensive and if she said of course the library always needs money she said.

We're going to keep the note she's said the book is a little too rough for us to put back on the Shelf yeah she said but they're going to keep the whole thing as a because she thought it was pretty cool in the fact that somebody respected the library enough to return it but um she uh she was thankful that the uh the book made it back home but uh she thought the.

Note was cool that somebody that did that and donated the money I think it would make a good display don't you right and she says that they they no longer do fines anymore and she said so many people take things out electronically she says that they just don't do fines anymore yeah so but uh yeah so lake at that was a good one so.

We had Volkswagen and genitalia we had a return library book now so what's funny about that right is you and I don't ever know what the other one's doing and here we both did a car thing a car related that's true right so Hey so uh many of you know that deep discount is friend of ours here on the focus group and uh you get there by going to.

Focusgrouprader.com click on the Deep Discount logo right now they've got last minute gift ideas uh for you there's hundreds of uh hundreds and thousands of titles on sale right now there's movies music games Collectibles and more and uh of course there's always new releases each week but Mr Nash.

Does something strike your fancy this week I've got two things that I want to share yeah because like I couldn't make up my mind and the first one comes to us I never knew this existed do you know Catherine Tate yes she does she used to do all those characters and well she had a character called Nan who would like basically say all these.

Horrific not political not PC things to her nephew did you know that there was a movie called The Nan movie no it's Catherine Tate so here the the plot seems pretty thin but simple which is a comedy right Catherine Tate's iconic character Nan hits the big screen as she goes on a wild road trip from London to.

Ireland with her grandson Jamie that's who she always talks to to make amends with her estranged sister Nell the movie has you know reviews from two stars to five stars I love Nana I hate Nan but either way I thought I don't I've never seen this I doubt this is going to pop up in a stream or anytime soon this is the.

Perfect thing to get and you know at 2179 DVD this could be a stocking stuffer if you have a friend a friend who is a fan of British comedy and knows Catherine Tate my other one because they recently did a series on uh Amazon Prime is the complete collection of the Kids in the Hall Show Now do you remember Kids in the Hall oh yeah yeah oh yeah.

Bob and I still to this day love love love the episode where chicken lady goes to a Chippendales club and lays an egg and blows up and oh my God and this there are the Kids in the Hall was so fun to watch back in the day and still is so fun to watch and even their new show picked up on a lot of this so those are my two picks the Nan movie and.

The complete collection of the kids in the hall and that price for the Kids in the Hall is amazing it's uh 12 discs for 23.21 I think it's a great it makes a great gift wow I was uh I was poking around the sale and I came across something that I've never seen before and did not know it existed and uh many know that uh I'm a fan as you are the.

B-52s and there's a DVD of a concert they did in Germany it's just called live Germany 1983. 83 right and it's the B-52s it's a DVD of a of a concert so it's a live concert they did and this is when Ricky um one of the original members was still alive before he died of AIDS this is before their commercial success where.

They did Love Shack and all the songs that a lot of people knew like Roman stuff so this is 40 years ago now jeez um Fred is playing a toy Mickey Mouse piano uh they brought in horns and uh was right around the time they were releasing the Mesopotamia and the party out of bounds uh you know right after party out of bounds that uh.

Party mix album and then the Mesopotamia with David Byrne helped him with it's the best I think live version of Planet Claire I um and they played things like Queen of Las Vegas which you don't hear them do live Big Bird which is another song you don't hear and I actually went and I.

Started poking around and they had a clip on it that I was able to see and there were some it's such high camp but also bust out loud laughing you know the way the way they're running around of course 40 years ago right the running around dancing and singing was hilarious and uh they were in their late 20s early 30s right and there's there's.

One point where Cindy you know they got the buffons on Cindy and Kate are running around the stage dancing to um I'm surprised those wigs didn't come off right yeah well they were to Rock Lobster you know there doesn't know they're running around the stage Fred's chasing them I mean it's hilarious and.

Um and he just bust out laughing and they're obviously having a good time but I I thought this was a great thing if anyone's a B-52's fan only for the you know for the history of it but they've also they announced or stopped touring so they're on our final leg of the tour but they did say in typical band fashion I don't know if you heard.

This just released last week they're doing a residency in Vegas in Las Vegas by the way Tim we looked into tickets for their their Vegas show whoa I I don't know what they're gonna charge so they're doing they're doing uh the Venetian they're going to do x amount of x amount of residence I don't think it's going to be like Cher where she's there.

You know she was there for a year they won't be there that long but they're going to do these residencies at certain places so the first one's going to be at the at the Venetian we should check and see how much it's going to be I have to agree with you on this one I would I would go out and see them specifically because it's them and this is a really.

Great find yeah so that was that was your pick live Germany 1983 The B-52s and the uh new release this week is a movie I really do want to see I did not see it in the theaters but it got great reviews it's called Amsterdam it's written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker David O Russell and it's an original crime epic about.

Three close friends who find themselves at the center of one of the most shocking secret plots in American history based on facts that meet fiction okay so there's a little blend there the film stars Christian Bale Margot Robbie who I love John David Washington great actor Rami Malik Rami Malek sorry and Robert De Niro so it's a great cast I.

Made you might have seen the ads for this when it was out it looks really stylish and cool definitely on my list and again this is 24.99 on Blu-ray from Deep Discount this would make a great gift for a cinephile as well so recapping for all of you folks here we have a last minute gift sale going on at Deep Discount everything's on sale I.

Went with two different comedies one I've never even knew existed but it's based on a Catherine Tate character called Nan it's called the Nan movie and then I also pick Kids in the Hall the complete collection Tim did a deep dive and went back in time and got this amazing pick of the B-52s performing in 1983 in Germany this.

Would be when they're like at the height right yeah well it totally is full of energy yeah running around doing their stuff this would be another great movie for a stocking stuffer and the new release this week is Amsterdam um which is a movie I think again great reviews great cast great director lots of fun to see.

Um so you're going to get to uh focus group radio by going to our site sorry go to focusgroupradio.com get to Deep Discount by clicking on the Deep Discount logo and start your shopping away we're going to take a really quick break we come back we have our business birthday and then we have a extended conversation.

With Aaron McHugh who has a new book out about pickleball it's actually called pickleball is life so we'll be right back after this break you're listening to the focus group with Tim and John learn more at focusgroupradio.com.

Now back to the focus group with Tim and John available pretty much everywhere hey welcome back to the focus group Tim Bennett here as always with my good friend of Coach Mr John T Nash we are the focus group and later on as John mentioned right before the break we've got author Aaron McHugh joining us to.

Talk to us about her latest book her 31st book I think it is pickleball is life and of course we have our business birthday and uh without further Ado Mr Nash everyone does celebrity birthday greetings but the focus group is the only show in the universe that celebrates business birthdays I just.

Realized John is December 7th which is Pearl Harbor day so it's I guess apropos we have a Japanese person for our business birthday today of course it's celebrated differently across the International Date Line right yeah as I used to tell me it was December 8th for them yeah so uh uh shintaro tsuji uh born December 7th 1927 he's 95 today wow.

And uh he's a Japanese entrepreneur formerly uh it's as funny as bios as he's formerly a civil servant but he was founder and president of Sanrio which is a merchandise company known for many characters including Hello Kitty so they developed uh the character Hello.

Kitty which of course is known globally and it's not just Hello Kitty there's bats maroon like there's a whole bunch of Menagerie right yep and there's a special name for which we'll get into there's a special name for this um group of what they call them Kawaii cute character products in Japan but uh so shintara was born in in uh in.

The yamanashi prefecture he was from a very very wealthy family he lived a life of luxury but uh he was very secluded his mom died of Leukemia and then he was taken to an abusive Aunt to go live with her which was not um not a very good good childhood for him and uh but he learned engineering and he uh it was right after post-world War II so there.

Was a shortage of everything in the country so he learned how to do a lot of entrepreneurial business so to speak on the black market and they said that's what helped him start his own company seriously really yeah well so you know you had to make do right so they said he learned though he.

He was well educated and knew the ways of manufacturing and so forth because of after the war and the shortages of things he was able to figure out um more in entrepreneurial uh sort of work so in 1960 he finally founded the yamanashi silk Center which was a textile company which eventually became Sanrio.

And he expanded his Enterprise from silk to rubber sandals he realized if he painted these little he had these cheap rubber sandals but if he painted little cute flowers on them they sold like crazy it's crazy right just so he so he decided so he went into this um one and focused on these products and.

Licensed of products which were very popular in Japanese pop culture called Kauai which is a cute segment so you see lots of those cutesy pastel character uh things they said his best known characters Hello Kitty which was a little cartoon girl cat and it was one of the most successful marketing brands in the world besides selling the.

Character um the character Goods he also uh they also did parts of Film Production and Publishing they owned the rights to a character called Mr Men also they had the rights for peanuts the Peanuts characters in Japan and he noticed the success by just um taking some existing cartoon characters.

And putting them on other products so he did that with Snoopy for instance um he would take a lot of these American characters and put them on Japanese products and license them and made a ton of money he also did uh animatronics know the moving moving characters and uh so he he also talked about doing everything he also owned the franchising.

Rights for KFC at the KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken um in Japan he also um added to the lineup um some other sort of feline cats he said that the interesting thing about Hello Kitty Hello Kitty and a mouth and I never realized that until I looked at it.

And realized it had no mouth she it's weird isn't it so he got they got sued by a Dutch company that said that hello could Hello Kitty look like a uh a uh a rabbit that was from Holland called Miffy so there was a lawsuit went on and on and on the Dutch took him to some International Court.

They ended up agreeing to disagree and the settlement ended up being that they both the the Dutch company and Sanrio gave money to uh earthquake victims there was a donation was made and they both kind of went their separate ways um he ended up both went there separate ways okay we'll take yeah they agreed that you know that's not Miffy that's.

Not Hello Kitty we're going to agree that they kind of look the same but they're not okay so they ended up but they also owned two theme parks one of them is called puroland and one of them is called Harmony land uh I guess similar to kind of a Disney thing he retired from the company in 2020 he thought of killing himself.

But he decided not to went and got a polypectomy instead he said he thought to Suicide but I guess he went out got some polyps sticking out of his belly instead and gave the company to his grandson so uh that's it happy birthday Shinto is 95 years old 95. god well that's hey he's.

Still kicking right yeah so uh but it was funny because uh there were a bunch of other birds this was a popular birthday day December 7th but we've never done the uh the Hello Kitty the guy who developed Hello Kitty in the company Sanrio yeah Empire so that's our business birthday today.

So as promised we have uh a a fun guest joining us who used to be a very frequent guest of ours when we used to be in our studio in New York Aaron McHugh she's a former publishing industry executive and an author of many books and and Tim by the way I want to apologize for my graphic design sense here why because this is a small.

Fraction of Aaron's books because actually there's about 31 titles I don't two four six I think I got here ten of her I've read all these but uh you know she's a she's a true working author what do you always just saying she's her job title is author author well she'll actually tell us maybe it would be more than more than that I think maybe she's.

Got 40 books I looked at this collage and I think there's even more books than what's here but oh there is yeah there's there's a couple of favorites and she has a new book out which is perfect for the holiday season called pickleball is life and the book was just released last month so it's uh the perfect time for her to come on and join us we haven't.

Had a guest on in quite a while so we're happy to welcome author all the way from South Dartmouth Massachusetts Ms Aaron McHugh how are you sweetie I am so happy to be here with you guys and from the audience that I don't know but you know Erin you were um I was just looking at some pictures that one of our favorite pictures you were our first.

Guest when we left Sirius and began doing video and podcasting that's right and it could have been the book um the Tea Party book was that because that was 2016. gosh possibly or maybe the political suicide book oh yeah it wasn't one good deed it wasn't that second second chances for that but yeah I'm like a groupie I follow you guys.

Anywhere you also were our first guest host John had taken a cycling vacation to France and uh I had needed um I could not do the show by myself and and I think John could but I could not so I had asked you and Mary Seaton core boy from greens grow to join me uh in studio and so you and Mary were my co-hosts that day when John was in France.

That was a long time ago so we did our you were our first guest house but the listeners remember you and of course uh and of course we love having you on and excited about pickleball you know I hurt my I'm I'm jealous because pickleball seems to have taken over the world and with my knee and my eyes and everything else I can't I can barely walk let alone.

Play play any sport but um I was curious about how the whole pickleball thing started with you and and uh before we get in to catch up with some other stuff maybe just let's let's do the business piece first and and learn about your latest book okay well I um you know I moved from New York.

Um uh and uh back to my uh hometown of South Dartmouth Massachusetts and I had recently when I turned 50 60 I was turning 65 and I was running up several stairs or running across the street to catch a light and I had gained too much weight and I felt like a little huffy and puffy and I thought all right this is the I gotta go do something so I went.

To Weight Watchers God knows why I didn't go when I was 38 and so much cuter but I went and Bing Bang Boom I lost 30 pounds in 15 weeks wow we kept it off in fact I think I've lost at least another dozen pounds so then I moved home and there was and I thought you know the next step would be to uh start exercising again but I sort.

Of couldn't get my mind around it and I used to play a lot of tennis when I was a kid uh at a teenager um but then stop when I came to New York because I wasn't publishing so I made zero money at the end I'd have maybe seven dollars so employees were being can I find three other people to play indoor tennis with me.

Or I could take the seven dollars and go to a disco and you know what one for the next 42 years so I had done now that I've been like sitting down now for 42 years so somebody introduced me to Piccolo and I thought this is fun so we started playing and we started looking for courts and there's a court.

In back of me now because it was a tennis court that wasn't being used much uh owned by the Quaker ladies next door and so I got permission from them to put up a court and off we went and it is I think as my subtitle says it's a lot of people's life is pretty obsessive Aaron what is so is pickleball like a you know I I've I I wanted to like come.

New to this it's it's I've observed it it seems to be Wiffle ball on a tennis court hurry manageable it's that uh it started getting a foothold say in the early 2000s and a lot of the um retirement communities and you know all the places in Florida Palm Springs California.

Um now it uh and partially due to covet because people with their families who were their pod inside their homes find they could all go out together and do this one thing which was great for them and they could get outside and also to get some exercise and hang out together so that now the average age of a pickleballer is no longer your.

Grandfather's it's 38 and falling fast yeah so would you say it's um tennis meets ping pong yes and some would sell out for Batman okay I get it okay well because it's about a quarter the size of a tennis court and you're right it's an oversized ping pong paddle so it's light and uh and a wiffle ball so also light.

So the hitting of it is much less um tough on your body so if you've got a bad shoulder Tim bad knees bad hips uh you're going to be able to and you usually play doubles the whole thing is a lot more forgiving right so you don't you don't have to move like Tim and I once our Martina Navratilova play.

Doubles out in Indian Wells years ago and I had never seen a tennis match and I sat Courtside and all I could think of was oh my God what an athlete because the back and forth the bat and then boom the the noise the ball made so this is different because the Court's smaller the ball doesn't move as fast it's lighter the brackets are lighter so this.

Is all just about a being able to move and have fun well I would say that the ball can move a lot faster okay um and you know there's there are people that we call bangers who just wanted to play uh and a lot of times they're men and you know they want to play Bang Bang bang tough tennis show off and then there's something called talking which.

Is when you just get that ball just over the neck into this little spot called the kitchen so if you watch a uh if you watch a uh a YouTube video of uh professionals playing it's a lot of dinking and then when you know a good uh an opportunity comes up then the banging starts to start so it's it so it's listed as the fastest growing sport in.

America so what what's the origin of the game is it new is it how long has it been around since 1965. uh a lot of people know this will start on a tiny Island Bainbridge Island outside of Washington outside of Seattle and by a family uh well three dads whose kids were one of the kids were complaining that there's nothing to do.

The usual right and um so he uh they invented this ball this game that day and they used some old ping pong tape paddles and stripped off the pla the Rubber and there was in fact an old Wiffle ball set lying around that it was unused took that ball and just started making up some rules so it was these three dads and they uh you know they.

Went home at the end of the summer and one moved to New York and so they brought it to New York and he was uh uh a sort of an international businessman although his daughter told me recently spy um anyway they'd go to Singapore and Jakarta and all over the place and they were being pickleball with them wherever.

They like you know wherever they moved and also one of the other dads uh eventually became lieutenant governor uh I believe first was a congressman in the state of Washington so when he would go out on the road to you know do uh you know political you know trying to gather up the votes uh I think when he saw the audience getting distracted he'd say.

Let's go play some pickleball oh he always had a you know a set in his truck so that I think he was he was the guy who had the he was the guy who had the relationship to where I went to college in Marietta right that's right he was okay temperature yeah right okay well that's so is this it's funny you said so is it played now internationally or is.

It just an American thing it is it's International and it's getting a big because of lots of countries the next question a lot of people ask and maybe you two wouldn't ask but um people who are so interested in pickleball as well when will I see it on the Olympics but they're they're they're a funny olympic rules uh I'm sure many of which will.

Never you know know the truth about but the first is in order to even be considered uh you have to be actively played now I don't know what that means but it's got to have some sort of again foothold in the country in 75 countries around the world for men and 55 for women wow so and and it's gaining on that it's certainly in the 60s and uh.

50s for you know 40s and 50s women into the 60s for men so it'll be not so far in the future I think Aaron I can't believe that there's 75 countries that are doing The Skeleton racing and uh yeah good point yeah but then they've got to come out with the flag form and a helper right.

So Aaron um there's so many fun places to play in New York oh my God yeah well yeah I know we have a lot of space for it well some good spaces for it is you you mentioned some strange terms that I don't think anybody would ever recognize from even the world of tennis you know like some people still don't know what love is.

Like that whole thing after you know the marriage keeps going what is one of the oddest rules that people have to learn about the game doing the score is confusing so it's a good it's a good way to you know try to get your memory to work um and so you've got to do that or technically you lose a point but really.

What it all turns out to do is in into is you know somebody yells you didn't say the score well the score three two one no it's not is four two one you know so there's a lot of that um there are uh there's a there's a rule for example that if I you serve across Court like tennis but it's and then the uh so that person.

Is standing at the Baseline and the other person is standing near the neck right uh if you if I serve and on purpose hit the guy at the net which is not the intend to place the ball should go it's my point oh well that's pretty good yeah that's a weird one yeah it's a weird one we've.

Made native I had a guy whose last name was Nelson and I think not not a very well liked guy and they call it the national I have friends down here in Rehoboth Beach that I picked it up my mark and Carl and John now are become obsessed.

With it and it's just it's funny so your book pickleball for life that um just launched is it are there other books out there like about pickleball how is yours different irresistible and and there's now pickleball for dummies mine is different because it's a gift book as you can see from the cover see the martini glasses the Cornerstone Martini.

I've got a second so it's half Source book like that it's a good it's a good size see yeah perfect size gift book here um four by seven and also and it's beautifully Illustrated throughout and guess what it's only 18 well how can you get change back from your 20. or you know four color book I don't even.

Know it should have been an advertising change back from your 20. right so it's uh I wanted to be sort of half Source book and half human um my editor said to me do you remember the Preppy Handbook and I thought wow you're right we'll make it like that you know it could be full of it could be full of you know uh it's got a Venn.

Diagram it's got lists it's got stories it's got funny things it's got recipes so it's got something for everybody and it's just um and it's a ton of fun now I you might wonder how often I play every day wow wow I'd prefer it if I can play twice a day really yeah how long does it matter how is it called a match how long.

Do you play for I think you know you play a game the game goes to 11 it can last three minutes or 11 20 minutes you know um so we usually play an hour and a half I believe usually an hour and a half um occasionally I'll play three times a day but then the visiting nurse has to come.

And probably off the code so I can make a little posture is there a pickleball outfit no well you know you'll see the book there's a bunch of different uh I I had a different bunch of different ways and and sort of nicknames the different ways that people uh dress and play you know there are people who are sort of like.

The Nouveau slob kind of people you know and there are people who dress like pros even the pros don't trust that Pro you know this so it's sort of all over the place it's pretty flubby um but you know as always there are people who buy all the equipment right the greatest and the slim is black is closed I should talk the ninja look I've.

Got on black right now black fleece lined leggings at a police turtleneck so I'll be going out later this morning but I'm pleased to see you're still in your New York uniform I'm still all black all right going to New York wearing black when I worked at Subaru that was always the running joke every time we we were in Philadelphia so.

Every time we speak we'd have a meeting in New York everyone say what are you wearing go to New York wearing black yes Tim would wear like you know down in Philly it's Paisley's and yeah you wore a color or plaid like I am now looked like you came off the moon with Beach gym does the color uh palette change in the winter for the or in the.

Summer yes well yeah I mean it's you know it's like The Shining down here now I mean there's not much going on um I think myself and the woman across the street uh who travels more than anybody I know at 84 years old um we're the only ones on this street.

Right now but uh everyone else is gone Tim is wherever it's another another winter in a summer Town yeah so it's yeah but it's it's it's a little crazy what um so these tournaments do you do you go to any of the will you go are you do you think you're a good player I think I'm a good player okay there is a uh you know a rating system.

That goes up to 5-0 at the top right 504045 you're very very good um I am my on my best day I'm a three five but you know the thing about pickleball is uh you know pick up all his life of course is the title um the thing about pickleball is it's very kind so I'm going out later this morning to.

Play with a bunch of people um who are mostly in their 80s and somebody a friend of mine 78 and way better than I am is um has wanted to teach her all her friends to play one guy's 92 a retired doctor and they've gotten really good over the last year but again then you know I I've been teaching kids in a uh girls in an.

Elementary school so I'm teaching physics grade graders so it's really really all over the map um so um you know it's it's it's kind and so you try to play up and play down do you know what I mean everybody wants to play up in any kind of sport you know because.

Somebody you believe somebody who's better than you are and they're going to help you out give you some tips and ice and and better your game but you also when you play Pickleball I find like you become a little bit of a missionary you know you want everybody to feel the joy of here proselytizing about the game you want everyone to come in and see how.

Much fun it is because there's loads of laughing which is why you know it it got us through pickleball and I've been thinking about it a lot and although you know pickleball is life for me now pickleball is my job which how can this yeah you need to write the book about pickleball.

Speaking at Job Aaron when John did this graphic of all your books yeah how many do you know how many you have oh she knows how many yeah right is there how many 31 30 31 D you know this this might be an unfair question but of all the books you've written um is there one that surprised you um either in its success or people's.

Reaction like I said one that was just a surprise for whatever reason whether good bad or indifferent is there the one that stands out I I I yeah a couple I would say like my mother always said which I think you guys are included in is you know stories and and sayings that mother said to their kids right and people loved it and I sold a ton of them.

I loved one good deed no that's one of my favorites no no the book is in it was entire it's not a print now it's in Diary form and I uh tried to do a good deed every day for a year small and I uh I realized as I went along because I kept a Blog alongside of it that people liked the small ones too big and they felt like uh you know you were asking.

Too much and you were intruding it to their day and you know it got to be too much for them so um one of the things one of the great things about one good deal is occasionally I would hear from somebody and they would say we're reading one good deed for our book club and that next month we're going for the next month we're going to do a good deed.

Every day and when we meet we will talk not only about the book but about the Good Deeds we didn't have it made us feel and that made me feel like about a million bucks wow yeah one good one good deed is a book that I pull off uh the Shelf fairly frequently and you could page to any part of the book.

And I'll sometimes duplicate a story that I've read but it's always it's always a great way to you could either start your day that way or after a crappy day pick up one good deed and you'll suddenly be like okay things aren't so bad thanks for saying that Epica and you're not alone in saying that it makes me.

Feel great I yeah I really love the but um the pickleball book was is certainly the most fun I've ever had writing a book because you know because I'm so uh obsessed with pickleball and because for me you know every bit of it and the researching the rules which I you know I had to like pick apart because sometimes they they are hard to understand.

Um uh it was a lot of fun and and as I was going to say I've been thinking about you know pickleball's life is the name of the book but I was thinking well why isn't life more like pickleball because pickleball is kind it's inclusive it's easy you can always get better it doesn't cost anything um you know the social.

Why is it like more like this so you know people who follow you on social media and uh we're talking to author Aaron McHugh I'm always fascinated by you there's an ice cream shop I guess in your town and so and you're always first in line is it in April you're the first one to get the ice cream cone every year much.

Um found a world for me I was always the first person there too and they have closed up but you know fifth place I've been going to has been open it looks sort of like it's from The Jetsons it's you know it's old-fashioned very cool yeah and it's been around since I think 1946 now in about 1956 my dad started.

Taking me and my cousin Mimi on Friday nights so it's gotten to be you know it's it's it's a great it's a great memory and I have this theory about I might have talked about this in one go deep I have a theory about going what I call going for ice cream right it is always happy and what it's when you go for ice cream it's not that time.

It's all the times that you went for ice cream all the memory it becomes a Memory Bank of all of what it means to go for ice cream and who you went with and your family and being a little kid in the beach and the winter if need be or or whatever um I like to go who doesn't I'd like to be places where everybody is happy and.

That and that's one of the things about pickleball everybody's always happy with the ball and Ice Cream soft serve or that in her Coney Dog it's made and you're right and I went on the last day or two of course well it's funny you said that because I think John and I both do one one things we one of the things we learned in one good deed was.

To whenever you see a lemonade stand for little kids is to stop and buy and ever since ever since you've done that I've told everybody friends down here because all the little kids down here in Rehoboth have lemonade stands and we'll stop and it's the stickiest little cup you know picking up on what Tim said Aaron I was.

On like a 50 email bike ride Upstate during the summer and I was way up above like almost near Albany and I I I was down to like half a bottle of my second water bottle and I go buy a lemonade stand with a kid holding up a huge cardboard sign that says lemonade the road's empty so I stop and I hand the empty water bottle to the kid I said.

Fill her up and the mom and the mom and dad are there and and he fills it up and the mother's like it's homemade and it was delicious and I always carry like singles and a five or this for this exact thing so I had a I gave I think I gave the young kid a 10. yeah and and so the father goes do you want change I said no not at all I said.

You just filled this and this is a really great thing and and the little boy looks at he goes is this big you know he looks at the bill right and the dad goes that's a big one that's a big one you have to save that away I was like two miles down the road and I had some of the lemonade and I was like oh my God I should go back and have.

Get her recipe it was delicious but yeah it makes their day right yeah absolutely and yours and yours right y'all know it's the dirty little secret of volunteerism that you always feel you know end up feeling better than anybody wants you and the people you're helping yeah all right well we gotta wrap it up folks.

Uh we are talking to author Aaron McHugh and I'm going to put her graphic up here the book is called pickleball is life the complete guide to feeding your obsession and pickleball has become a national Obsession this book is what we call gift giftable size it is filled with wonderful illustrations it shows you all about the game tells you the.

Rules if you're new to this in fact this would be a complimentary gift if you're giving someone a pickleball set you need pickleball's life right yeah and um I want to just go back quickly and show you that of a sliver of Aaron's books she has read she has written wonderful books some of our favorites we discussed earlier in the interview like one good.

Deed like my mom always said there's also like my father always said another one that I loved is called second chances I remember when we interviewed and interviewed you and talked about that so Aaron we want to thank you for coming on the show again let me show people again it's pickleball is life the complete guide to feeding your obsession.

At bookstores everywhere there you go Mr Bennett good show um we're gonna wrap things up we want to thank our partner Deep Discount you go to Deep Discount you get there by going to focusgroupradio.com click on the Deep Discount logo and start your shopping experience we like getting credit for that and they love our listeners all.

Your Christmas and holiday needs are there and as we always say and we want you to pay attention to this let me put it up don't text and drive folks arrive alive Tim and I have seen a lot of bad driving on the road lately and it's always someone with a phone on the steering wheel I just don't get it it's not that important you're driving a car.

Okay so stay you know stay healthy stay safe and we'll see you in the new week foreign it's the focus group with Tim Bennett and John Nash accessible on all platforms subscribe like and rate US on your platform of choice learn more at focusgroupradio.com.

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12.07.22 | Author Erin McHugh joins Tim and John to talk all things Pickleball. “Pickleball is Life” is Erin’s 31st book and she tells us she had a lot of fun writing this one. But first, VW in Italy may want to re-think their social media handle and a Lake Elmo, MN library gets a book back after 47 years. The creator of Hello Kitty, Shintaro Tsuji, is our Business Birthday. Happy 95th! Shintaro!

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