One day, back when we were in high school, my pal, Barry Patterson, and I wound up playing the same course his dad was playing. I was not a good golfer and Barry’s dad being able to see me in action, didn’t improve my game. I was a nervous wreck.
We successfully avoided his dad until we arrived at a tee box on the back nine where we saw him and his group preparing to putt on a nearby green.
I teed up my ball, took a mighty swing, then watched in amazement as it shot straight up and began a slow arching curve to the right. I actually considered throwing my club down and making a run for it.
Mr. Patterson was standing over his ball preparing to putt, when my ball plopped right next to his. He jumped back, looked all around to see who’d hit the errant ball, and when he spotted me, a grin that would’ve made the Cheshire cat jealous lit up his face.
Barry—being the sensitive type—busted out laughing, and literally fell to the ground. Mr. Patterson crooked a finger at me. When Barry saw me walk off the tee box, he stopped laughing, got up, and followed me..
As I approached the green, four grinning faces greeted me–it seemed as though The Joker from Batman had been cloned, and four of him were waiting for me to enter his lair.
You see, Barry’s dad took great delight in tormenting me, and, I’d just served myself up to him on the proverbial silver platter. I still had my driver in my hand, and not knowing what else to do—my brain had ceased to function a few minutes earlier—I walked over to my ball and prepared to hit it. Oh, yes… yes I did.
Silence—like someone had hit the mute button on the whole world—engulfed me, as the four men and my “best pal” watched me draw back my club. When it finally dawned on them I was actually going to hit the ball off the green with my driver (a big no-no for you non-golfers), the silence was shattered by five voices screaming, “NO!” Mr. Patterson jumped in and grabbed my club just before I started my down swing.
As though a hypnotist had snapped his fingers, I came instantly out of my trance-like, horror-induced state, my face burst into flames, and I died a horrible death right there on the green.
Well…. it sure felt like it.