Tag Archives: Myrtle Beach

The Good, The Bad, and The Mostly Debauched

Making the Hoovers Great Again

Myrtle Beach 2016

THE MOSTLY DEBAUCHED

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Our story begins in a smoked filled, custom built Boeing 787 Dreamliner.  The smoke being generated by four elegantly dressed gentlemen, puffing away between bouts of oratory, on expensive Cuban cigars.  In the background, playing on the 72 inch screen is the movie Centurion, a tale about a massacred Roman Legion north of Hadrian’s Wall; next up is The Eagle of the Ninth, a tale about recovering the Eagle lost in The Centurion.  Yes, dear readers, our intrepid travelers have just returned from a month steeped in Roman history as they tramped all through Southern France and down all the way to the boot heel of Italy.   Tramped is a relative term as their notion of trekking involves state of the art Land Rovers driven by professionals who also double as bar tenders and cooks.  The magnificent tents, gifts from a prince in Saudi Arabia, that they call home for the trip rival 5 star rooms anywhere.  Who are these pampered, over-indulgent, seekers of knowledge and a permanent drunk?  Let me introduce the members of the sports management team of Dewey, Cheetum and Howe.

  • Rocco Ian MacDougal – age 51 born in Dover, DE of an Italian mother and Scottish father. This mixed heritage explains his drinking preferences of Sangria in the morning and Chivas Regal after noon.  Took part in many black-ops as an Army Ranger, none of which can he talk about but he has let it slip that one had something to do with Saddam Hussein.   One of the top agents employed by the Sports Management Agency of Dewey, Cheatum and Howe, he is now a full partner, albeit without his name on the marquee.
  • Samuel Dewey – age 66 born in Ogallala, NE.  Graduated from Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute in 1970.  His friends call him CR from his earlier career as a corporate raider.  Indeed, the founding of DC&H was as a result of a corporate takeover.  His business acumen is so sharp that he has been married and divorced three times and has never had to pay a settlement or alimony despite being one of the 50 wealthiest Americans..  He drinks Stoli Elit before, during and after breakfast and switches to Southern Comfort at lunch.
  • Vincent Cheatum – 64 born in Piney Green, NC, a little fart of a town just outside of the largest Marine Corps base on the East coast, Camp Lejeune, where his father settled after retiring from The Marines as a highly decorated Master Sgt.  After a brief stint as a roadie for The Grateful Dead, Vinny followed his dad’s footsteps and also retired from the Marines as a Gunnery Sergeant, hence his nickname of Gunny.  His beverages of choice are Schlitz and Jack Daniels.
  • Clyde Howe – 75 born in Altoona, PA.  He is a distant relative of Lord Richard Howe, the British commander during part of The Revolutionary War.  Graduated from The Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1959 and had a minor role in The Bay of Pigs Invasion.  Also, it was his ship that was fired upon by a North Vietnamese patrol boat in the Gulf of Tonkin.  The Ancient Mariner, as he is known by, retired as a Rear Admiral.  Has always expressed great admiration for the movie, The Big Lebowski so he drinks White Russians day and night.  The exception to this is when he brings out a 29 year old Cragganmore single malt Scotch that he sips while smoking Cuban cigars.

“It was Alesia, damnit”, yelled Clyde, his hands shaking so much that his scotch sloshed over the sides, “Alesia was Caesar’s greatest victory, bar none.  The engineering alone ranks that battle higher than any other.”

“I respectfully disagree.  Clearly Caesar’s finest hour was defeating Magnus at Pharsalus.” replied Rocco.  “Engineering!”, Rocco snarled, pointing his cigar at Clyde, “That was against a bunch of tribal pussies.  Pharsalus was against Romans.”  “Besides,” he continued after exhaling a series of smoke rings, “being a direct descendant of Mark Antony I think qualifies me as an expert on the subject.”

“Oh for the love of Mithras.  I’ll have you know, you scion of a traitor..” Clyde paused for a moment to belch and to regain his train of thought.

Vinny popped open a can of Schlitz with one hand while crushing an empty with the other one.  “I sincerely hope that you two will cease and desist this ongoing, never ending, pointless discussion.  I’m trying to watch the movie.  That painted Pict lady is kinda hot.”

Sam staggered against the lounge chair he was trying to sit in resulting in a wave of Stoli crashing upon the front of his Armani slacks.  “Damn turbulence.  I’m gonna have a talk with the pilot, bastard probably did that on purpose.”, Sam said while holding his vodka violated pant leg out away from his body.  “There was no turbulence, excepting of the drunken walk variety.”, responded Rocco with a big grin.

“Who the hell asked for your opinion?”, Sam yelled, “in fact, why the hell did we make you a partner?  You lost our best client by letting Ocho retire; by the way are we still making money off of his endorsements?”

Rocco scratched his head, and looked around wondering if he could find someplace to hide but even a 787 Dreamliner is limited in that respect.  “Well, Rocco, I asked you a simple question.  A simple yes or no would be a good place to start.”, said Sam as he stripped off his sodden pants to reveal a pair of boxers sporting the cast from The Big Bang Theory.

Marjorie Detwiler has been employed for these last 10 years by Dewey, Cheetum and Howe, as Director of Excursions and Executive Flight Attendant.  At five feet, 11 inches tall, Marjorie stood taller than all of the partners.  She received a Masters in Sports Management & Entertainment from Harvard while playing shooting guard on the women’s NCAA basketball team and was an Honorable Mention All American.  Little in her college experience, however, prepared her for employment with this group of semi-hedonistic, inebriation record setting, globe trotting golf and adventure seekers.  A perfect example was now playing itself out as Marjorie entered the lounge with her clipboard to brief her boys on their itinerary for the next week.  Seeing Sam standing in his underwear caught her attention right away but it wasn’t the pictures of Sheldon and Penny that drew her eyes.  No, this wasn’t the first time she had been witness to various states of undress; not the first time the veneer of professionalism that she strove to maintain no matter what the circumstance had cracked as she unsuccessfully stifled a chuckle. Peeking out of the front of the Big Bang boxers was one-eyed Sammy.

“What’s everyone staring at?”, asked Vinny as he followed the stares of his companions, “Oh my! Donkey man is showing off again, I see.”  “Is nothing sacred with you people?”, said Sam as he reached down and cradled one-eyed Sammy in his hands, “This piece of artistry in the flesh is of Biblical proportion and is so mentioned in Ezekiel 20:23, and I paraphrase for the squeamish, ‘and the women lusted after men hung like donkeys and whose emissions are as from a horse.’  So be a little more respectful, if you please.”  Sam then put one-eyed Sammy back behind Penny and Sheldon.  He looked at Rocco and thought that there was something he was going to say to Rocco but damned if he could remember what it was.  “I’m gonna get some fresh pants if anyone wants to come watch.”, Sam said and headed off to his suite.

THE GOOD

We are one week away from our annual visit to the hub of The Confederacy, although now instead of rice, indigo and cotton plantations tended by unwilling participants in that pristine agrarian society, there are acres of landscape modified into the curse word inducing, club flinging geographic phenomena of golf courses.  As has been typical of year’s past, the closer to departure we get, the more verbose we become; our excitement building to a symphonic crescendo.  This stoking of our desire to golf again is what sustains us through the long dreary months we are held captive by the gods of seasonal atmospheric conditions, El Nino and climate change.  The unhappy irony of this pent up, ever building crescendo is that by the third hole of the first day that crescendo becomes a white foamed wave, crashing furiously against the rocks of reality.  Thus I have come upon the idea to do dramatic readings from my novel in progress, Clash of Empires, thereby restoring the morale of my aging, battered friends; restoring a calmness to their tortured souls.  I was expecting heaps of excited anticipatory responses from my fellow travelers but instead was met with a torpid, ‘yeah, okay’, type of reply.  Except from Rick; he was so captivated by the idea that he suggests we dress in costume and play out the scenes.  Rick has recently retired from active employment and I am concerned for the health of his mind.

THE BAD

“Hello again.  This is Jim Nantz once again bringing to you live, the antics and the undeniably bad golf that is their stock in trade, The Hoovers in Myrtle Beach.  With me once more is my good friend and colleague, Sir Nick Faldo.  I must say you’re looking pretty dapper for a man who just a few hours ago was stuffing one dollar bills anywhere he could at a local Gentlemen’s Club.”

“Always a pleasure, Jim.  I guess those kids just make me feel young again.  But more to the point, what in the realm of Aphrodite’s tits are we doing broadcasting these buffoons?”

“In the contract old buddy.  Seems we were bought out by that sports management group, Dewey, Cheetum and Howe and they want to promote Ocho, so here we are.”

“Well I have news for you old chum, they are on the way here, or so I’m told.  Flying into Myrtle on that damned Dreamliner they own.  Coming in from Amsterdam of all places.  Probably hanging out at one of those cafes smoking who knows what and making asses of themselves.”

THE GOOD

Ocho awoke after a restful night on his lavishly appointed couch in the posh Hoover mansion, Chez Rick’s.  Ocho has by tradition provided the coffee for this week of golf and giggles and this year has brought two very good beans from Thanksgiving Coffee; a Kona Blend(cuz I can’t afford the real thing) and a nice Guatemalan.  Soon the sound of the grinder turning the beans of the gods into a brew-able consistency echoes off the walls of the condo kitchen.  A moment later the process of creating the elixir of salvation is made manifest by the aroma, an aroma that announces that the new day has begun and it is fucking glorious.

As a cost saving ploy and a chance to further enhance our male bonding experience, we are cooking dinners in for a few nights.  Ocho not only contributes to the workings of the intestinal regions with the morning infusion of the elixir of salvation, he is doubling his efforts for this evening’s meal.  Ocho is making chili; not too hot, just enough btu action to make you feel glad to be alive and feasting on this culinary miracle.  With Jimmy Two Birds working that Ronco Slice and Dice on an onion, Joey demonstrating his can opening expertise and Ocho putting it all together, how could it be anything other than a gourmet’s delight.  Every breath is soon punctuated with the smell of onion, garlic, beans, beef, etc coupled with the fading but still discernible aroma of Guatemalan.

THE BAD

Nantz: We are well into the second round and as usual there isn’t a whole lot of good to report on from these aging club flingers.

Faldo: I agree, although there have been flashes of, I was gonna say brilliance but that would be a bit over the top.  Let’s just call it sucking less than usual, such as The Rick paring all three holes at Amen Corner, not an easy task as I can well attest, being a winner there a few times.   Did I ever tell you, mate, about the tiff I had with my caddie over club choice at the par 3?  Well..

Nantz: Sorry Nick old pal, no time for your glory days routine. There’s nobody listening anyway.  Those dozy bastards who consigned us to this broadcasting nightmare probably don’t even remember that we’re doing this.  It’s a wonder they can function at a level higher than one of them three toed sloths.  You know what I heard?  That they all have agreed to donate their internal organs to science.  Mayo Clinic is desperate to find out why their livers lasted longer than some non-alcohol preserved specimens.

Faldo: Uh, Jim?  Clyde Howe is on line one.

THE MOSTLY DEBAUCHED

Clyde: Faldo?  You over rated hack, I wanna talk to that pompous bag of methane, Nantz.

Sam: You tell him that I’m gonna donate his balls to my taxidermist and have them mounted on my den wall.

Clyde: Nantz?  Don’t talk, just listen.  We own you now, pal, so you better get used to a new tradition like no other.  We’re flying in to Wilmington, NC to play at this place called Farmstead.  We will be listening to your riveting broadcast; a little less full of yourself and a little more entertaining would be appreciated.

Vinny: Another thing, we need some eye candy.  Nantz might still be pretty but Faldo’s late night exploits don’t exactly enhance his beauty.

Rocco: This is perfect.  We represent a nubile young lady who is a, she’s a, well she’s an entertainer at one of Myrtle Beach’s finer clubs.  Her name is Melody Storm.  Get her to do on the course interviews and stuff.

Vinny: Oh yeah, she’s hot.

Clyde: You got that, Nantz?  Melody Storm showing her stuff.  See you later.

THE GOOD

or perhaps, more appropriately,

THE EMBARRASSING

Another round completed at a very nice, new venue for us, The Grande Dunes.  Beautiful holes running parallel to the Intracoastal Waterway, greens that begged to be putted upon, ponds that demanded sacrifice and according to an informed staff member, water moccasins slithering in the shoreline greenery seeking unwary golfers to slay. Indeed, a round that will long be cherished for many reasons; each Hoover with his own memories of spectacular holes while ushering the not so spectacular to the darkest recesses of their collective minds.  Joey with his record shattering 97, Rick with his back to back pars on 8 & 9, Ocho with his blistering par,par,par,birdie,par and Jimmy with his good fortune to be in the same cart with Ocho during those blistering holes.  Ironic when you think on it.  Jimmy was the most effusive in praise of Grande Dunes and yet he played the worst of the four of us.  Just goes to show that inside the Hoovers beats the hearts of poets.

The setting sun was a display of grandeur and a perfect backdrop to the network interview area set up just off the 18th green.  Melody Storm dressed in a form fitting blue dress and oh what a form that was filling it.  Spaghetti straps on the shoulders held up what little material there was that formed the low cut cleavage revealing bodice.    Arising from the bottom of her right calf is a tattoo of an elegant climbing morning glory vine that enchantingly disappears mid-thigh under the dress.  Carrying a microphone and a clipboard she walks over to Ocho and Rick.  Joey alights from his cart like he was shot out of a cannon to join in on the interview.  Just as Melody gets into position she drops the clipboard.  Both Melody and Joey bend down to retrieve the item and Joey is met with an eyeful of cleavage.  Melody takes the clipboard from a mesmerized Joey and winks at him turning him into a glazed over statue, unable to move as the sun reflects off the beaded sweat on the top of his head.  On the other side of the green, Jimmy was still sitting in the cart when Melody bent down for the clipboard.  His view, when he was able to regain focus after the initial shock, was of the morning glory vine as it reached her well made gluteal region.  His first thought was the realization he really liked peaches; his second thought was that he could not get out of the cart until a certain condition abated.

THE BAD

Nantz: “I can’t remember the last time I was so enmeshed in the beauty and drama of a well played golf match.  Not Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy or even Sir Nick Faldo has ever brought to the golfing public a display of excellence such as the likes of The Hoovers have brought to us today.”

Faldo:”Bollocks!  What have you been smoking?  We’ve been on the air for 4 1/2 hours and have seen maybe half a dozen decent shots from these club wielding buffoons.”

Nantz:  quickly put his hand over Faldo’s mike, “What the hell is wrong with you?  Our new bosses are listening.  You better pucker up and start doing the arse kiss routine or we’re toast.”

Faldo: “Shite, I forgot.”  He reaches down under the desk and pulls up a bottle of Johnny Walker Black and takes a three gulp drink.  “Okay, I’m ready to pucker.”

Nantz: slowly takes his hand from Nick’s mike, “Aw now Nick, let’s not be jealous.  This is their time, yours has sadly passed you by.  Time for a brief word from our new sponsor, Hoover Eats, the last word in fine beef stews and chili and then we’ll take you down to the course for some in depth interviews with our latest staff addition, Melody Storm.

Faldo: “That’s right, Jim.  Hoover Eats is perfect for that post-round meal.  The chili is out of this world and let me tell you, I just had a bowl before going on the air and it tastes just as good the second time(he belches and smiles).  The beef stew has been rated highest among those who think Dinty Moore comes straight from God.  So stock up now; Hoover Eats – it keeps you moving.”

Nantz: “Now we are going down to Melody as she chats with Ocho and The Rick. Welcome to the crew, Melody.”

Faldo: mutters just loud enough for it to go over the air, “So that’s what she looks like with clothes on.”

THE MOSTLY DEBAUCHED

Farmstead Golf Course has the distinction of being geographically situated in both North and South Carolina.  This little fact is causing no little consternation to the partners.  It is illegal to drink on the golf course in North Carolina and 85% of the course is in North Carolina.  “Not having alcohol on even one hole is a travesty of justice,” yelled Sam, “and I’m sure is a violation of my god-given, constitutionally mandated rights.”  Marjorie didn’t bat an eye or move an inch, she just said, “Clyde!” and turned to exit the plane thinking how glorious the next few hours would be while her boys were wreaking havoc elsewhere.

Clyde looked at Vinny and asked, “How many North Carolina legislators do we own?”  Vinny scratched his head, crushed a Schlitz can and replied, “Four but there’s a fifth who is just awaiting our final offer.”  “Okay, call the fifth and get him or her on board and then conference in the other four.  I want an exemption in that ill-formed piece of legislature or our friends the congresspeople will, and I quote Walter Sobchak, ‘be entering a world of pain.’  Is that clear, Vinny?”  “Couldn’t have said it any better, Clyde, my wise old friend,” answered Vinny, the swish of a can of Schlitz being opened punctuating the moment.

“Hey Sam,” said Clyde, following Sam over to the bar for a quick one before their first drink during the limo ride to the golf course, “You’ve been a little too rough on Marjorie, hell we all take advantage of her from time to time.  Damn, but she’s a treasure and it is time we showed her our appreciation.  It’s time to implement our plan to buy out Expedia and a couple other travel outfits and start our own mega travel guide service.  Marjorie will run it as President of Travel Hedonists, Inc.”

THE GOOD

Despite the fact that Clyde and the rest expected Ocho to be the primary focus of the broadcast interviews and despite the fact that this was indeed a ploy by Clyde and the rest to entice Ocho out of retirement, the interview was still slanted towards The Rick as Clyde and the rest forgot about the inexplicable attraction between women and The Rick.  Ocho was only able to answer one question regarding his return to action.  At that point, Melody, aimed the mike at The Rick and proceeded to bombard him with inane questions about his favorite color, his favorite bands and whether he thought Donald Trump was evil.  However, it was not the interview questions that mattered or even, the answers.  This was two people becoming enraptured with each other.  Melody could only imagine running her fingers through that magnificent, never been treated for baldness, head of hair and The Rick, when he wasn’t glancing at cleavage, was captured by her green eyes and the way a strand of her brunette hair fluttered against her forehead.

After the interview, Melody tapped The Rick on the shoulder and said, “I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to finally meet you.  I am taking classes at Francis Marion Junior College.  I hope to get a degree in Business or Broadcast Journalism.  I read all about you and your rise to the top of the business world in our textbook. It was a chapter entitled, ‘The Profitability of Ruthless Capitalism’.  I was wondering if you would like to come see me perform.  I work at The Purring Kitten, one of the area’s finest dance studios.  After we could maybe talk.  I would so dearly love to talk to you about your experiences. I have so much to learn and this would be so much more informative than a dry, impersonal textbook.”

Hoover Bob returned to the group after a couple days visiting a friend.  He walked over to the table where Jimmy, Joey and Ocho were having a post round libation.  Besides, they had nowhere to go until The Rick said where and when.  “Who is that fawning all over the boss?”, asked Bob.  Without taking his eyes off of Melody, Joey told Bob who she was.  Jimmy could only manage a sigh and Ocho just rolled his eyes. “Do you think we should remove her?”, asked Bob, with an eager look on his face and already moving toward her, “She seems to be keeping the Chief from joining us.”  At that point Ocho got up and pulled Bob back, “Umm, I don’t think the Chief wants to be rescued.”

 Author’s Note

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, The Hoovers have all been sainted and shall  henceforth, on St Patrick’s Day, be known as:  St. Joey of the Fairway…St. Bob of the Pits (a NASCAR term) …St. Jimmy the Pontificator… St. Richard the Hoover Hearted… and St. Paul the Flatulent.

THE BAD

Nantz: “St. Patrick’s Day and our intrepid band of Hoovers are all decked out in various shades of green as they prepare to play the Nicklaus designed Long Bay Club.”

Faldo: “About the only thing missing is maybe a keg of stout and a fifth or two of Jameson’s.  Hell, I’d join them if they were so encumbered.  Fortunately I have my own supply of green beer on hand.  Did you hear the names they are going by today?

Nantz: “Some colorful ones indeed.  Well that’s interesting.  They were all gathered together on the 1st tee waiting for the group in front of them to get out of their way when of a sudden they all broke away from each other.”

Faldo: “Ten to one it was St. Paul the flatulent.”

Nantz: “And that is the perfect lead-in to a word from our sponsor Hoover Eats and their two new exciting entrees, Meatballs ala Jimmy and Rick O’Lobsitz’ Corned Beef and Cabbage.  With that is our newest colleague, Melody Storm.

Melody: “If you’re looking for a wholesome, nutritious, gluten free, antibiotic free, organically grown meal with 0% transfat, then you better look elsewhere.  Hoover Eats specializes in meals made the old fashioned way…with taste being the primary focus.  And I can state unequivocally that the new entrees, as well as the chili and beef stew, are stick to the ribs good.  Hoover Eats – it keeps you moving.”

THE MOSTLY DEBAUCHED

It was a sunny, 75 degree day as the partners rolled onto the first tee at Farmstead.  They were all wearing cargo shorts as the deep pockets could hold half a dozen various alcoholic nips or in Vinny’s case, a couple cans of Schlitz.  Since they spend a lot of time outdoors they were much more tanned than anyone else on the course but that didn’t stop Sam from applying a spray on tan which gave him an orange hue.  Clyde took one look at him and said, “Good grief, Sam, you look as ridiculous as that madman Trump.”  “Oh piss off, Clyde,” replied Sam, “and don’t you ever compare me to that bozo.  Calls himself a successful businessman; hell if we were as successful, we’d be out of business.”

The four of them then performed their own special pre-round ritual of pouring a libation on the tee box ground to the golf god, Hackus.  “Excuse me, gentlemen,” interrupted a stern looking golf course official, “but alcohol is not permitted on the North Carolina portion of the course.”  Vinny walked over to the course official, “Here, hold my beer while I make a phone call.”  Taking his phone out of the pocket of his Jerry Garcia emblazoned golf shirt, Vinny hit one number and a video chat session was opened, “Good morning Pat.  Would you please explain to this nice man about our special exemption?  Thanks and have a nice day.”  The course official took the phone and saw the face of Pat McCrory the governor of North Carolina.  “Who am I speaking to?” asked McCrory.  “I uh, uh.” stammered the course official, “Spackler, sir.  Charles Spackler.”  “Well, Spackler, I expect you and your staff to extend every courtesy to these fine gentlemen.  If they wanna drink on your course, they can bloody well drink on your course.  You got that?  Good!  Now, I don’t want to be bothered again about this.  I’m a busy man.  There’s an Andy of Mayberry marathon on TV right now and you’re making me miss it.”, replied McCrory as he ended the call.  Spackler handed the phone back to Vinny but as he started to hand back the Schlitz he was holding, Vinny chuckled and said, “May as well drink that one, Spackler.  I don’t think Pat will mind and besides, I already have another.”

 THE GOOD

The home cooked meal has been devoured, the dishwasher has been loaded,and a load of unmentionables is tumbling in the washing machine.  Now is the time for these feisty, energetic seekers of excitement to choose tonight’s entertainment.  Not constrained by the strictures of home life, wives, children and grand children, it is time to cut loose.  Rick reaches into a canvas bag that he’s been guarding against any intrusion in order to surprise us, “Are you guys ready to have some wicked good fun?”, he asks with a smirk that is at once both mischievous and mysterious, giving the impression that something naughty awaits.  Well, naughty it wasn’t, though there were some mentions of various parts of human anatomy that could be construed, in some circumstances. as being naughty.  No, the wicked good fun was a game called Cards Against Humanity; a party game in which players complete fill-in-the-blank statements using mature-content phrases printed on playing cards.  Hilarity ensued as we all vied to have the fill-in phrase for a question be the one that we each had chosen.  Oh, the mirth and mayhem we Hoovers enjoy during this annual golf expedition.  Many groups of guys come to Myrtle and fritter away their evenings drinking in bars or in gentlemen’s clubs, but not The Hoovers.  Night time for us is pints of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey or Cherries Garcia, Oreo cookies and a Robin Williams concert DVD, and then passing out before 11:00.

 THE MOSTLY DEBAUCHED

Never let it be said that a round of golf for these guys will ever be without behavior not usually seen in the prim and proper world of civilized golf.  Some of you who have read some of this author’s tales of Dewey, Cheetum and Howe, may remember an incident involving Clyde baring his backside as penance for a tee shot not going passed the ladies red tee box.  Well, dear readers, it happened again as Clyde lost whatever balance remained in his inebriated anatomy, resulting in his driver topping the ball 2 inches in front of his tee and thrusting him forward.  With his arms outstretched in front of him, Clyde plunged downward, his hands hitting the ground first thus softening the blow when his arms gave out and his face fell into the turf.  The blow to his upper body was further softened, however, by the cushion-like texture of the Bermuda grass.  The lower half of his body was not as fortunate.  The dimpled sphere lying 2 inches in front of his tee was now connected through his shorts and boxers, to one of his own dimpled spheres.  The force at which he fell at, upon contact with the ground, embedded the ball in his upper thigh region causing it to remain attached when he came to be suddenly sober and shot up like a rocket, shrieking like a banshee as the pain overcame the alcohol in his bloodstream. He wrestled his shorts and boxers to his ankles to determine the extent of the injuries to his, let’s say upper thigh area.  “Oh dear God in heaven,” came the plaintive cry of the Course Superintendent as he took his hands off of the steering wheel of the golf cart and placed them on either side of his screaming mouth and inadvertently stepped on the accelerator.  As misfortune would have it, he was going downhill and was heading for a slight curve in the cart path.  He missed the turn.  After a short bumpy ride through a patch of tall grass and scrub brush, he finally came to a stop as the cart began to submerge in the pond beyond the scrub brush.  Fortunately for the Course Superintendent there were no water moccasins ready to slay a wayward golf cart driver. Course Superintendent Charles Spackler pulled his cell phone out of his shirt pocket and held it over his head as he waded back to dry ground and over to the tee box where Clyde was still looking at his, let’s say upper thigh area.  Barely able to speak intelligibly he managed to sputter out, “Never in my life have I seen such a display of reprehensible, pre-pubescent behavior.  Wait until the Governor hears about this!.”  Just as Spackler was ready to dial the governor, Rocco grabbed his hand, “You might want to think about this for a moment.  You know, not rush into anything you might regret.  I seem to recall our friend the Governor saying something about not wanting to be disturbed while he’s watching Andy of Mayberry?  And besides Vinny here already sent our friend the Governor, pictures of old Clyde’s backside and, shall we say, upper thigh region.  He’s probably looking at them during a commercial break and laughing his ass off.  So, relax.  Here have a Schlitz and a nice Cuban cigar.”  Spackler took the beer and the cigar, sat on the ground, buried his head in his hands and wept.

 Marjorie lingered a few moments longer in the whirlpool bath steeling herself to listen to the ungodly number of messages waiting on her cell phone, and the imminent return of her boys.  Her mind drifted back as she savored the peace and tranquility of the last six hours; a most relaxing six hours.  First was a two hour nap, followed by an hour massage, courtesy of A Sacred Place Wellness Center.  Then a peaceful lunch of salad, fruit and three glasses of wine.  She felt the tension just evaporate out of her neck and shoulders like the steam rising from the whirlpool.  The sound of her cell phone alarm clock interrupted her reverie and jarred her back into reality.

THE BAD

Nantz: “Whoohee!  We’re finally done with this blasted assignment.  Pass me that Johnny Walker and let’s get shitfaced my good sir knight.”

Faldo: “Excellent fucking idea my good sir, ah, good sir.  Oh hell.  Have a drink.  Now I may be mistaken but I think we’re still on the air.  Can we say shitfaced and excellent fucking idea on the air?”

Nantz: “No worries.  There’s a five second delay.”  He pauses for a moment as the producer back in the studio in New York is screaming at him in his headphones.  “We’re fucked.  No five second delay.”

Faldo:  Picks up the ringing phone, “Um, Jim?  It’s Sam Dewey.”

THE MOSTLY DEBAUCHED

“Nantz?”, snarled Sam, “Don’t talk, just listen. What in ………………………..   You have screwed up every step of the way.  Did we want that pompous, most interesting man in the world, The Rick to be the interview focus?  No, we didn’t?  Did we want Melody Storm  to defect and become a business consultant on Fox Business?  No we didn’t?  Did we want you and that perpetually unintelligible partner of yours to put on a broadcast that was even mildly entertaining?  Yes we did.  Did you?  No you didn’t?  As a result of these failures to produce you and your partner are being reassigned.  You, Nantz, will be doing weather reporting from our office in the Aleutian Islands.  Faldo is now my caddie.”  Sam disconnected the call on his phone, sighed and said, “I love what I do.”

Marjorie listened to all of the messages and decided she could ignore all of them except the one from Fox Business wanting a reaction to a video of Clyde screaming and brandishing for all of the internet to see, his upper thigh region.  She switched on her laptop in order to see for herself the video that already had 123,000 likes and 57,000 shares on Facebook; plus being the number one trending hashtag on Twitter.  She also found the edited version on YouTube and wasn’t surprised to learn that ESPN was running it on Sports Center.  Taking a deep breath to stem the returning tension, Marjorie took another look at Clyde’s fall and started to chuckle; a chuckle that grew and finally burst forth as a full blown mirthful laugh causing her to fall to the floor at the foot of the bed.  As her laughter slowly subsided, she could hear the faint dialogue from the video feed then was surprised by a sudden change in the volume.

Clyde let out another anguished cry of pain as he waited for Rocco, who was fumbling with a ring of key cards, to get the door open to their suite.  “Oh for the sake of all that’s holy, get that damnable door open, will you?”, Clyde beseeched.  He pulled off the towel that had been wrapped around his waist; a towel that was soaked through with vodka, gin, scotch and Schlitz.  In an attempt to deaden the pain during the limo ride from the golf course, Clyde was drinking everything he could get his hands on.  He had also been pouring half of the contents of the various nips and Schlitz cans directly onto the upper region of his thighs as topical analgesics.  Clyde howled once more when Vinny bent down to take a look and accidentally brushed against Clyde’s upper thigh area with a Schlitz can.

Marjorie realized that the howl wasn’t coming from the video feed but was coming from out in the hallway.  With a mixture of dread and the anticipation of the inevitable, Marjorie got to her feet, walked to her door and with a trembling hand opened it.  Rocco, still fiddling with the ring of key cards, smiled at her.  Vinny turned to her and said, “Hi Marjorie.  Look at how many more dimples there are on Clyde’s right nut than on the left one.  Hey, what’s this Clyde?  Does that say Titleist?”   Sam staggered into the hallway from the direction of the backdoor.  “Where you guys been?  Who moved the front door to the back? ”  He lurched into the wall next to Marjorie’s door and slid to the floor.  Gesturing with his hands he first pointed at Marjorie and then at Clyde, “Have you seen the video?  I betcha that weasel The Rick leaked this to that traitor Melody Storm thinking this would ruin us.  I got news for that walking L.L. Bean commercial, this is gonna work for us.  You can’t buy publicity like this.”  With that pronouncement complete, Sam curled up on the floor and fell asleep.  Marjorie stepped over his fetal positioned form and opened the suite door that Rocco now realized did not need a key card and hadn’t even been locked.

THE GOOD

The Rick dunked another Oreo into the glass of milk, hit mute on the remote and while chewing on the milk soaked cookie pointed the uneaten half at the lovely Melody Storm who was breaking down in great detail the vile display of those immoral, unscrupulous business partners of Dewey, Cheetum and Howe to her fellow panel members on the Fox Business forum.  “Those dozy, drunken sots ain’t gonna know what hit them.”, opined Jimmy Two Birds as he swallowed the last of his frozen Strawberry Daiquiri.  Nascar Bob, peaked around the refrigerator door, “Hey, we’re almost out of beer. Who wants to make a Piggly Wiggly run with me?”   Joey got up, wiped the back of his hand across the chocolate cake crumbs on his lips and grabbed the keys to the Hoovermobile, “Let’s roll.”  Bob grabbed the last beer walked over to Joey with his right hand extended upward and outward, “High five, bro.”  Ocho, who had been busy with the effects of chili and strong coffee, hurried out of the bathroom and called out to Bob and Joey, “Hey, get me another pint of Chunky Monkey, high five bro.”

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Filed under biographical, golf humor, memoir

Myrtle Beach 2012/2013 – The Revolution Revelation

Myrtle Beach 2012/2013

The Revolution Revelation

Dedication

This story is dedicated to Simon James Atkinson Turney a Brit author I discovered in The Twitterverse.  Through our tweets he has somehow unknowingly awakened my muse.

                                                                              Disclaimer

Due to an egregious editing error by my staff, the 2012 story was invaded by 2013 events and personnel.  I fired my staff but kept the invasion going.  The result is a mix ‘n match story of 2012 and 2013.  I hope I have done it seamlessly and humorous enough to justify not firing myself.

Disclaimer #2

The main characters in this story are real; however, their true character has been subjected to:

  1. Hyperbole – 10%
  2. Poetic license – 73%
  3. Plain old made up stuff – 15%
  4. Truth – 2%

 

Prologue

          The gallery has gathered around the 18th green here at Pawley’s Plantation, each pair of eyes straining to get a better view as one of the most exciting sporting events that this or any other century has ever seen is reaching an exciting climax.  Ocho has stalked around this oasis of Bermuda grass, seemingly surveying every blade, every subtle break and curl, his concentration shutting out the murmuring of the crowd and the derogatory catcalls from his fellow Hoovers.  Never before in Ocho’s brilliant career has a putt meant so much.   With this one stroke, this one gentle nudge with the new belly putter, Ocho can at long last claim the title of The Hoover Myrtle Beach Champion.  He steps off the putt to get a true and accurate length; it is 13’ 8”.  Ocho has been almost automatic this week with his new belly putter, anything within 10’ has been a lock.  This one will surely test his nerves and skill, a 13’ 8” gut check….a 13’ 8” putt that will gain stature and length with each new telling of the tale….if he makes it.  Okay, it is slightly uphill…about a three ball break to the right.  The practice strokes are smooth and perfect…he stands over the ball and brings his new belly putter straight back and straight through.  The ball leaves the brand new belly putter face and begins its journey to glory and renown or will it be another soul-sapping defeat?

In the posh downtown Boston offices of Dewey, Cheetum and Howe, the mega successful sports agency, Rocco is holding fort on a number of issues concerning all things Ocho.

‘Ocho???’ queried Ocho’s agent Rocco Ian MacDougal, ‘Have you heard a word I said?’  You seem to be distracted or something.’

‘Oh man!  Now I’ll never know if the putt went in.  Thanks Rocco.’ replied Ocho, ‘ I was in the middle of a cool daydream and sort of lost my focus on the conversation at hand.   Big tournament coming up you know.  Gotta finally get that monkey off my back or at least get the banana out of my pants before the monkey notices it.’

‘I understand your concern but that’s still three weeks away.’ said Rocco, ‘The fine folks from The Petoskey Daily Shopper will be here tomorrow to do a serialized bio of you.  Hey I have a great idea, how about we let them follow you around Myrtle Beach the week of the big tournament.  I’m sure they will jump at the opportunity to see you in action as you finally destroy your buddies.’

“A great idea, Rocco.  It’d be nice to have some reporters around when I finally win this thing.”

“I’m glad you’re so confident, oh grand and mighty Ocho.  Your track record ain’t too sparkling.”

“This time for sure.  Every shot is important…focus and smarts will win it.  We’re playing some Nicklaus designed courses so I’m gonna think my way around just like old Jack used to do.  Can’t miss with Jack’s method and my mental acuity.  Oh by the way, who are the Petoskey Daily Shopper reporters?”

“You’re gonna love this one.  None other than Joan Rivers and Nick Faldo.”

“Great, let’s hope Joan has enough time to cover my story given her infatuation with The Rick. And Faldo? How’re you gonna keep him out of the Gentlemen’s Clubs?  Oh well, I can’t worry about that.  Gotta focus on the task at hand.  Oh yeah, I didn’t see any of the partners around.  Where they off to now?”

“I’m glad you asked me that Ocho”, replied Rocco as he sat back in his chair, put his feet up and relayed the following tale of mischief and mayhem starring Sam Dewey, Vinny Cheetum and Clyde Howe as they turn another vacation into chaos.

MOOSE AND SQUIRREL

          The globetrotting, golfing, and heavy drinking trio have discovered a new passion, big game hunting.  So we find our imbibing heroes in Alaska on a guided moose hunt on the Katmai Peninsula.  Everyone in the group is armed to the teeth with the latest in modern big game hunting weaponry with the emphasis on being able to stop an angry grizzly.  The exception to this show of massive firepower is Sam.  He loves the lore of the mountain men and how they survived the wilds with their wits and a 50 caliber Hawken.  Men like Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, Jim Bridger and Jeremiah Johnson carried this gun so it was good enough for Sam. 

‘Sam!’, argued Clyde, ‘You are a stubborn, mule-headed, crossways sonofabitch.’

          ‘Those were the exact words of my third ex-wife at the divorce hearing.’ replied Sam, “Besides, I don’t know what the fuss is about.  My gun has enough stopping power, as much as yours in fact.’

          ‘That’s not the concern.’ countered Vinny, ‘the concern is your ability to shoot the damn thing.’

          And so the argument went all through the daily tramps through the meadows and forests in their search for moose.  Sam stuck to his guns, so to speak, and carried that Hawken every day, locked and loaded and ready to destroy any poor beast that got in his way.  As the days dragged on with only one shot at a moose, a miss by Vinny, the drinking became steadily heavier.  Finally, toward the end of the fifth day they stumbled upon a large bull moose grazing in the meadow.  Miraculously, the moose was unaware of the less than covert approach being made by 3 drunken fools and 2 bewildered guides.

          As furtively as possible, Clyde rose up to take a shot.    At the same moment, Sam saw some movement in the brush to their rear.  Spying a patch of brown-grizzled fur through the underbrush, Sam fired his ever ready Hawken 50 caliber screaming, “I got me a bear!”  Not very well braced and more than slightly drunk, Sam was thrown backwards by the kick from the 50 caliber Hawken and plowed into Clyde.  Clyde, tangled now with Sam, stepped into a varmint hole twisting his ankle and sending him sprawling to the turf as he was pulling the trigger on the moose.  The shot went wild ricocheting off of a boulder barely missing the now aware moose. The butt of his rifle struck Vinny in the Schlitz can he was guzzling from sending beer everywhere and knocking loose two teeth.  The two bewildered guides were shouting in tandem, “Shoot the moose!” but alas, the moose decided to head for a quieter corner of the meadow and was soon out of range.  At long last the three hunters recovered enough from their various new injuries to inspect the bear shot by Sam and so they slowly made their way to the bushes.

          The remains, mostly blood stained foliage, of the poor, almost unidentifiable squirrel were scattered everywhere.  Not even a morsel for the crows could be found, only the end of its bushy tail.  Vinny sat down, pulled the top off of a Schlitz and toasted Sam and his excellent marksmanship.  The two bewildered guides finally gave in and joined their clients in a festive send-off to the obliterated rodent of the woods.  They had to fix up an old fashioned stretcher to carry or pull poor Clyde out of the bush and back to the cabin.  Luckily he was feeling no pain so the constant jostling and the occasional falling off didn’t seem to bother him too much.  The rip roaring laughter probably caused more discomfort than his ankle did. 

              They decided they needed to recuperate somewhere warmer, so they are now headed to Maui for some golf and relaxation.  Who knows, maybe they’ll do some deep sea fishing and Sam can bag a sunfish with his Hawken 50 caliber.

          As Rocco finished his tale, Ocho got up from his chair, shook his head and started out the door.  “Give them my regards.  See you in Myrtle next week.”

Every year it seems we come up with a new scoring system.  The main reason for this, aside from exercising brain material, is that Ocho needs to find one that works for him.  If Ocho ain’t winning under a given format then like a smelly, poopy diaper it is time to change the format.  This year’s format is courtesy of The Rick.  I copy it here verbatim from his email so that the vast Ocho Legion can read between the lines of this cleverly engineered document. 

Here is a suggestion on how to play the matches.
Round 1 everybody plays for dots and score. Based on round 1 dots (?) results, teams are made from #1 and #4 against #2 and #3
Round 2 – Team match play based on total score per hole.
Round 3 – 5 same teams as round 2, but the winner of each round has to give the other team a starting lead based on winning difference of previous round.
That is, if one team wins by 2 holes in round 2, they start with a 2 hole penalty in round 3.
We could also mix in one day of Best Ball Match Play if we wanted to.
Winning team takes the trophy – based on rounds won, tie breaker – holes won, 2nd tie breaker –  total stroke score.
Losing team buys winning team Dinner on last night.

Let’s examine this closely.  First off, The Rick says it is a suggestion.  Yeah right….come on, The Rick has spoken – so let it be done.  Secondly, the first round and choosing of subsequent teams….The Rick knows that Ocho probably won’t finish fourth thereby making it more difficult for Ocho to win as he will most likely not be paired with The Rick for the match play events to follow….and this throw away consolation prize of the losing team given a “head-start”????….give me a break…The Rick will control the action so that his team doesn’t win by more than two holes….The Rick can make up a 2 hole deficit by the third hole of the next round.  Thirdly, The Rick, he of an inexhaustible supply of funds, wants a free dinner.

There you have it my faithful Ocho Legion.  Once again Ocho is faced with an uphill struggle to prove his worth on the hallowed, sacred turf of the South Carolina coast.  It will be a test of wills, ability and whether The Rick can be his best with Joan Rivers melting at his side.  Yes….maybe this is the approach to take….egg poor Joan on and disrupt and destroy The Rick.

Cast of Characters

The Usual Suspects

Rick: caught up in his own self- importance – concerned with his image as perceived via the quality of his posse

Bob: as newest posse member he’s still feeling his way – does have tendency to reflect the mindset of a NASCAR driver, sees himself as Ricky Bobby – during the whole trip he is pestering Rick to let him drive

Joey: prototypical gopher, always aiming to please The Rick even at the expense of others or himself

Jimmy: only answers to Jimmy Two Birds – conflicted in his relationship with Rick – would love to stage a coup – an unabashed Obama supporter

Ocho: official chronicler of Hoover activities – host of the popular videos, The Real Ocho Reality Show

                                                Supporting Cast – Cameos – Walk-ons

  • Joan Rivers the face that launched a thousand scalpels – now a reporter for The Petoskey Daily Shopper – has a serious crush on The Rick and will go to great lengths to prove it.
  • Nick Faldomultiple major winner on the PGA, once glib and insightful as a TV color man for CBS he is now reduced to covering Ocho for The Petoskey Daily Shopper with Joan as his partner.
  • Clyde Howe – 72 born in Altoona, PA.  He is a distant relative of Lord Richard Howe, the British commander during part of The Revolutionary War.  Graduated from The Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1959 and had a minor role in The Bay of Pigs Invasion.  Also, it was his ship that was fired upon by a North Vietnamese patrol boat in the Gulf of Tonkin.  The Ancient Mariner, as he is known by, retired as a Rear Admiral.  Has always expressed great admiration for the movie, The Big Lebowski so he drinks White Russians day and night.  The exception to this is when he brings out a 29 year old Cragganmore single malt Scotch that he sips while smoking Cuban cigars
  • Various and sundry beverage cart girls.
  • Old hippie accordion player at Villa Romana.
  • Lisa and Heather – volleyball team mates from Coastal Carolina University.
  • The Des Moines, IA Near Sighted Optometrists Club
  • Darius Rucker & Toby Keith – I only want to be with how do you like me now
  • Dr. Clement Mayhew – plastic surgeon in a coordinated effort
  • Rocco Ian MacDougal – age 47 born in Dover, DE of an Italian mother and Scottish father. This mixed heritage explains his drinking preferences of Sangria in the morning and Chivas Regal after noon.  Took part in many black-ops as an Army Ranger, none of which can he talk about but he has let it slip it that one had something to do with Saddam Hussein.   One of the top agents employed by the Sports Management Agency of Dewey, Cheetum and Howe and has Ocho as his top client.  Not a golfer, he is here to see to the needs of his client, in other words he is a high priced gopher this week.
  • Samuel Dewey – age 62 born in Ogallala, NE.  Graduated from Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute in 1970.  His friends call him CR from his earlier career as a corporate raider.  Indeed, the founding of DC&H was as a result of a corporate takeover.  His business acumen is so sharp that he has been married and divorced three times and has never had to pay a settlement or alimony despite being one of the 50 wealthiest Americans…  He drinks Stoli Elit before, during and after breakfast and switches to Southern Comfort at lunch.
  • Vincent Cheetum – 59 born in Piney Green, NC, a little fart of a town just outside of the largest Marine Corps base on the East coast, Camp Lejeune, where his father settled after retiring from The Marines as a highly decorated Master Sgt.  After a brief stint as a roadie for The Grateful Dead, Vinny followed his dad’s footsteps and also retired from the Marines as a Gunnery Sergeant, hence his nickname of Gunny.  His beverages of choice are Schlitz and Jack Daniels.

Chapter One

                                     The Hoovermobile Road Trip

The drive down to Myrtle is traditionally a festive event filled with laughter and all manner of gaiety.  Talk of the seven day forecast is one of the many topics that will be dissected over the course of the next few hours, along with a hefty pile of trash talk to stoke the competitive fires within our Hoover souls.  Ocho is on the receiving end of the trash pile quite a bit given his proclivity to flame out in spectacular fashion in these annual jaunts to the heart of the Confederacy.  ‘Not this year!’ claims our hero, ‘I’m winning it his year….and this time I mean it!!’

The Rick as usual is behind the wheel of this elegant yet practical vehicle that was built specifically for The Hoovers, as we wend our way southward.  Despite his churlish nature and despotic tendencies, The Rick is a mild mannered, considerate driver.  I have only seen him get riled up once while driving and that was when he learned that Joan Rivers was going to be following us around all week.

‘WHAT??!!??’ screamed The Rick as he turned around to look at Ocho, ‘that’s just great.  You keep her away from me, Ocho.  You hear me!!  All of you guys keep her away from me.  Do you understand???  Do you hear me???’

‘You got it, Chief.’ responded Joey, ‘You want we should have a quiet word with her?’

‘I don’t care what you do.  Just keep her away.’ said The Rick.

You may ask, with good reason, dear reader, ‘If The Rick was turned around screaming at Ocho, who pray tell was driving the vehicle as it sped 75 miles an hour down I-95?’  Well, no one was.  Jimmy Two Birds leaped up from his back seat position and made a grab for the steering wheel remarking, ‘I can land this thing.’  The Rick recovering his composure, and shrugging off the lunging Jimmy Two Birds, returned his hands to the wheel and his eyes back on the road leaving poor JTB sprawled out on the console section with a can of Joey’s Diet Coke spilling into the pocket of his custom made silk, Obama in 2012 golf shirt.  ‘Dagblastit anyhow’, howled JTB, ‘We’ve defaced the President.’

Another of the activities that takes place during our fun-filled frolic down the interstate is periodic napping.  We are, after all, a bunch of old geezers now and need periodic naps in order to function.  Ocho especially needs a few naps as he has been up all night working hard in the secret underground location at 115 Waterman Ave., Providence, RI, of Brown University’s state of the art data center where he keeps all the essential systems running to provide the students all the necessities of life such as ITunes and the ability to swipe their ID cards to do their laundry.  It was just after waking from one of his periodic naps that Ocho noticed the vehicle in the lane next to them was The Petoskey Daily Shopper media van (well not exactly a van….it was a renovated El Camino with the TV cameras bolted to the floor in the back.  Now many of you have probably seen the Chevy Chase Vacation movies where the beautiful blonde in the red sports car comes zipping by and begins flirting with Clark Griswold.   In this case it was a lime green El Camino being driven by Nick Faldo with Joan Rivers hanging out of the window screaming longingly at The Rick.

‘Oh Rick.  Hey there Rick…can’t you hear me?  Yoo-hoo Ricky!!! ‘

This goes on for a couple of miles.  Joan desperately trying to get The Rick’s attention and The Rick desperately ignoring her.  Finally, The Rick can’t take anymore and floors the Hoovermobile leaving the poor El Camino shaking from the turbulence and with Joan almost falling out of the window.

‘I told you it wouldn’t work.’ stated Nick to a crestfallen Joan.  ‘You know as well as I that The Rick will be trying to avoid you all week.  Give it up girl.’

‘Not on your life buster.’ replied Joan, ‘now put your foot down and catch up with them.  Maybe if I flash a little skin.’

‘Forget about it.  This car can’t go any faster and besides if you start flashing stuff we could get arrested for environmental pollution or something.’, answered Nick as he slowed the El Camino down to a more manageable speed.  ‘Anyway, we know where they’re headed.  You’ll get another shot at disappointment soon enough.’

CHAPTER TWO

                                     Long Bay – A Real Sandblast

It’s always a mesmerizing and sobering fact that even when a day starts out with great promise, the weather is great, the expectations are running off the scale, the course is magnificent, etc, etc.; things can turn on you faster than a diving red tail hawk on a bunny.  Ocho has an abundance of confidence in all parts of his golfing acumen except for getting out of sand.  His bunker play is a topic of great amusement to his fellow Hoovers, not that any of them are much better.  In fact, Joey almost took out the rest of us with a mighty blast from a bunker that he, as we say, “got all of that one.”  A screaming dimpled cannonball came directly at the three of us standing on the other side of the green.  Fortunately for us the miscreant missile was on a rising trajectory and passed safely over our heads and landed some 50 or so yards back down the fairway.

‘Hey Ocho ‘, yelled Rocco as he made his way over to the practice green, ‘Got some exciting news.  Joan and Nick are going to be doing a radio broadcast of the matches on WCRP, a local Petoskey station.’

‘See if you can arrange a press conference for after the round.’ replied Ocho, ‘Maybe Joan can ask The Rick some embarrassing questions.’

On the air:

Nick: ‘We’re live from Myrtle Beach to bring you the play by play of this exciting golf championship –round 1.  The opening tee shot is just moments away so we’ll take this time for a station break and a few commercials to pay my salary.  You’re listening to WCRP – The Voice of Petoskey and Beyond – WCRP all the crap you can’t do without.’

Nick: ‘We’re back just a reminder that after the round we will be conducting a press conference, so stay tuned.  Update on the round in progress after these messages.’

Nick: ‘Okay, we’re back; finally.   The competitors have shaken hands and are walking off the 18th green and headed for a brew or two I imagine.  Good, they’ll be nice and lubricated for the press conference which will be starting in just a what?  Another station id?  Well we’ll be right back after this station identification.  You’re listening to WCRP in Petoskey.  How much more crap can you take?’

Chapter 3

                               If You Give a Hoover a Microphone

The press conference is being conducted by Nick and Joan in the bar.  The Hoovers are seated at the bar and are passing the mike back and forth as needed.

Joan: NASCAR Bob, we didn’t see you playing today.  Some kind of injury?

NASCAR Bob: ‘Well Joan, I wasn’t here in 2012 but I am looking forward to the big NASCAR race a year from this Friday.

Nick: ‘JTB, kind of a rough start today, a 109?  What happened?’

JTB: ‘First off Nicky, the name is Jimmy Two Birds.  I’ll tell you what happened today, I played like a Hoover unlike some of my companions who like to lord it over you even if it’s the first time any of us has played in three months.  I bet that The Rick wouldn’t be so high and mighty if our wonderful President, the ever kind and thoughtful Barack Obama, were in our foursome.’

Nick: ‘Jimmy Two Birds, let’s talk a little of your devotion to your chief, The Rick.

JTB: “Hey I only have one chief who I’m devoted to and that is Obama.  The Rick is nothing more than a stepping stone in my rise to power in the Obama regime.  He’s already looking into a pet project of mine which is to annex Canada so we can adopt their socialist policies.  If he gives it the ole thumbs up I could be governor of the state of Canada.’

Joan: ‘Hello Joey, pretty nice round today for a three month layoff.’

Joey: ‘I coulda shot in the fu#$%^g 90’s if it weren’t for that fu#$@%$ driver of mine.  But it was a pleasure to play alongside The Rick.’

Joan: ‘Do you have to cuss so much there Joey?’

Joey: ‘Let me just say this.  I am a man of few words.  I only speak when I have important things to say, so if I have a tendency to swear a bit you can be damned sure those words are fu%$^&* important.

Nick: ‘Ocho, I don’t know how to say this in a kindly fashion but you sucked today!’

Ocho: ‘Well said Nick old boy.  I did indeed suck today.  Out of 18 holes I must have been in 16 bunkers, that’s a whole lotta beach time and a whole lotta strokes.’

Nick: ‘At least you provided some comic relief there on 16.’

Ocho: ‘Yeah, had some fun in that bunker.  After two failed attempts to get out I just went postal and kept swinging at the ball in rapid fire motion until it finally made it over the lip and into the rough.  Think I took an eight on that hole.’

Joan: ‘Oh Ricky, I must say you are looking dapper today.’

Nick: grabbing mike away from Joan, ‘Sorry about that your Rickness, er your Ricktitude, your Rickerino, anyway that was a fine display of golf you put on today.’

The Rick: ‘Naturally.  I really enjoy beating these guys.’

Nick with Joan whispering in his ear: ‘Ahh, excuse me The Rick but Joan wants to know if you’d have a drinky poo with her after this is over?’

The Rick storming out of the bar: ‘That’s it! I’m outta here. Posse! On me now!’

Chapter 4

                     What Do You Mean I Can’t Have Liam Neeson?

After finally escaping the press conference, The Rick and most of his posse head for a secluded area of the golf course so The Rick can take part in a video chat with the renowned film director, Peter Jackson.  Well maybe not quite most of his posse, Jimmy Two Birds was conveniently waylaid by Nick Faldo and the two of them are now three shots of Swan Creek to the wind.  Meanwhile NASCAR Bob is popping wheelies and squealing rubber in the parking lot with golf carts like he was born to it.  Ocho in his role as instigator was leading a drooling Joan over to the supposedly secure area where she could observe The Rick; ready to make her move if the situation was right.  That leaves only Joey to protect The Rick and Joey is dozing contentedly in another golf cart 20 feet away from The Rick.

Ocho is in a prime location for over hearing The Rick as he discusses possible actors to play the lead role in the upcoming big screen telling of ‘The Rick’ a film presentation by We Can’t Help It, We’re Morons Media Productions and directed by Peter Jackson.

The Rick: ‘Whaddya mean I can’t have Liam Neeson?  He’s perfect for the part.’

Peter Jackson: ‘I didn’t say we couldn’t get Liam, I just said we need a couple alternatives, say like Tom Cruise or Kevin Bacon.’

The Rick: ‘No way I’m gonna be played by either of those guys.  How about George Clooney or maybe that DiCaprio fellow?’

Joan: as she slides into the seat next to The Rick, “Oh Ricky let me run my fingers through your magnificent head of hair! Oh Ricky, what is that cologne you’re wearing, Eau de Irresistible?”

The Rick: “What the heck?  Where’s my posse?  Joey, wake up and get this woman off me!”

Peter Jackson: “I say there, Rick old chap, having a spot of trouble?

Joey, at the mention of his name awakens with a start, sees Joan in the cart next to The Rick and springs into action.  Slamming his foot down on the accelerator Joey finds himself hurtling backwards as the cart was in reverse; he rolls over three sets of clubs before he can slam on the brake and in the process douses himself with a 2 liter Diet Coke.  Putting the cart in forward gear, he re-rolls the three sets of clubs and heads over to save The Rick.  “Hang on chief, Joey’s on the way” cried Joey as he bounced over the curb he hadn’t seen.

NASCAR Bob hearing all of the commotion and seeing The Rick undefended did a tight two wheel turn into the wooded area separating the parking lot from the practice area.  Zig zagging his way between magnificent, old growth oaks and new growth jack pine trees, Bob became Mario Andretti and Jackie Stewart rolled into one.  Hairpin turns around tree roots and the occasional stump were taken at maximum speed yet with the grace of Baryshnikov.  Momentarily distracted by a rabbit Bob was unaware of the large pile of sand he was rapidly approaching.  The ease in which Bob transferred from race car driver to pilot was rather a moot point as there wasn’t much Bob could do except eyeball the magnificent old growth oak tree looming on the immediate horizon.  A quick lean to the left and the cart came to rest wedged in the crook of two large branches about 12 feet off the ground.  Clambering out of the precariously perched golf cart, Bob managed to half climb-half fall his way to the ground where he was almost run down by Joey going over the curb he hadn’t seen.

Startled out of her very focused attention to The Rick, Joan became aware of Joey, wild eyed and Diet Coke stained, getting closer and saw Bob gaining ground as well as he half jogged-half stumbled his way forward.  With a last peck on The Rick’s cheek, Joan ran off squealing with delight. Joey and Bob arrived in time to hear The Rick say to Peter:

The Rick: ‘And as far as casting my posse, I don’t want anyone portraying them as they are.  I want a posse that does what a posse is supposed to do, namely keep Joan Rivers away from me!’

Chapter 5

   What Would Obama Do?

          After a short settling out period in which The Rick berated his posse in very descriptive and colorful terms we all piled in The Hoovermobile and prepared to head out for a leisurely and pleasant lunch.  ‘Where do you all want to go?’ queried The Rick as he shooed Nascar Bob out of the driver’s seat, ‘Not that it matters much.’

‘I wanna go to Hooters.  Obama wants us to go to Hooters.’ voiced JTB, to which Joey started to agree with until he saw the look on The Rick’s face.  ‘Maybe we should see where the Chief wants to go.’ Joey sheepishly proposed.

JTB: ‘I’m telling you, Obama wants us to see some hooters.  Give me one good reason why we should be deprived of the liberty to see some hooters.  A liberty, by the way, made possible by our beloved President.  What do you say, Nascar Bob?’

NB: ‘I just wanna eat and have a few brews somewhere where they have racing on a huge screen TV.’

The Rick: ‘Our beloved President notwithstanding we are not going to see some hooters.  We are going to Cheeseburgers in Paradise where unlike Hooters, the food is good.  I will brook no more debate on the subject.  One more word out of you Jimmy Two Birds and you’ll find yourself confined to quarters with no TV privileges.  Do I make myself clear?’

A chorus of ‘Sir, yes Sir’ rang out from the four chastised posse members.  JTB, more seething than chastised just turned away and muttered under his breath while climbing in the back seat of The Hoovermobile.  Ocho could hear snatches of the one sided conversation, words like revolt and coup and gonna get his were repetitive themes.  ‘Say Jimmy Two Birds.’ whispered Ocho, ‘Just want you to know that whatever you have planned, I am behind you 47%.’

We have developed certain traditions through the years we have been coming to Myrtle as a group, such as; I supply and brew the morning coffee, or bedroom assignments, or, and this is a big one, TV viewing seating arrangement.  The living room in our posh, four bedroom condo is sort of rectangular in shape.  Facing the TV, there is the dining room area to the left; Ocho traditionally sits in a tropical style rattan chair in that area.  There are two couches, perpendicular to each other; one sits between the two sets of sliding glass doors that lead to the relaxation room, or veranda.  The other is against the back wall, furthest from the TV.  Jimmy has over the years been relegated to the back wall couch while Rick, not unlike Dr. Sheldon Cooper, has claimed the sliding door couch as his spot.  Joey kind of moves from couch to couch saying he does that as part of his bodyguard duties, but I suspect he moves to where the best snacks are at the moment.  Nascar Bob, since this is his first excursion with The Hoovers to Myrtle, doesn’t have a seat yet.  I imagine though he’ll be back wall couch assigned.  What a picture, the three Hoovers of girth squeezed together cheek to cheek while The Rick is sprawled out on the sliding door couch, a bag of Oreos and a glass of milk at hand.

JTB, still smarting from the no hooters incident, comes down from his second floor bedroom, a copy of What Would Obama Do? in his hand.  Stopping at the bottom of the stairs Jimmy gives out a cry of acclamation in response to an Obama quote in the passage he is reading.  He looks up and notices that The Rick has not yet come down from the penthouse bedroom and that the sliding door couch was available.  After a short visit to the kitchen, Jimmy is now sprawled out on the sliding door couch, a bag of Doritos and a liter of Mountain Dew at hand.  The revolution has just gone up a notch.

The Rick: coming down the stairs; ‘Ocho, I’ve got a…What is Jimmy Two Birds doing in my spot?  And why is there a NASCAR race on TV?

JTB: ‘You know this is rather comfortable.  I think Obama would love to sit here too.’

Nascar Bob: ‘Oh sorry Chief.  I was just helping Jimmy Two Birds to understand the intricacies of racing; like drafting and so forth.’

The Rick: ‘Get out of my spot immediately or be banished from the posse!’

JTB: pulling out his cell phone he hits speed dial #1, his hot line to Obama. ‘Yes I’d like to speak to our beloved President.  What do you mean he’s not taking my calls anymore?  Uh huh, uh huh.  What do you mean he’s not gonna invade Canada? ‘

A much deflated Jimmy Two Birds tried to fight back the flood of tears coursing down his face and into his Mountain Dew.  He sets down his phone and picks up the Obama book as he ambles up the stairs to his room.  ‘What am I gonna do now?’ he asks no one in particular.

The Rick stopped JTB on the stairs and said softly’ ‘Sorry Jimmy Two Birds but you see, I own Obama,’  Jimmy just looked at The Rick, nodded his head and said, ‘I’m going upstairs for a bit; maybe play a little poker online.’  Rick continued on down and after wiping up Dorito crumbs and a spot of Mountain Dew, assumed his favorite sprawled out position.  Nascar Bob handed over the remote and The Rick surfed through the channels until a sigh of glee erupted from him, ‘All right, Duck Dynasty!’

Ocho was beginning to wonder if he would be able to pull off his next caper when at last Joey and Nascar Bob went out the back to feed the ducks and The Rick got up to use the bathroom.  As soon as The Rick shut the door Ocho was up like a flash and opened the front door and hushed and hurried Joan up to the third floor penthouse.  ‘Hide out on the deck then surprise the heck out of him when the moment is right.’ Ocho told Joan.  ‘Oh don’t you worry about me.  I’ve a feeling tonight is the night.’ said Joan giving Ocho a big wink.

‘Well’ said The Rick, ‘I’m off to bed.  I left a couple of cookies; you guys help yourselves and don’t forget my coffee in the morning.’  He had barely made the stairway before the cookies were gone and the TV was back on the NASCAR channel.

Chapter 6

                                            The Beckoning Deck      

Or

The Mask of Salvation

          As The Rick climbed the stairs to his third floor penthouse, Ocho sent a quick text message to Joan letting her know that The Rick was on his way.  She positioned herself behind the portion of the glass doors that was covered by the curtain; her hands were clammy and her heart was racing, could this be the night of romance she’s been dreaming of?  The Rick, not suspecting anything, casually went about his night time ablutions complete with farts, belches and scratching.  He emerged from the five star bathroom dressed in his finest silk pajamas and silk robe, both emblazoned with THE RICK on the pockets.  A look in the mirror and a final toss of his head to settle his magnificent hair and The Rick sauntered into the bedroom portion of the penthouse.  Once he was settled in the super king sized bed and under the imported Egyptian cotton sheets he donned his sleep apnea mask and turned off the light.

Joan was still hidden on the deck, barely breathing so as to not alert The Rick.  She watched as The Rick climbed into bed but turned away to remove her jacket and did not notice The Rick putting on his sleep mask.  When she deemed enough time had passed and that The Rick was now sound asleep she slid the door open and entered the room.  Her plan was to climb into the bed and kiss The Rick and then see what developed.  Using her cell phone flashlight she shined the beam on The Rick’s face expecting to see a beatific sleeping beauty.  What she saw instead was some sort of hideously masked face linked to a weird contraption on the bedside table.  Letting out a very loud and very frightened scream, she ran out of the penthouse, down the stairs and into the night, screaming the whole way.

The Rick startled from a pleasant dream sequence in which he ruled the world, sat up and saw the back of Joan as she ran screaming out the door.   Pulling off the mask The Rick began shouting for his posse ‘Joey, Jimmy Two Birds, Nascar Bob, Ocho stop that crazy woman!’

                                  Chapter 7

                   A Bandana, a Halter Top and Chaps with a Codpiece

A slight detour into factual events will occur from time to time in order to separate the fictional Hoovers from the real thing. This is one such detour. In the story, Rick is portrayed in a certain villain-like way whereas in real life he is nothing of the sort. A conversation that took place this morning regarding the teams in today’s upcoming match. Rick and I are partners by virtue of my extreme ineptitude yesterday at Long Bay. “Well”, says Ocho as he rises from the table, “Time to get dressed.”   “What are you going to wear?’ asked Rick, “Let’s coordinate outfits.” and “Let’s call ourselves the Ricketts” and “We can have our own victory dance.”

Fortunately, the closest we came to accessorizing was to wear the same color golf shirt.  The alternative is frightening to think about or to try and picture.  Later that day while having our after round beer we started discussing the look of our coordinated outfits.  The winning costume is a bandana, halter top and leather chaps with an optional codpiece.  I’m not sure why the codpiece was rendered optional.  Maybe we thought that would just make us look silly.

INTERLUDE #1

          A Synopsis of the 2012 Golf – The WCRP Highlight Reel

These highlights were gleaned from the WCRP broadcasts during those rare moments when golf was actually being described.  It was decided by the author and would surely have been seconded by his staff had they not been fired earlier on in the project, to condense the golf proceedings and to separate them from the tension filled drama that is the other subplot in this massive two year written dioramic undertaking.

Round 1 – Long Bay – described in Chapters1 & 2 – as a result of the scores today and per this year’s rules, Jimmy Two Birds and Joey are team mates vs. The Rick and Ocho for the rest of the week.

Round 2 – Blackmoor

Nick: ‘Much better results for Ocho today as he is sinking some putts and not one bunker, a huge improvement over yesterday.’

Joan: ‘I think the shot of the day was when he skulled a tee shot to a par 3 fronted by a large pond. His Titleist did its best impression of Jesus on Lake Galilee as it hopped at least ten times across the pond before smashing into the wooden wall that serves as the bank of the pond.’

Nick: ‘A close second was his tee shot that landed in a waste area 3 feet from a gator sunning itself on the bank of the pond.  Ocho wisely left the ball there.’

Joan: ‘The two day stroke totals – TR 99/92=191….JTB 109/95=204….Joey 102/104=206….Ocho 109/97=206….the match play is all square.

Round 3 – Wild Wing Avocet

Nick:  Ocho’s ball lies in the rough on the right side about 20 yards from the hazard, a difficult shot around the trees, over the 30 yard wide marsh with hopefully a fade that will curve back towards the green.  Ocho looks like he has his hybrid.

Joan: Yes Nick, that is his favorite club, his go to club.  I guess the smart shot would be to start his ball left of the trees with that fade you mentioned.

Nick: Okay…he starts his backswing…the ball is away…oh my goodness; I don’t think that was what he had planned. The ball, instead of going left of the trees has gone right through a gap of no more than three feet between two of the trees.  Now it hits the cart path on the other side of the protected area and bounds off the backside of a mound and into the fairway.  What a great shot!!!!

Joan: What great imagination…no one but Ocho could even conceive of such a shot….well except maybe The Rick.  BTW have you seen how dreamy he looks today?

Ocho: Whew!!  That was not what I intended, meant to go left of the tree.

JTB: Yeah you got lucky there…but once again we have proved that for a Hoover, aiming in golf is just a theoretical concept.

Nick: ‘The stroke totals after Round 3 – TR 99/92/96=287….Joey 102/104/99=305….JTB=109/95/102=306….Ocho 109/97/100=306’

Joan: ‘The match play totals has The Ricketts ahead by 3 holes; that means that Jimmy and Joey get a three hole head start tomorrow.’

Round 4 – Prestwick

Author’s note – Due to technical difficulties both with the broadcast team and with the golfers, we do not have any highlights from this round.  Four players-72 holes-4 pars-22 triple bogey or worse.  Best thing to do is to just walk away and forget this round ever happened.  Four day stroke totals – TR 107=394  Ocho 101=407  Joey 104=410  JTB 105=411.  Match play now has Jimmy/Joey up by three holes.

Round 5 – Tradition

Another author’s note – The technical difficulties for the broadcast team has been resolved; however, WCRP was so far behind in airing commercials that today’s broadcast was nothing but the running of said commercials.  For Joey and The Rick this is a good thing as they were worse than yesterday shooting 112 & 110.  Day five – TR 110=504 Ocho 97=504 JTB 100=511 Joey 112=522.  Match play – The Ricketts are up by two holes.

Round 6 – Pawley’s Plantation

Nick: ‘Welcome to the final round of this painful to watch championship.  We’re changing up a bit today as WCRP is still catching up with their sponsors so we’re doing a taped walk about with the players as they slog their way to victory on a very difficult course.  Just how difficult?  Let’s ask Ocho, who played here one time many years ago.’

Ocho: ‘That’s right Nick.  This place ate me up and spit me out; think I shot something like a 116, so when the chance came to subject my buddies to this horror chamber I jumped at it; even though that means I have to play it again but the frustration will be worth it.’

Joan: ‘Those par 3’s along the causeway are just so hard.  I hope my Ricky poo doesn’t lose his balls in the water.’

A few holes later…

Nick: ‘We have reached the short island green par 3 on the causeway and Ocho has hit a beautiful tee shot, he’ll have a putt of about 11 feet for birdie.

Ocho: ‘Hot damn!  You see that?  Too bad for The Rick, I think he splashed two.’

Joan: ‘Oh poor, poor Ricky poo, how it must burn his very soul to take a 7 on a hole while Ocho gets a 2.’

Many holes later…

Nick: ‘We’ve reached the 18th and The Ricketts need to win this hole to tie the match.’

Joan: ‘I’m here with Fairway Joey and he’s feeling a little nervous.’

Joey: ‘Boy oh boy, sure hope the deciding putt isn’t up to me.  Could be bad if I’m the one to beat The Chief.’

JTB: ‘Well ain’t this something?  It’s all up to The Rick now.’

Nick: ‘A snaking downhiller; about 8 feet.  It’s impossible to leave this putt short and he needs to make it to square the match.’

Ocho: ‘This is just like my dream how come I’m not the one with the putt to win?’

Nascar Bob: ‘Cuz you already missed your putt.’

Nick: ‘Hello Nascar, nice to see you here from the future again.  Okay, The Rick has lined up the putt, he is standing over the ball almost frozen in place, is that fear or just intense concentration?’

Joey: ‘Ahh, he always takes a long time to pull the trigger.  Oh there it goes!’

Nick: ‘I don’t believe it!  He not only left it short, he left it 2 feet short!’

JTB: ‘Holy crap!  We won!  Viva la revolution!’

Joan: ‘Wait…he gets a mulligan…my Ricky poo deserves a mulligan.’

Ocho: ‘Damnation, now we gotta pay for dinner.’

The Rick: ‘Wha, wha what happened?’

Nick: ‘For those keeping score the final stroke totals are TR 103=607  Ocho 108=612  JTB 105=616  Joey 109=631.’

CHAPTER 8

                              The Beluga Brothers

Probably the biggest non-tournament event that took place this week was the WCRP Beach Party.  The Petoskey Daily Shopper in conjunction with WCRP pulled out all the stops…spared no expense as they feted everyone involved with the Hoover Championship, and a few extras that just happened to be around. Everyone was keyed up to have a good time including WCRP’s Joan Rivers.

Joan to Nick – I hope to get The Rick to take me on a romantic walk along the beach where we can watch the sunset over the ocean.

Nick to Joan – Uh Joan?  This is the Atlantic Ocean ain’t gonna see no bleedin’ sunset.

The affair was catered by Jimmy Buffet’s Cheeseburgers in Paradise and live music was provided by Hootie and the Blowfish.  The spread was delectable with any kind of burger you can imagine including the monster ½ lb. Bacon-cheeseburger topped with chili.  Jimmy Two Birds and Fairway Joey, faces and shirts now coated with tasty chili drops, proclaimed them to be the best burgers in existence.  In keeping with his time honored tradition of downing frozen strawberry daiquiris whenever he dines at CiP, JTB quaffed 3 of the concoctions and was ordering his fourth when Fairway Joey coaxed JTB to join in a game of beach volleyball with some of the lovely bikini clad denizens of the beach.  So there they were these two leviathans, these behemoth specimens of man gone badly, amongst the young, nubile, and hot enough for SI Swimsuit consideration, specimens of woman gone superlative.

It was decided that Joey and Jimmy would play against Lisa and Heather, two of the more comely lasses who also happened to be team mates on the Coastal Carolina University Beach Volleyball Team.  On the face of it this match shouldn’t have gone more than 11 points all of which would have been garnered by the nubile ones but for reasons that can only be speculated upon Joey and Jimmy were putting up quite a fight and the two teams found themselves tied 10-10.  It could be argued that Lisa and Heather were taking it easy on these two sorry looking, out of shape couch potatoes and indeed that was the case for the first few volleys.  However, when Team Nubile realized that despite appearances, their foes were superb athletes underneath the flab, they turned it up a notch and the match became the primary focus for most of the merrymakers at the WCRP Beach Party.  The only real exception to the interest in the sand court excitement was Joan as she kept her eyes peeled on The Rick waiting for a chance to strike.

Volley after volley, some lasting minutes at a time, found Joey and Jimmy reaching some heretofore unknown level of volleyball prowess.  Beautifully setup passes and slams careened off of their stubby and calloused fingertips some finding pay dirt on the other side of the net, some being returned with the same ferocity and intent.  It was still any one’s games when it was mutually decided to take a five minute break with the score 10-10 and match point in the offing.  Joey, his bald head glistening in the afternoon sun, gulped down another liter of Diet Coke while Jimmy practically inhaled two more frozen strawberry daiquiris.  Their strategy to win the contest was simple and straightforward, do whatever it takes to get the ball back over the net.

Nick: ‘Hello, this is Nick Faldo, reporting live on the beach.  Joan Rivers was to join me but she is down in the crowd somewhere stalking The Rick.  Just behind me you can see Fairway Joey and Jimmy Two Birds having some refreshment, probably Gatorade or some such nutrient mishmash, gimme a stout and a shot of Swan Creek any day.  Now they are making their way to the court where they have the serve. 

         This is it.  Match point, the behemoths vs. the nubile in the Hoover Beach Volleyball Championship, sponsored by The Petoskey Daily Shopper and the makers of Swan Creek Irish Whiskey, remember when after a long day of menial labor and heading to the end of a mostly menial career looking at computer screens, get a grip on a double shot of Swan Creek, it’ll do the job.’

Fairway Joey twirled the ball on the index finger of his left hand while guzzling down the last dregs of a can of Diet Coke.  His right hand crushes the can and flings it out into the crowd where a fierce battle breaks out between string bikinied babes for ownership of the can.  Jimmy Two Birds, a look of befuddlement on his face, sort of staggers to his position by the net.  He turns around to wave to the cheering masses hollering “JTB, JTB”.  He tries to give the okay sign with his right hand but the shift in equilibrium toppled him into a surprised Lisa who was not facing JTB but was talking to Heather about strategy.  Talk about your primal greeting.

Nick: ‘Okay, Fairway Joey tosses the ball up with his left hand and slams a missile towards the right back corner of the nubile side. Oh what a play by Heather; she comes out of nowhere and sends a perfect pass to Lisa who sets up Heather at the net for a slam.  Jimmy Two Birds can only flail in desperation as the ball flies by.  Fairway Joey attempts to make a dive for it but only succeeds in falling on his face, his outstretched hands about 6 inches short of where the ball hits with a thud sending more sand in Joey’s face. 

         The serve goes over to Lisa and Heather and they seem to have momentum on their side after that masterful last volley.  Heather sends a bullet to Joey’s right.  This could be the match, but wait, Joey takes a tremendous leap sideways determined not to come up short this time.  The ball comes down only this time Joey is able to return it not with his fingers as he has overshot the mark but the ball deflects off of his head and heads to the net.  JTB having turned the wrong way is stumbling backwards and just manages to keep the ball aloft with a rapidly descending hand as he lands in the sand.  Joey knowing he may be needed arose as soon as the ball hit his head but while on the way to the net he trips in the large divot made by his now sand covered cranium and is sent sprawling face first; however, the ball hits his left hand and starts upward and over the net.  Both Lisa and Heather are caught too close to the net and the ball sails ever so slowly over their heads.  In sheer desperation they both lunge at the ball and probably could have made a play had they not collided mid-air rendering them incapable of reaching the ball.

         Unbelievable! The behemoths have won.  The scene on the sand is pandemonium.  Adoring fans struggle to lift the exhausted winners out of the pits of sand in which they lie.  The pair raises their hands together in triumph, their sweaty oversized bodies covered in a layer of sand.  On the other side of the net paramedics are administering mouth to mouth to Lisa and Heather, although it doesn’t appear that they were unconscious. ‘

“I don’t know about you Joey but I need a drink and a dunk in the ocean”, quipped Jimmy as he made his way to the bar.

“Let me just say this, lead on Jimmy Two Birds.”, replied Fairway Joey.

So after procuring a couple beverages they amble down to the water’s edge and judging the temperature to be acceptable they gallantly plunge in, washing away the sweat and sand of victory.  Floating amiably and in a slightly sleepy manner on their backs they come to the attention of the members of the Des Moines, IA Near Sighted Optometrists Club who are attending a convention this week.  Convinced that the two pasty white objects floating just off shore are actually Beluga Whales that are in trouble some of the members rushed into the water and they proceeded to float the poor whales toward the beach while others flooded the 911 emergency lines.  Once on the beach the excited yet misguided rescuers confiscated all the sand buckets they could from startled kids building forts and castles.  Bucket after bucket of water was poured on our two heroes until Joey was able to sputter, “I say do any of you have a Diet Coke?”

All at once the beach is overtaken by the sound of many sirens as the Horry County Police arrive on the scene followed by a convoy of Department of Natural Resource vehicles and for good measure a Coast Guard Cutter and helicopter are deployed to help with the whale rescue mission.  Two of the more zealous of the near sighted optometrists begin pushing and prodding the DNR agents toward the two white whales just as the whales rise up on two feet and begin walking back up the beach to the bar.  “Well glory be!!” exclaims one of the optometrists, “I didn’t think evolution happened that quickly, those whales developed bipedal motion in a matter of minutes.”

Chapter 9

                           She Broke My Heart So I Busted Her Jaw

                           (From the 1973 album of the same name by Spooky Tooth)

            The merriment shifted from the volleyball court to the makeshift stage where Hootie was getting ready to rock.  Jimmy and Joey, a bevy of bikini babes in their considerable wake, having replenished their beverages were leaning against the stage being completely knackered by sun, booze or Diet Coke, and the physical exertion their bodies were definitely not used to or ready for.  The sun drenched and well lubricated crowd broke into spontaneous dance as Darius started I Only Want to be With You.  Joey and Jimmy got caught up in the frenzied excitement and totally forgot their posse duties and protecting The Rick.

At the end of the Hootie’s set, the crowd clamored for more not having fully sated their festive mood.  All of sudden there is a loud whoop from Nascar Bob as he is leading Toby Keith up to the stage.  The crowd is even more frenzied now and when Toby joins Darius for the encore the noise was deafening.  Nascar Bob, hailed as the bringer of Toby submits to the urging of the crowd and climbs on stage just in time to join in on How Do You Like Me Now? and Whiskey for My Men Beer for My Horses.  One may safely assume that Nascar Bob isn’t giving much thought to the well-being of The Rick at the present time especially while he is being surrounded by a bunch of middle aged women handing him items to be autographed or gifts such as lingerie and one set of keys to a cheap motel on the edge of town.

One may also safely assume that The Rick is oblivious to his vulnerability as he is sitting on the beach engaged in a video chat with Donald Trump. It seems that The Donald is a little miffed at The Rick for using The Rick as his name when everyone knows that The Donald was using The Donald for his name long before The Rick started using The Rick and is threatening legal action against The Rick.  Thus we find Joan hidden behind a mobile drink cart that Ocho borrowed for her, stealthily approaching The Rick.

The Donald: ‘Listen, I don’t want to be unreasonable.  How about you don’t capitalize the t in the Rick?  I could live with that ’

The Rick: ‘That sounds fair.  Let me run it by Sam Dewey and I’ll… What the fu??

From behind the drink cart Joan springs forward and lands next to the Rick.  ‘Oh Ricky poo isn’t this just so romantic; just the two of us here on the beach with the sound of crashing waves.’  The Rick acting on pure animal instinct reared back and with an I-Phone 5 assisted right cross hit a startled Joan right square on the jaw sending her backwards where she crashed into the drink cart and hit her head on a wheel hub knocking her unconscious.  Now a word about the physiology of Joan’s cranium and face.  She has undergone many surgical enhancements over the years to the point that during the last procedure the surgeon had to implant titanium to help augment the now thoroughly abused facial muscles.  So basically now her skull and face are encased in a titanium shell.  The result of the punch was a dent, shaped like an I-Phone 5 seen from the top.  The wheel hub left a quarter sized indentation on the back of her head.  While there was no real structural damage to muscle and bone, the residual expression on her face was rather frightening in appearance.

The Donald: ‘Hey! Did I just hit Joan Rivers in the jaw?’

The Rick: ‘Yes The Donald, you did.  Good job that. Well I gotta run.’

The Rick hangs up on The Donald and hits speed dial for his personal helicopter. ‘Yeah I want you here at the beach helipad in 5 minutes.  Go!’  Spotting Ocho crouched over the still form of Joan and her dented face, he says, ‘Help me carry her up to the helipad.  I know just where to take her.’

The Head of Reconstructive Surgery at The University of South Carolina Hospital was an old college pal of The Rick’s back in their undergraduate days at Washington and Lee. Being slightly beholden to The Rick for years of generous donations to his department, Dr. Mayhew was more than happy to take on this case.  ‘Now listen Mayhew’ said The Rick, ‘when this is done just send the bill to Sam Dewey over at Dewey, Cheetum and Howe.  He’ll take care of it no questions asked.’  The Rick then grabbed Dr. Mayhew by the hands and pulling him closer whispered, ‘Just one other thing Clement…’

Dr. Mayhew watched as Ocho and The Rick walked away down the hospital corridor.  With a sigh he opened his hand and wondered at the ingenuity and engineering that went into this miniature gps transmitter.  Now, where to put it?

Chapter 10

                                         A Revolting Development

It was a tough morning for some of yesterday’s celebrants but Ocho was up at his duty bright and early.  “Now that’s a good pot of coffee,” remarked Ocho as he headed to the closest bathroom.  “Why is that?” asked Joey.  “Because it is still brewing, haven’t had a drop yet and it has already kicked in.” answered Ocho.  Joey, his normal pleasant smiling face masked by the pain exuding from every muscle and joint, fell into one of the chairs begging Ocho to deliver his coffee.  Jimmy Two Birds made the trip down from the second floor in a record time of 10 minutes, the strawberry daiquiris playing the Soul Sacrifice drum solo in his head in addition to the Ibuprofen proof pain the rest of his body felt.  Nascar Bob was also slightly unsteady on his feet but perked right up after two sips of coffee.  The Rick strode down demanding to know why no one delivered his coffee.

Ocho emerged from the bathroom to find his pals, his buddies, his fellow Hoovers gathered around the dining room table.  ‘Uh, Ocho?  Have a seat why dontcha?  We have something we would like to discuss with you.’, said The Rick.  Ocho sat down and felt the steely gaze of those with grievances, ‘Okay what’s up?’

Joey: ‘Here’s the thing Ocho, we have had enough of the vile character assassinations we have to put up with in these stories.’

Jimmy: ‘A zealot for Obama?  That’s taking poetic license too far.’

Rick: ‘Leader of a posse, while I like the idea you know that isn’t really me.  I mean I do seem to attract the ladies and I do like to wear L.L. Bean and I do like the idea of telling people what to do but I’m more like the let’s coordinate outfits kinda guy.’

Ocho: ‘So what do you guys want or think I can do about it?  After all I’m just an alter ego, a figment of the author’s vivid imagination.  Let me call my agent, Rocco.  Perhaps he can come up with a solution.  By the way, how do you feel about the way you’re written, Bob?’

Bob: ‘Hell I kinda like it.  Now is this confab over?  NASCAR race on in two minutes.’

Chapter 11

Yeah, I’m a Feckin’ Genius

What does an author do when the characters he has created decide to rebel against the tyranny of creativity?  On the one hand how much longer could I stretch out the whole Joan vs. Rick thing?  It’s been a staple topic for me to play with since 2009 and I indeed had fun with this out of character caricature of a close friend.  Well as they say in the old country, ‘all good things blah blah blah’.  Rocco did indeed come up with a solution, a very equitable if only a slightly one-sided legal agreement drawn up in the offices of Dewey, Cheetum and Howe.  To wit:

The author agrees to cease and desist casting his Hoover buddies in the fashion heretofore utilized over the course of the last few years and stories.  This does not include this story as it is still in progress and the since the author fired his staff there is no time for a re-write.

This agreement does not preclude the author using a different set of characterizations in the future in depicting his Hoover buddies.  This clause is especially important as the author has already done so.  You can glean these new works of superb craftsmanship at https://mystoriesandsuch.wordpress.com/ .

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