A-hole in one...
A few years ago I was told by my doctor to find ways to relax. I have a tendency to easily get stressed out and it was giving me hypertension, or so the good doctor claimed. When trying to find different ways to relax I tried many-o things, jogging, bike riding, acupuncture, smoking vast amounts of cigarettes (which was relaxing, but as I found out later, not good for hypertension. Who knew?), etc.
Acupuncture was actually the most interesting of them all. It’s not like they portray in movies when they basically make you look like a human pin cushion, no. Granted the acupuncturist was Asian, like in the movies, but it’s all very much like a visit to the doctor. They put me in this little room and had me lie down on your typical doctor’s office bench thingy. I was instructed to lay one leg flat and bend the other with my foot down. One of my arms was rested along side of me and the other arm was bent and rested on my chest. I guess there different poses and placements of needles for different ailments. Seeing as how I was there to prevent myself from grabbing a baby by the ankles and swinging them into an old person’s brittle hip, this was the position for stress. A couple of needles are placed in my brow, wrist, shin and arms. The needles are really thin with larger top half’s and rest in these little tubes that the acupuncturist taps, making the needle drop to the pressure point and sticking in your skin. This is all painless and the only feeling you really get from it is a bit of tension in the nerve at the pressure point the needle hits. After all needles were set the little Asian man tells me, “Ho’k meestah Ballon, you can go head and take a rittoe nap”
“Well, I’m not really tired?”
“Ritz ho’k, most peepoe rike to take a rittoe nap foll laxation”
“I go head and tuln off right fo you”
He steps out of the office, all while facing me, then proceeds to hit the light switch and close the door almost all the way shut. The only thing missing was him saying “night, night” when he did all this. I stared at the ceiling for a while wondering how all this shit worked. Would I feel the relaxation instantly working? What exactly does instant relaxation feel like? What if it doesn’t’ work? I ponder all these questions and while thinking about all those things I take a long blink. As soon as my blink is over the acupuncturist opens the door and turns on the light.
“Ho’k meestah Ballon, did you sreep?”
“No, I just stared at the ceiling, thinking?”
“Hmm…and you didanot go to sreep?”
“Ho’k. Rhye donta you seet up and I take out yo needo’s”
As I start to sit up I look at my watch and to my surprise I see that an hour as passed? What the fuck?! I was only lying down for a few minutes! Wasn’t I? Did I go to sleep? I guess I did? When I sit straight up I feel a little light headed, but not in an inebriated kind of way, but in the way you do when you just wake up from a nap. Sonofabitch?! I had fallen asleep and didn’t even notice it. The little Asian guy sees the look of surprise on my face and smiles as he pulls out the needles. When he was finished I stood up and felt…relaxed! It almost felt like I was walking on air! He gave me some herbal pills and told me to try and take it easy for the rest of the day. Seriously folks, on my way home I was caught in rush hour traffic and didn’t even give a shit! I felt so easy going I could have gotten in a big fiery wreck and not have known it. This lasted for a couple of days, and after that I went back to the same stressed routine. I was so bummed out that it didn’t last longer that I never went back because it was just a big tease.
My next big experiment in relaxation was golf. According to my doctor, golf was a nice way to get outdoors and relax. The only golfing I had done in the past was miniature golf and a semester of golf intro in P.E. senior year in high school. All that class consisted of was hitting little whiffle balls into rings set out in the football field. I didn’t even get to do that for very long because the teacher made the mistake of giving us real golf balls to try chipping into the rings. My ball ended up getting launched out of the football field and into a Jack in the Box parking lot across the street. Needless to say I spent the rest of the semester running laps around the school for an hour.
Golf sounded like a good time though so I decided to give it a go. The only problem was I had no clubs. My boss at the time was a golf fanatic! No joke, this guy had like 4 sets of clubs or some shit like that and always snuck out of the office to go to some golf shop where they had wall to wall golf shit! He would talk about golf clubs all the time and even spent most of the day on E-bay looking for golf club deals. Seeing as how he was so obsessed with the sport I knew he was the man to see about getting some clubs. I ask him if he could help me get a set without having to spend stacks of cash and a tear welled up in his eyes. Excitedly he tells me he would LOVE too and started mumbling about golf shit that I had no clue about. He tells me to give him $300 bucks and he would take care of the rest. About a week later he calls me to his cubicle and laid out in his work station is a set of clubs, a golf bag, a PING golf hat, a golf glove, golf balls, golf markers, club head covers, golf tees, and a few pieces of paper with diagrams and charts on them. I was taken aback a bit by the amount of crap he put together, but pretty stoked too…until he busted out the charts. Turns out the graphs and shit were a breakdown of how each club should perform. I feigned interest and then he pulls out this putter like it was fucking Excalibur or something. He explains it was a PING putter and a classic at that? It just looked like a putter to me, but I’ve heard from other people that it’s a really good putter so that goes to show you what little I know?
For the rest of the year we would go to the driving range on our lunch and I even played some courses a couple of times. It was kind of relaxing, but not fully. My hang up was all the old people that would be at the courses every time I went! These were your snobby retired old fuckers and I don’t think they liked young folk treading on their territory. It got to the point where all their sour puss’s took the fun out of smacking balls far into the driving range because every once in a while I’d get some old fucker telling me how to stand or how to swing the club. What did I care, I wasn’t out to go pro or anything, I just wanted to hit some balls and relax! NOOO! I had to have some bitter fucker get all riled up because I was shanking balls to the right and not making the proper “whack” noise when my club hit a ball?! I came close numerous times to treating some old bastards head like a piñata with my club. After a couple of years I hung up my clubs for good…until recently!
My mom and step-dad are retired and for a month or so during the summer they get my niece to stay with them and enjoy retired life. My mother is only in her mid 50’s, but my step-dad is in his 60’s and old school! When I was a kid I clashed with him all the time because he grew up in Arkansas and had this old southern logic to everything. He grew up with guns and other macho shit that didn’t really interest me. He played basketball and I played basketball so every once in a while we would play together. I attribute this to my reason for hating to play basketball with people now. He is a pretty competitive cat and knows everything about everything. Or so he would like to believe. Now that I am older I decided to let bygones be bygones and try to establish some sort of relationship with the old bugger. After all, he’s been around since I was a kid and I don’t foresee him going anywhere? Now that HE’S older he also is a bit more laxed and loves hanging out with my niece. The new form of entertainment and exercise in the house of retirement is golf, and now they have my niece hitting the links with them! They pretty much go every day during the week and sometimes on weekends. My step-dad found out I had some golf clubs and took that as a way to hang out with me on the links. He’d mentioned golfing with him a few times and although I didn’t really want to, I decided since he was making the gesture to hang out what harm would a round of golf do?
I make plans this last Friday to meet up with the golf trio for a round of morning golf. I have been having a pretty shitty, unlucky last couple of months and thought it would be a nice way to get outdoors and relax. As luck would have it, Friday was Africa hot and I had to have a wisdom tooth removed days before the big game. Luckily I had my vicodin…mmm. When I finally get to the house it’s about 10am and I could already feel the sweat beads on my back. I open the front door and step inside to see my step-dad (whose name is Jerry by the way) dressed in one of the worst white trash outfits I’ve ever seen. He’s wearing a pair of nylon P.E. style shorts with a t-shirt tucked into the waistband, white tube socks and sandals, shooting range style prescription glasses (with yellow tint to boot), a baby blue head band and a straw Mr. Howell style hat. It's a bit to take in and I turn to look at my mother and she just shrugs her shoulders in a “what can you do” motion. At this moment my niece comes booking out of the bedroom and I almost piss myself when I see her! She doesn’t have a care in the world as she prances in the room wearing hiking boots, short denim shorts, a Flash Dance style shirt, straw cowboy hat with a ribbon around it, and some tacky ass wrap around blue sunglasses. WHO THE HELL DRESSES A KID LIKE THAT?! The worst part about the outfit was that she has long hair and it was pulled into a pony tail that hung out the back of the hat making her look like hair stylist extraordinaire Jose Eber! Again I look to my mom for answers, but she has nothing. Like a kid ready to go to Disneyland, Jerry is happily getting the golf gear together in the trunk of his G-ride. I just shake my head in horror and get in the car. The day would be interesting indeed.
Can you guess which one isnt' Jose Eber?
Like I mentioned earlier, the day was hotter than a hemorrhoid on a fryer and I was not looking forward to being in the scorching heat all day! Since I’d just had a wisdom tooth taken out a few day earlier I was going to be on some druggins and didn’t know how they would play out when I was dehydrated. Then I remebered Jerry, ever so prepared, had packed some Gatorade. God bless him. We get to the range and I’m pretty stoked because there is an abundance of trees which makes plenty of shaded areas through out the course. We all get out of the car and my mom tells me “if you need to use the bathroom go ahead and do it now, Jerry takes forever to get the shit out of the car.” A bit puzzled I look over her shoulder and sure enough Jerry is delicately pulling all his gear out of the trunk and switching around clubs and stetting up his clubs cart. I do an about face and head off to the little golfers room. After shaking a monkey tail I head out to the driving range area and Jerry has set all of our clubs in our designated spots with a portion of practice balls set in the tray. I get placed in between Jerry and Jose’ Eber. I was a bit nervous considering I hadn’t played golf in a couple of years, where as Jerry and my niece play daily. Remembering all the little stances and positions you have to be in before hitting the ball I feel a bit nervous and take my first swing. WHACK! I MAKE CONTACT WITH THE BALL! Better yet, I launch it out into the range! I hit another ball, then another, and another! After this I am feeling pretty good about myself and look around with pride. I watch my niece pull out a driver from her mini set of clubs, which Jerry has purchased for her since he is hoping she will be the new Tiger Woods – or as my sister calls her “Pussy Gardens”, then she steps up to the ball and WHACK! She doesn’t hit shit. She takes another power swing and knocks the ball a couple of feet in front of her. I notice that when she gets her club in the air she turns her head back and doesn’t look at the ball when she finally swings at it…wildly.
“You should keep your eye on the ball. That’s why you’re missing it”
“I KNOOOW! I AM!”, she whines to me.
I watch her murder a couple more balls and then she starts making this little noise after every swing. “ow” she whines softly at first, but after a couple more swings the “ow’s” get a little louder. After we are all done hitting our balls she places her club in the bag and looking as if she was just shived in a prison riot says to no one in particular “oww, my back! My back hurts…” and lets out a mild sniffle. I give my mom another “what the fuck” look and she just rolls her eyes. Jerry seems to know this whole scenario too because he is making fast strides to the first hole on the course.
“What the hell is her problem? Her back wasn’t hurting earlier?”
“She always does that shit!” my mom informs me, “she’s just nervous”
“What the fuck is she nervous about?!”
“Me?! What the hell did I do? Is it the ball thing? I didn’t even scold her; I was just observing and told her to keep her eye on the ball?”
“Yes but she has to do well or she throws a fit! She always does this crap when we go places though. I just ignore it now”
“Where do you go that her back almost breaks?”
“ANYWHERE! Disneyland, the mall, GOLFING! Anywhere!”
“Shit. That’s pretty annoying?”
As we wrap up our profound conversation Pussy Gardens walks past us with her golf bag over her shoulders and looks like Jesus carrying his cross, except she wasn’t bloody and whipped. I just smirk and my mom gives me a “DON’T” look.
At the first hole the order is Pussy Gardens, Me Mum, Me and Jerry. Pussy Gardens shuffles to the tee off and hits the ball poorly. As soon as she sees it’s a bad hit she succumbs to the terrible pain in her spine and lets out a weak “owww” as she walks to her golf bag. “IF YOUR BACK HURTS THAN DON’T PLAY! Just sit down!” my mom finally barks at her. For some reason this makes me giggle inside and I watch my niece sit down on a bench and cross her arms…while forced tears run down her cheeks. My mom hits a decent hit and her ball goes sailing, then it’s my turn. I get up to the tee, do my little positioning ritual and then smack the hell out of the ball. It’s a powerful hit and Jerry let’s out a little “niiice” while my mom follows it up with a “WOW! Good hit!” I’m pretty stoked at first…then I see my niece wince with terrible spinal injuries as everyone gives me kudos’. I whisper to my mom not to comment on my dope ass swings anymore because it was like a verbal spinal tap to Pussy Gardens.
Pussy sits out a couple more holes but we are all getting into the game. I wasn’t the best golfer out there, but I was holding my own and that was more than enough fun for me. The good thing about me and the old lady is neither of us is very competitive so we really didn’t give a shit about scoring. Jerry is competitive, but he decided to put away the score card and just have fun. Pussy must have seen that we really didn’t care who hit what and just wanted to play because she started watching us with amusement. That’s when the miracle on hole 4 happened. As we walk up to get ready to hit, Pussy Gardens rises from her bench, twists around from side to side and exclaims she could probably play now because she cracked her back! THANK YOU JESUS AND BABY JESUS!!! SHE WAS HEALED! With a touch of cockiness in her step she places her ball on the tee, takes her position and show’s the golf ball what happens when a miracle occurs! The ball goes flying fairly far and Jerry gives her the ole “Thata girl!” She prances off the green with satisfaction and starts off towards her ball, even though none of us have hit ours yet? We yell to her to wait and she runs out of the line of fire. From then on her back was fully healed and she was able to relax, kind of. The other thing about this kid is she gets hyper and she isn’t supposed to drink red drinks. For some reason the red dye is like crack to her and makes her SUPER hyper with a sprinkle of obnoxious. It’s a good thing Jerry packed some fruit punch Gatorade to drink in the jungle heat! I notice Pussy Gardens drinking from the Gatorade bottle like a pirate drinking from a whiskey jug and it makes me cringe. It was going to be on now.
The heat is dry, but it isn’t unbearable and I’m actually having a good time, so Pussy Gardens running around from hole to hole doesn’t work my nerves too bad. Jerry is actually pretty pleasant also and I was glad to have taken him up on his offer to golf. He didn’t play too well though and I finally pulled my mom aside to see what the deal was?
“I thought you said he plays everyday? He doesn’t seem so good for someone who plays all the time?”
“He usually does play good, but his back IS giving him some trouble so I’m sure that has something to do with it also”
“WHAT?! His back is messed up too! Just like Pussy Gardens back!”
“No, he really pulled his back out”
“Is this from his injury years ago?”
“YES!” She laughs.
See, this is why it was funny. Years ago Jerry had to go the hospital because he slipped in the tub when he was washing his gnads! I told my mom he must have wanted those things to shine if he was washing them so vigorously that he slipped in the tub!? It wasn’t until recently that he claimed he made that story up. I say BULLSHIT! If you make a story like that up you usually fess up to it within the day, a few days at the latest. If you try to say it was a joke years later though, you just trying to squash the story because everyone is laughing at you.
Near the middle of the course my game starts to hit a little snag and I’m shanking balls left and right. This seems to amuse Pussy Gardens. As I get ready to swing on the 11th hole I have a bit of sweat drip into my eye and smack the ball right into the fence next to me. I hear a cackle to my left and Pussy Gardens is laughing her ass off. “You like that huh?” I say, as I give her a bit of the fire eyes. I go to chip my ball onto the green and use too much power, over shooting the putting green by a foot. Again, Pussy Gardens is having the time of her life. When I finally get the ball in the hole I turn towards Pussy and collapse while holding my back yelling “ow, ow, ow, owww! My back hurts!” The weird part was I only heard two others besides myself laughing after that? Weird. We finish up all 18 holes and even though my shirt was soaking with sweat (due to my big hairy chest) it was good clean fun for the whole family and full of miracles! The two big ass vicodin pills didn’t hurt either. Golf turned out to be pretty damn relaxing after all? I knew the day was meant to be when I snapped this picture on the 18th hole. Good times.
NO DICKING AROUND ON THE 18th HOLE!