Sticking the needle in…


One of the sharper pains of moving to North Carolina was leaving behind my social network that swirled around golf.  There are few friends like golf buddies; Greg, George, Sam, Garry.  Not a single round of the hundreds we played was devoid of loud, overt and ill-timed commentary on poor shots, incessant whining about the inequity of giving too many strokes, all sprinkled among a running banter on events of the day.  And those are just the nice things we opined on.  Profanity, thy name is golf.  When it came to giving guys the needle, we all shoved it in all the way – with a twist for good measure.

My friend Steve was the best of the bunch, and simply a good guy.  His simple, buttery swing, to say nothing of maddeningly frequent low scores, were the stuff of envy and good-natured scorn.  He is a long way from my new golfing base in Charlotte, but occasional letters shorten the distance a bit.  I like ‘one off’ letters, and here’s one example.

June 30

Steve: Admittedly this check does not cover my losses during our most recent matches.  I’ve asked my broker to reserve a little bit more so that your “annuity” fund can begin to build up.  If this does not approximate your cost for my fees at DMG&CC, let me know.  Tim and Reid had a great time, and Reid is making noises that he wants to play a lot more.  He’s coming into an appreciation for the game.  I’ve assembled a bag of blades for him when he gets down this way.

Great to see you guys while in DSM.  It feels as if I got my ass kicked 74 different ways on the old sod, and to make matters worse, Oleson continues to drain virtually every putt he looks at with the infernal long putter.  It appears I may get my wish to step away from the game; yanked some ligaments in my left thumb Sunday – with, what else, a bad swing – and I’ll be on the shelf for the time being.  So you guys won’t have me to kick around for the time being.

The wedding went according to form.  But fun has its price.  The other check I’m writing today to Kathy to cover expenses is somewhat larger – a few more zeros on the end – than this paltry sum payable to you.  My advice to Kate and Margaret is: elope.  On the plus side, everyone played nice at the reception.

At some point I should get my sorry ass back to Des Moines on a semi-permanent basis.  This just isn’t home and continues to have a temporary feel to it.  On top of this is heat and humidity that is nothing short of excruciating.  You sweat when you step out of the door in the morning.  That’s akin to the feeling that I have when stepping on the tee box with you and the boys.

My best to Jane and the other hapless laggards you continue whip two or three times a week.

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