DISCLAIMER: The following story is true. My name has been changed to protect the idiots.
Much like soccer, ping-pong and dating my daughter, golf is supposed to be a non-contact sport. Unfortunately, a somewhat embarrassing incident occurred recently that was an exception that proves this rule. I wasn’t seriously injured, but it was bad enough to evoke a face-palm out of The Queen Mother. Plus, I can now get out of things I don’t really want to do by claiming “an old golf injury.” Things like helping someone move or eating vegetables or watching “The Bachelor”.
For legal purposes, I won’t mention the golf course in question by name; let’s just say it’s in western Wisconsin and rhymes with St. Croix National Frolf Club.
It happened that dreadful day that Player 2 and I were playing an early morning round at said undisclosed club to warm up for a late morning round also at said club that was to be with a couple of Player 2’s co-workers, one of which didn’t bother to show up because of something about not being able to skip work, keeping his job, feeding his family, blah blah blah. Whatever. Lame.
For the early round, Player 2 and I happened to load our physical and emotion baggage on a golf cart that did not have an operating speed governor. A speed governor is a device that when a cart gets to a certain speed, the accelerator is disabled until it slows to where your life is no longer in jeopardy. An example would be Minnesota’s Governor Dayton, who, do to his inability to string seven intelligible syllables together, slows down any and all processes he is involved in. He is considered our state’s speed governor. But I digress.
Here it should also be noted that said Frolf Club is typical of other western Wisconsin clubs in that it is fraught with enough curves and terrain undulations to make Beyoncé consult a plastic surgeon out of jealousy. So when on the third hole we zipped down a fairly steep hill and hit speeds that would cause most Deloreans to go back to the future, we commented that this cart is crazy stupid fast and that if someone got this cart who was unfamiliar with the numerous treacherous downhill hairpin turns at this course, they could seriously injure themselves. And when the rain showers moved through to make the paths a bit slippery, the Vegas odds-makers stopped taking bets. (To those unable to recognize and name literary techniques, this is called ‘foreshadowing’.)
So here is what happened: The morning round was completed without incident and with minimal cussing. For the afternoon, I kept the aforementioned Cart of Terror while Player 2 joined his co-worker on a cart of more manageable velocity. All was well until the seventh hole and its Swiss-Alp-like descent. The first switchback I managed successfully. The second was to the left and lined on the inside with a short retaining wall built with shallow concrete pavers. The hole was to the right and had my focus as I was attempting to determine my ball position while taking the curve at roughly 48 miles per hour. No point in slowing down; I was familiar.
Whether the cart clipped the retaining wall on the inside of the curve or whether I simply over-steered would make for a great Sunday morning TV debate. The bottom line is I that I suddenly and quite surprisingly found myself bounced to the passenger seat and sitting at an angle that could only mean certain death while the cart was ascending the retaining wall sideways. I had flashbacks to the landing at Epcot’s Mission to Mars as I astutely detected a zero-gravity situation that could not end well.
Overestimating my physical abilities, I made the decision to eject, leaping from the cart with the intention of stepping onto the retaining wall, then down to the path and hence to safety. Underestimating my forward vector, I instead missed the wall with my foot and caught its razor-sharp edge on my shin, resulting in a substantial abrasion and a significant laceration. This in turn caused me to alight solidly upon the wall with the right cheek of my derrière, jarring me to the bone butt also bouncing me up to my feet in cartoonish fashion such that I immediately regained my balance and was able to trot down the hill toward the hole.
It was at this time that I realized my left shoe was missing in action. In pain and with blood flowing freely down my leg toward my single shoe, I laid down in the grass over the crest of the hill and out of sight to recover and take stock of my injuries. (Turns out in addition to my leg cut, I had a tiny blood blister on the tip of my right ring finger which, were I a World Cup footballer, would have had me holding my head and writhing in pain.)
Now here comes Player 2 and Co-worker 1 down the hill. Navigating the first switchback and starting around the second, they saw a concrete paver in center of the path. A bit further was a shoe. Around the curve was my golf cart resting in the weeds on top of the retaining wall. And I was nowhere to be seen.
As they came to a stop above my head I heard Co-worker 1 offer an insightful query: “Uh…What happened here?” Player 2 was certain they had been Left Behind.
Two holes later at the turn, I exchanged carts and the pro wanted to take a picture of my legs to avoid a lawsuit, which hasn’t happened to me since that Spring Break in Tijuana. Nine holes later, I came from behind to win the match.
In a few days a very colorful bruise developed and came to encompass my entire right gluteus. It was not until then that I realized that when I jumped from the cart I landed directly on my wallet, because right in the center of said field of purples, greens, and yellows was a perfect 3” square of pristinely white, uninjured flesh. Rather than post the unseemly yet very interesting photos, below is an artist’s rendition of said contusion:
And…in somewhat mysterious fashion (and for lack of a more genteel term) two identically shaped bruises formed on either side of my butt-crack such that were you to see it, you’d swear it was a profile of Adrien Brody kissing himself in the mirror.
Needless to say, I became quite the locker-room celebrity.