Even though the eyes roll when it's said, it is nonetheless true. Peace and quiet focuses the mind like nothing else. If you don't fear your thoughts, it's the only elixir for regrouping. There is a shortage of that here what with 13 people in our vacation group scattered over 3 buildings. One third of the group is teenage girls, which means our group rolls as smooth as a flat tire, and as noisily. Therefore, I have fallen behind in the Wachs Beach Diaries as the ridiculous conversations and multi-lateral bickerings continue well into 2200 hours.
My hot Jappy sister and Mee-Maw Wachs are having a heated discussion by the kitchen. Let's listen:
"Mom. How come you didn't answer your cell phone before? I called you like three times"
"I couldn't answer the phone. I was in a hardware store."
"Were you trying on welding helmets?
"Nancy! Their policy is no cellphones in the store."
"What? Are they landing planes in there?"
"No!....They just don't want them ringing in there."
"I don't understand. Who is incensed at cellphones ringing in a store that sells noisy things? And why would you even pay attention to such an asinine policy? And what are you doing in a hardware store? You can barely walk!"
"Naaaance...ya know what? I don't want to talk about it."
That means "I lost."
Dr. Mike is not a teenage girl, but just as disconcerting. He's becoming less conservative with age. It concerns me at his age that his ethos is still "Why wouldn't a guy?" and believes "because" is a reason.
However, his golf swing today didn't have the same fly-every-hazard, never-say-layup daring. The course we played was a little ridiculous. War Admiral was the name of it, the fairways formerly roamed and grazed upon by the famous racehorse of the 30s of the same name, who was later upset by the even more famous Seabiscuit.
It's a nice place with a Ruth's Chris in the clubhouse, but the course strikes me as the product of an ailment afflicting every sector of the entertainment industry--creating something more out of a desire to impress fellow professionals than the customer.
This course looked like it was designed by status seeking course architects trying to outdo other designers as the most gimmicky and clever. It had giant swales and pot bunkers in the middle of the fairway. It's corruption of principle pure and simple when you build a golf course for the middlebrow hacker that doesn't reward a fairway tee shot of 280 down the center. Worse, my brother-in-law bisected the fairway once, landed on some gimmicky eyebrow shaped ridge, and it kicked near a hazard. A good shot penalized. Ridiculous. We're not on the tour.
I figured Dr. Mike was intimidated by the course layout.
"Nope. It was my back."
I had forgotten that Dr. Mike's club bravado landed him in the surgical ward, this time on the patient side of the scalpel. Last year, he torqued into a big drive and ruptured a disc. Even Tiger admitted on TV that his putting sucked this week because he couldn't shake the memory of the US Open's greens from three weeks earlier, which were quicker than a teenage boy with his best friend's mom. It's not surprising a ruptured disc on a golf swing would conservatize even the most devil-may-care amateur.
"I had this 23-year old nurse come in after surgery and ask me how my pain level was, scale of 1-10. I said 6. She shot me up with Dilaudid. It's the best drug ever invented. Then she petted my hand and said if it got above a 5 again, she would have to give me more. She comes back a couple of hours later and asks what my pain level is. It was about a 3 at that point, but I said 6. She's 23 and petting my arm and Dilaudid is the best drug ever. Why wouldn't a guy? If I could have, I would have had a drip of it in one arm and a drip of viagra in the other and pressed that call button until I came or went.
"Meanwhile, the room is starting to turn blue and a bright blue disc is closing around me. They had to revive me because I got so relaxed I stopped breathing."
"So, you started dying?"
"Yep," with that detached M.D. cool. "It wasn't scary at all like they say in movies. I really wouldn't have minded going at that point."
"Are you glad you're here now?" Somebody needed to pay the Ruth's Chris check, and if he didn't really care too much for life, why wouldn't a guy pick up the check?
"Of course. I don't want to die. I'm just saying it was very pleasant at the time. More pleasant than anything going on."
"Do you believe in god now?"
"No. That's bullshit. I just saw a blue disc."
"What if that was god's blue disc?"
"That was all in my mind."
"How do you know?"
"Because no one else in the room saw the blue disc."
"Who invented the mechanism that gives you one last moment of extreme pleasure before you die?"
"No one. It just happens that way. That's science."
Yes, brimming with inquiry. At least his golf swing is slowing down a bit. Perhaps the rest is coming. You just don't shake the blue disc.