And then there was the Wildflower Golf Tournament. It started innocently enough, the memory of my last sad tale being only two days earlier.
I got up early Saturday morning, the day of the tournament, and went to the office. I owed Derek some time for the two days in the middle of the week I had spent M.I.A. I got to the office around 8:30 AM, and by noon I had worked up a projected cost breakdown on a nineteen million dollar office complex. Some days everything goes the way you think it should. I was feeling good mentally, spiritually and physically. I logged out and headed in the general direction of the St. Andrews Country Club where I was to rendezvous with the Boz and Cee from our office and Ernie Euler. We were a questionable foursome, but we were ready and willing to do battle for the glory of VPA.
I arrived in a torrential downpour (to me a torrential downpour is rain of any sort. I do not like rain when it is inconvenient. Rain should have the common decency to manifest only between the hours of 4:30 AM and 7 AM when most of us are in bed or bottle clubs, or when you're in the sack with a hot number. These are the only times when it can be tolerated). This did not dampen my spirits, however, and I waited out the shower in my trusty little cavalier. This is a rental car Derek arranged for me after I totaled the brown vette. I love rental cars simply because you don't have to maintain the same kind of love affair with them that you do with one you own.
The rain ceases, and I hurry up to the starting line just in time to jump into the cart beside Cee and move out. This is a shotgun start, and I am riding shotgun. I know now why I wasn't allowed to drive. This thing was really a LeManns start, sort of an open air bumper cars event. If I had been at the wheel there would have been at least four casualities and a couple of smoking, totaled carts before anyone got to the first tee.
Our indomitable group started on the second hole, and the situation went downhill from there. My first shot was my best, and we ended up playing my ball for one of the few times during the course of this ordeal. Boz was showing off and recorded a 'trick' drive for this tee. I can only describe the course of his ball as a horizontal question mark at about three feet off the ground for its entire length. It passed around the bridge, next to, but not touching the stone railing. I don't remember Cee's shot on this one, but Ernie's went into the waterway along with several expletives.
We made it to the 5th hole, I believe, where we were each allowed one (ONE?) beer. My knees began to tremble. I have a great fear of dying of thirst, and images of the desert began to flow through my mind. Our tee-offs were recorded at this hole on videotape. I managed to get into the camera lens twice. Once during my swing, and then again during Cee's swing (you can see me moving across in front of Cee, about twenty yards out, in search of my ball).
On the seventh (or eighth) hole I made my novelty shot of the day. We were approximately seventy yards from the pin, and I chose a nine iron. The shot was straight, but it left burning grass and dead worms in its path. It was still traveling at a good rate of speed when it careened off the pin and left the green again at an equal angle to that of impact.
We became lost trying to find the tenth hole. We were close to the clubhouse, and so, after much deliberation, it was decided that Boz and I would go in search of beer while Ernie and Cee would determine the location of the elusive tenth hole. Boz was picked off by a sniper at the main desk. 'HEY YOU! You're not permitted in here with cleats on!' I had to admit he was kinda noisy, and his shoes were making nasty marks on the tile. The woman's shrill attack left Boz in spasms on the floor with trickles of blood exiting from his ears. I made him as comfortable as I could, and promised him that I would summon a medic just as soon as I got the beer. His screams and curses faded as I retreated into the distance. I found the bar. It was only 4:30 in the afternoon, and they were closing down. I thought to myself what strange habits these people out here in the country have.
'Can I take a sixpack of Bud out of here?' (I'm not quite sure of the rules in a place such as this one.)
'Better make it two six-packs.' (afterall, beer in the can doesn't spoil.)
"I'm not sure you want to do that.'
'The price is fifteen dollars a six-pack.'
'Like I said, I'll have one six-pack.' (I didn't bother to ask if it cost more cold.)
We eventally found the tenth hole and continued on bravely. Somewhere on the back nine Ernie ran the cart he and Boz were in into the back of Cee and me. After the tournament, I checked with the slimy law offices of some ambulance chasers who advertize on late nite TV to see if I had a valid whiplash case. I think the name of their firm was something like 'Two Guys who are Lawyers'.
By the time we reached the eighteenth hole, we were eight over par, still sober and getting wet from the rain. We decided to fuck the last hole and head for the Wildflower festivities.
Cee and I stopped at the office to rap with Jackson for a few minutes. Jackson had been workin' hard, with the hammer down, all week to get one of our projects out the door and on to the City of Sunrise for site plan review. In most muncipalities, site plan review by the powers that be happens only once a month, and if you miss it, you lose thirty days. Thirty days in the building business can be a long time. Jack was getting to the point where he could see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it looked like he was going to make the deadline.
At the Wildflower, the party was underway. We ate, viewed the videos and listened to the golf prize giveaways. Soon, the rest of my group had gone, and I remained to get drunk and take messages. While seated at the main bar, I noticed a cute, young blonde and her girlfriend seated at a table behind me. I was just far enough gone to get myself into trouble. I wrote a love note on a bar napkin and sent it to her along with drinks. I'd never sent a note to anyone before in my life, and I was surprised when she (and her girlfriend) came to sit with me. Her name was Kathy. She was just 21 and going to college to become a CPA. We talked and later moved to the upstairs bar. At one point she told me she was becoming uncomfortable. She explained that she didn't like being mauled by a guy the first time she met him, and that her forearm was wet from where I'd been chewing on it (she was wearing a beautiful long sleeve dress). I apologized, I begged, I wept, but it was too late. I knew I would never see her again.
I cried in my Becks for awhile and then decided to see if Jack was still in the office. He was. I went on a mission of God to the 24 hour 7-11 store across the street for a six-pack of Bud for Jack and myself. If we ever engage in war in the mideast, the major shortage we'll suffer will not be oil. It will be convenience store night managers.
Jack and I drank the Buds, and we talked. Jack also continued to work, and I watched the flickering images of a bad movie on the small black & white TV that Derek keeps in the office. I found that I still got flickering images when I looked away from the old portable. That should have been a warning, but it was too late for me to notice. Jack and I left the office sometime after twelve, and he went home. I should have.
I soon found myself in the Dollhouse again. I ended up buying drinks for and talking to one of the dancers. At one point she informed me she was required to do a 'tabletop' periodically. I gave her five dollars, the price of the tabletop, and told her not to bother with the dance. She replied that the management wouldn't like that kind of an arrangement and neither would her pimp, who was across the room. I was surprised, and I told her I didn't know many girls her age who held down two jobs. She told me that her pimp was the normal kind, and that he beat her up on occasion. Her dance set came up and she left me to my own devices. I watched the pimp on the other side of the bridge (this room resembles the command center of the Starship Enterprise), bouncing to and fro in his floppy white fedora and zoot suit, and I began to build up steam. I came to the conclusion that I didn't like this piece of dogshit I'd been watching, and that there was only one noble thing to do. Had I brought my wits with me when I'd come in here, I'd have realized that there were actually many noble courses open to me, and that the one I was about to take was not the best one. Slowly, and with much ritual, I got into my invisible Don Quixote suit of armor. I casually removed a speck of dust from my shinning breastplate .... and then, I went over there. I had barely gotten started with my challenge when one of the bouncers got me from behind. In a matter of seconds, I found myself in the parking lot, having been forcibly ejected from the main airlock.
I slowly begin to awaken. Sometime later I open my eyes. Later still I begin to remember. I know that when I finally begin to move I must check my body, my imaginary armor and my Cavalier (in that order) for bullet holes. It has dawned on me that I threatened a pimp with bodily harm. GET A GRIP, KRASH. THIS IS SOUTH FLORIDA! There is a certain trick you have to learn to get out of a waterbed. In my present condition I've forgotten it. I keep trying though, and by three-thirty in the afternoon i'm on my feet. I stagger down the hallway. Jim has left a note. 'Derek called about 10:30 and said to be at the boat at noon if you want to go out today.' I groan and then tremble slightly. Jim's African Gray parrot cocks his head at me, and as I stumble back up the hall, he produces the sound of an ambulance siren. He is very good at it. We live near a hospital. I close the bedroom door behind me, but I will hear the siren for hours. No one will see me again 'til Monday.
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Last updated: 8/3/96