Saturday, August 18, 2018

Stupid At Any Age

It was hot yesterday. As in, oh my god this is uncomfortable. Which is why it made perfect sense for myself and two friends to play a round of golf walking  and pushing our clubs with hand carts.

In the aggregate, we were 217 years old, certainly enough time to gain even a small measure of common sense. For the oldest among us, I learned this was virgin territory, the first occasion during which he spent a day chasing a ball while simultaneously pushing a cart. Better late than never. Or more accurately, better late than before you die.

We trudged through the morning heat, my unhappiness growing in almost direct proportion to the escalating temperature. But it was my game, or lack thereof, that precipitated my foul mood. For my friends, it was merely mother nature's cruelty to which they were responding.

By about the 12th hole, our elder statesperson was looking decidedly crimson in the face, his shirt drenched in sweat, his countenance and his gait a bit wobbly. When I inquired as to the state of his being, he hesitated a moment before semi assuring me he was still functional. "But I may quit soon" he added.

I responded that if he had enough we should throw in the towel (now soaked with perspiration) and head for the great indoors, and the joy of air conditioning. But he shrugged me off and we persisted.

I felt a bit like a corner man at a prize fight, closely monitoring to see if my ward could still recall the days of the week and his mother's first name. But with stupidity as our constant companion, we trudged ever onward.

By the 14th hole, my other playing partner was also entering the twilight zone, swinging the club out of habit rather than intent, moving forward by instinct rather than command.  

As we reached the 15th green enough was too much for both of them. Each a TKO victim, each step now a chore. Why we didn't call for an Uber to take us in was just one more demonstration of our collective inadequacy. And me, seemingly with all my wits about me, the most pronounced in my failing.

After far too long, we made it back to where we began. I was grateful that both my friends, however unsteady, were now safe and secure. One sat on a chair, looking for all the world like Muhammad Ali after the Thrilla in Manila. The color in the face of the other now returning closer to the shade of a human rather than a fire engine. 

It was, in the long history of my time on the course, one of the more memorable experiences. And it had nothing to do with my lack of physical abilities. 

Stupid, as it turns out, is not reserved merely for the young.

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