Last Thursday I returned to the scene of my near demise for some more
Eastern Shore style golf. This trip was different from the original The Golf Trip to the Sun in two key respects: (1) the heat did not reach a point where you could grill halibut on your dashboard and (2) one of the two rounds of golf was replaced by a second night of over-indulgence. The event is known simply as the 8th Annual (with last year being the 7th Annual and the year before that being the . . . crap, I forget) and includes a group of longtime friends all of whom could be classified as professional drinkers ranging from Hooters Tour caliber to multiple major winners. Everyone involved owns their own business, is an executive and/or has a law degree and played lacrosse in college so we are always handling a highly volatile mixture of ego, aggression and alcohol. At least once per trip, someone drops a beaker of it on the floor of the lab and sends everyone running for the decontamination showers. This year would be no exception.
|What could go wrong?|
The Back Deck seems harmless enough. It is attached to the suburban three bedroom home owned by our host’s mother and it serenely overlooks the 8th green and 9th fairway of the community’s golf course. It is furnished with a few
Adirondack chairs, a wooden bench and some tables – the perfect setting for a group of old friends to peacefully gather, smoke a few cigars and reminisce about old times. Instead, it inevitably turns into a heated political roundtable with a steadily escalating decibel level. Imagine an episode of The McLaughlin Group where the entire panel is drunk, and every five minutes either Robert Novak or Jack Germond charges across the stage and tries to flip the other over in his chair until Morton Kondracke and Pat Buchanan can step in and break it up. This goes on for about three hours until (a) everyone is too tired to stand-up, or (b) furniture is broken.
|"I'm going to kick|
your ass Germond!"
The second day is an ultra marathon that fittingly starts where the first day ended. By the time I got to the deck, guilt had apparently spurred a lot of activity as the bench had been replaced by newly purchased plastic
Adirondack chairs. I was simultaneously handed a beer, offered a Bloody Mary and sucker punched in the kidney. The starting gun had officially sounded.
The centerpiece of Day 2 is a round of golf for which our original group of eight grows to about twenty. Of the twenty, maybe seven keep score. (I do play real golf too but no one ever shotguns a Budweiser during the club championship so those stories aren’t quite as flavorful). Our round was enhanced by an iPod in the cart playing the Stones, Tom Petty, The Allman Brothers, etc. This needs to become a regular part of the game. Think about it. You’re outside and you’re drinking beers with friends. Under what other circumstances would you not have music playing in that situation? Then again, when the playlist switched to hip-hop and I made a double, I wanted to annihilate the speakers with my sand wedge.
|In hindsight, they all|
looked like Phoebe Cates.
It had been exactly eighteen days since I had gone to
|"I told him not to get the fish taco."|
I woke-up the next morning on the floor of the living room. Not sure how I got there but sleeping on the floor does have its benefits because the aching in your back and shoulders draws some attention away from the spike in your forehead and the fish taco and Irish Car Bomb leg wrestling in your stomach. The ninety minute ride home and the next twenty-four hours are always rough but by Monday morning the recap emails start flying and you find yourself laughing out loud at your desk and looking forward to next year . . . and Googling wrestling moves so you don’t end up on the wrong end of a Back Deck pile driver at the 9th annual.