Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day Off

So, the wife and I planned to take the day off yesterday. We both are getting close to maxing out our respective vacation time at our jobs, so we figured we could extend our weekend by a day and pray that the weather was decent for a change.

We get up yesterday and a bright and sunny day greets us, which is pretty much where all the perfection of the day off ends. Quickly, as sun gets higher in the sky, the bright and sunny day that filled us with great hope for a wonderful Monday of playing hooky turned into an uncomfortably hot and humid day which caused me to sweat uncontrollaby by doing such strenuous activity as tying my shoes and blinking my eyes.

Now, I feel a little bad bitching about the weather, since in these parts lately, we've had so much rain that it would have made Noah flip off the sky. So, having the sun out is a good thing, but when I feel like I am melting, I get a little pissy.

So, we plan the day's activities, which involve going to a driving range about 20 minutes from our house (for which we had a "buy 1 bucket of balls, get another bucket of balls free" coupon). What can be better than free balls? Come to think of it, free balls probably would have helped me feel a little cooler yesterday, but that's neither here nor there.

First stop was to buy the wife a golf glove, since she has never done anything beyond mini-golf before. After this, we venture to the driving range. I pick this driving range because a) we have the aforementioned coupon, b) I have been there before and know the layout and also know that they have an extensive selection of clubs from which you can hit if you don't bring your own, and c) I absolutely LOVE to drive the little carts you need to get to the range.

So, we hop in the cart and drive up to the range. We walk up to the hut or whatever it is that the workers hang out in. I am immediately greeted by a teenager who is obviously not spending his meager summer job earnings on either a gym membership or Clearasil. He has the personality and enthusiasm of a stoned tortoise.

I present the coupon entitling me to free friggin' balls and this kid has the audacity to tell me they "don't accept that coupon". Apparently, sometime between the time that coupon was conceived and yesterday, the ownership changed and they used a magic marker on their sign outside to eradicate the name it used to be - the same name of the place that offered the coupon.

So, there I stood, without my free balls.

Since we made the trip all the way there, we decided to stay nonetheless and take out some of our frustrations on the battered Titleists and other horrifically deformed balls they give you at the range. I ask the kid if they have clubs. He told me to come around to the back.

I give the wife a wink, because the last time I was there, about a month and a half ago, they had some state of the art shit. There were about ten separate drivers there and the one I chose back then was made out of some sort of outer-space titanium alloy Martian metal. The head of the club was the size of a watermelon and the sweet spot was about as wide as the pimply kid's waistline. Every shot I made with this club went an average of 14,976 feet and straight as a friggin arrow.

I figured I'd grab this club again and then hook the wife up will a similar, inter-planetary driver that would assuredly cause her to be so good that she would turn pro, make millions of dollars, and allow me to quit my job, sit around a pool, drink beers, and have all the free balls I want.

So, I go around back of the Puberty Hut and spy a big plastic trash can filled with clubs. This is where I got my ball launcher from a month and a half ago.

I crack my knuckles and blow on my fingers to blow out the fire I am anticpating them experiencing once I start launching laser beams from my beloved club. And then I look in the bucket.

There were roughly 944 irons that looked like they were excavated some some paleolithic-era archelogical dig. And they were all made for midgets.

I scanned the bucket further and found two hockey sticks (??) but I couldn't find that Martian driver from before. You know that awful sinking feeling you get when something really awful happens to you? The immediate sweating, the sick stomach, the blood draining to your feet, the shaking? That's what happened to me when I couldn't find that driver. Then again, it was really fucking hot out and I hadn't eaten in like about 22 hours, so who the hell knows, Dr. House?

The only driver they had was apparently stolen from Fred Flintstone. The shaft, torturously bent, was made out of a combination of pencil lead and silly putty. The head was a clam shell the size of a silver dollar.

"Uhhhh...do you have any other drivers back here?", I ask nervously.

"Nah", says pimplehead. "As soon as we get new ones in, they get stolen or broken."

And THIS one survived? It surely is the cockroach of golf drivers.

So, bummed, we went to hit our paid-for balls. No free ballin' today.

The wife is having fun since she never did this before, but I am really struggling with my Stone Age club. The "sweet spot" on this is about the size of a pea and if you don't nail the ball flush on that 2 millimeter area, you either pop the ball straight up, drive it straight into the ground, or dribble it off the tee so pitifully that you actually have to decide if you want to risk getting your melon pelted with balls being driven by people with clubs made in the 20th century just to retrieve your ball and dribble it off the tee again.

Oh, and the grips on this thing were worn so poorly that within three swings, I had blisters on my hands that looked like I high-fived a pre-lit hibachi.

After about a half hour, we had enough and left the driving range for lunch. We went to a place where we had yet another coupon, which was miraculously honored. In fact, lunch was pretty much uneventful, except for the fact that they had run out of what I wanted to eat and there was a middle aged biker chick sitting at the bar who decided to do her own version of free ballin' and picked that day to not wear a bra and let Father Gravity drag those suckers down to her navel. It was loathsome and offensive, yet I could not look away.

After lunch, we headed back home with the plan of kayaking in a lake not too far from our house. We got bit by the kayaking bug a few weeks ago and had a great experience at another lake near where we work, so we were looking forward to cooling off on the water for a bit.

We find the place where we need to rent the kayaks and we go in and immediately see three teenagers "working" there. This work involves them ignoring us and talking exclusively to each other. We have to pry all sorts of information about the excursion and what we need to do.

We fill out a form and are told that it costs $10/hour per kayak to rent. That's fine. So, the lead unhelpful teenager requests $20 from me. I say, "We pay now? Don't you wait to see how long we are out for?"

She sarcastically says, "Well, if you read the form, you'd see where you can actually go in the kayaks. You'll be bored after an hour."

Well, of COURSE we didn't read the form that we signed and dated. For all I know, it could have said that the lake is infested with those brain-eating amoebas and even if we survive our boating experience, by signing and dating this, I am giving all employees the right to come over to my house and take anything they want.

But apparently, all the form said was that the area we were allowed to take the kayaks was about the size of an Olympic swimming pool. We had to make loops in this little tiny area, despite miles and miles of unexplored water on either side of it. On top of it, this area was surrounded on two sides of it my major roads, so our relaxing cool kayaking trip was marred by car exhaust and blown out woofers playing the latest Jay-Z.

Sooo...the lead unhelpful teenager asks another unhelpful teenager to help us out. So, you can just imagine the speed and excitement with which he took to this task. He gives us two random life jackets. The wife's apparently belonged to Luciano Pavorotti after he ate Dom Deluise. Mine belonged to Kate Moss on a hunger strike.

We get thrown two paddles and brought out to our kayaks. The wife gets a 10 footer that has about 2 inches of water on the bottom. Mine is longer (heh...) but made entirely of hard (heh...) plastic with a healthy amount of wet sand distrubuted right where I have to sit.

The wife notices her kayak doesn't have the foot stabilizers. She says "this doesn't have foot stabilizers?" to which unhelpful teenager #2 replies with the ever-helpful observation, "Guess not". I assume mine also doesn't have foot stabilizers since there is nothing near my feet. Until about halfway through our sojourn around the pool where I discover the stabilizers. They are so far up the kayak that my attempt to utilize them caused me to knee myself in the chin.

We do about five loops around the tiny area before we decide we had enough and head back. Part of my reason for throwing in the towel is excruciating pain I am experiencing in the back of my thighs while I am in the kayak. It feels I am being jammed with a red-hot poker. Later, I would find out that this pain was caused by this incredibly hard plastic seat having been broken (not by me...probably from the lard ass from the driving range), so there were shards of sharp plastic jabbing into my hamstrings. Anyway, we encounter the lead unhelpful teenager one last time, where I came close to professing belief in her soothsaying skills because she was right: I was bored to tears after about twenty minutes. Then again, it might have had something to do with the minor concussion I suffered from kneeing myself in the jaw and also the lack of oxygen that my life-girdle deprived me of for the hour we were rowing.

Not exactly how I envisioned our day off when I first awoke to a bright, sunny day.

I couldn't wait to get to work today.

- Dim.


Blogger Just me... said...

Somewhere there is a biker who was so very glad that the chick picked yesterday to air the girls!!!
As for hot days and kayaking, um.. No.. But, thanks!! :):)
Funny thing... Even though it wasn't the stellar day you envisioned, kinda sounds like you enjoyed the company!!!! :):):):)

1:26 PM  
Blogger March to the Sea said...

freaking love "you'll be bored in an hour" hahahahaha mint.

4:07 PM  

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