He’s better known for his ability to keep the District’s twentysomethings entertained and well-lubricated, whether at the Capitol Lounge or at one of his playpens on H Street NE. But Joe Englert‘s preferred form of fun includes a morning tennis match, often against his sometime business partner and Lounge 201 owner Matt Weiss (both picture here in an extremely crappy shot).
Weiss is the superior player. He has a killer serve. He hits harder, and he’s not carrying around an extra 20 pounds in belly fat, like his opponent. But Englert is a master at mind games. What he lacks in skill, he makes up for with sheer cunning. Englert knows how to get under your skin. Every time he wins a point, he releases a vocal torrent that sounds something like this: Whooo-waa-waa-waa-waa!” It’s Englert’s version of Nelson’s two-toned taunt on The Simpsons.
But Englert has other tricks, too, particularly when he’s losing. At one point, when Weiss has a seven-point lead, Englert starts his serve with this announcement, “9-2, Douche-bag.”
“Did you say Jew boy?” Weiss shot back. “I’m sensitive about that.”
After losing to Weiss, 15-13, when his opponent allows a soft lob to land out of bounds, Englert complains, “That wasn’t sporting at all.”
Englert is apparently looking for favors.
If Englert is prone to teasing on the court, he says that at least one fellow player at the East Potomac Tennis Center can dish it right back. There’s a Chinese gentleman who plays in his street clothes. Seriously. This morning he was wearing black slacks, a dress shirt, and black rubber-soled shoes. He likes to give people shit, particularly Englert.
Englert says the man likes to ask him: “Why you so fat? You play every day!”