Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Line

Tomorrow will be the first day of the year around these parts that's suitable for golf, and I'd really like to take off work and just go golfing. But the two people I usually golf with, MC Paddy and Richard Dicks, are busy. Paddy just started a new job and has to make a good impression, and Dicks is on a plane somewhere bribing the flight attendant to give him a 12th little bottle of rum. Why is that a problem, you ask? Why can't I just go out golfing myself? If you're asking these questions, you are obviously not a golfer. Not a real golfer, anyway. Doubtless, you've caught a glimpse of men on TV in business casual dress hitting little white titanium balls with graphite clubs.

This is not golf.

Golf is getting up slightly earlier than you would normally on a day off, meeting friends in a parking lot to have doughnuts and coffee, then heading out in little white vehicles to get drunk and tool around what amounts to a large garden. Maybe smoke some cigars, tell some stories, generally hang out. This being the case, the titanium skinned balls and graphite shaft clubs aren't the most important equipment. Number one, first and foremost, is a good flask.

I have a few. The most unique is a small leather case that opens to reveal three cylindrical flasks and other drinking equipment. This was a gift from Richard Dicks the night before his wedding. This is good if you want to get fancy. You can bring several liquors, or the ingredients for a cocktail. It's a pretty slick setup with my initials engraved on a plate on the case.

And one can get even spiffier than that, if one were so inclined. They sell beer dispensers disguised as drivers, and tee holders that open up to reveal a snort or two of your favorite spirits; but at the end of the day it's hard to beat a good, old fashioned hip flask. I have two of these. One is wrapped in black naugahyde with the Jim Beam Black logo embossed on it. It was a present to myself, part of a gift set at the liquor store that I just couldn't refuse. The other is all stainless steel, polished on the outside with an etched design. It was a gift from M. Randolph the night before his wedding.

Armed with these, I can easily transport more than half a fifth of liquor in two pockets. Often Richard will bring some beer in a soft cooler that zips shut. Add the fact that many golf courses themselves have a bar or at least a cooler with beer for sale, and you have a hell of a morning. And that is golf!

But notice how I keep talking about my friends. They are the major element to this. It just wouldn't be the same without at least one of them there to share the experience. The crisp morning air that warms as the day goes on, the flask of whiskey, the well kept greenery, the flask of rum, the satisfaction of the one well-played shot of the day, the half case of beer, the relaxation of ignoring the world outside the course, the three small flasks filled with pre-mixed martinis... it just wouldn't be the same all by myself.

Now, I recognize that compared to most people, I drink more often and I often drink more. But even the most dedicated disciple of Bacchus has to draw the line somewhere. I'm not sure where my line is, but taking a Wednesday off work to wake up early and get drunk alone before 9AM is way past it.

Thursday, on the other hand...

1 comment:

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