I sure hope Heaven is my final destination because I couldn’t take the heat of Hell.
It felt like Hell on the golf course Tuesday as I tried to tuff it out through the constantly rising temperatures. The same valley, from which this lovely lay-out was carved and helps to shelter players from the full fury of hurricane-force winds like we’ve been having lately, unfortunately also concentrates and magnifies the Sun’s intensity on calm steamy hot days which can be potentially lethal for fluffy guys like me. It’s too bad too because I felt great at the beginning of the round; striking the ball cleanly and making a few pars on the early holes. But by # 6 I noticed that after placing my ball on the tee and rising up quickly to give it a rap with the driver, my world started spinning like I’d just stepped off a school Merry-Go-Round. I backed away from the ball and somehow managed to force the whirling sensation to cease but my pulse rate had picked up the pace quite a bit. I have been in this situation a few times before and in spite of the fact that I’d been drinking plenty of water and keeping a wet towel around my neck, it was clear I was experiencing the warning signs of heat stroke. Now, anybody who plays golf knows that to have any success at the game requires a certain amount of concentration. Unfortunately, all I could think about was the very real possibility that the Lord might decide to call me home right then and there if I didn’t stop this foolishness and retreat to the air conditioned safety of the club house bar which He hath provided. But I chose to ignore the symptoms, addressed the ball and gave a mighty swing launching it straight up in the air advancing maybe twenty yards. I managed to stumble through the next few holes finally confessing to my playmates that the heat was too much and I sheepishly pointed my golf cart up the hill for the parking lot and home.
A short digression here:
I know it’s a silly hypothetical but I’ll bet we’ve all asked ourselves if we had to choose between being blind or deaf which would we pick? Me? I’m sure I’m in the minority on this,but I think I’d go with blindness because I couldn’t bear the frightening loneliness of being unable to hear. Here’s another; maybe more realistic question; which would you prefer; living in Phoenix in the summer or Fairbanks in the winter? I’ll bet most of you, including my wife, Linda, would head for the desert. Not me, I’ll be going “North to Alaska”and hope she gives me a call from the poolside now and again.
Nope, don’t do heat well. In fact, I’ve been riding my HOG a lot more this summer; (HOG is a nickname for my motorcycle which is not a Harley Davidson at all; it’s just a joke so don’t you members of the Harley Owners Group get your snouts out of joint and come after me.) in part to save money on gas but mostly to cool off from mowing or some other rare form of physical activity. I’ve mentioned my motorcycle background here before.
It all began when I was 13 and got my first hummer.
Now, wait a minute fellas, before you start thinking what’s the big deal about that?…I’m talkin’ about a 1951 Harley Davidson 125 Hummer. I bought it from my older cousin who’d outgrown the thing.
This was at a time long before motorcycles or scooters were common sites on the road so I was quite the novelty act buzzing up and down the streets of Volga until that fateful day when..blocked by a hedge..I crashed head-on into a car causing embarrassing injuries to my groinal area and irreparable damage to my Hummer. (That may sound redundant but again this Hummer was a Harley.)
It wasn’t until the mid eighties, when passing by a gas station, I spotted a used small engine Kawasaki for sale and got the motorcycle bug again. I even convinced Linda that, for a hundred and fifty bucks, it would be great fun to zip around on..which is exactly what we did. Then it developed a problem and I had that motorcycle repair shop on West 12th (now gone) come pick it up and haul it off to the shop to be fixed. Several weeks passed without any word..finally, after numerous calls, I went down there to pick it up and my little Kaw was gone. They had no idea what happened to it. I, of course, voiced my extreme displeasure; even threatened to sue but I think they knew it wasn’t worth going to court over and they were right so the bike bug disappeared again until a couple years later when I heard about all the used motorcycles on sale at Inter Lakes Sports Center in Madison. That’s where I found the bike I still have; a 1980 Kawasaki KZ-1000 Shaft Drive..just like the ones Ponch and Jon drove on CHiPS only this was black and didn’t have any flashing red lights. It was by far the biggest and most powerful motorcycle I’d ever driven and as fast as any Harley which led Linda and I to facetiously dub it the HOG.
We rode it quite a bit early on; even to the Black Hills one summer weekend. (Not the Stugis Rally. Even I’m not stupid enough to bring a Japanese bike to mingle amongst all that American Iron. Besides, Linda likes to keep her shirt on in public, thank you.) We had great fun tooling around curvy highways stopping at all the touristy places until we arrived at Custer State Park and the Wildlife Loop. Those buffalo and burros are a lot more intimidating when you’re fully exposed instead of in the safe confines of an enclosed vehicle. We couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
I’ve gone years without firing up the HOG but with a good charge or a new battery, its never failed to start. It’s always been inside the garage and cleans up real nice, has new tires.. plus fewer than 20 thousand miles on the ticker. Wait a minute, this sounds like a For Sale ad. I hadn’t thought about selling it until just now. 2 thousand bucks and she’s yours.
I’ve had my eye on this used Harley.
It sure would be nice to stop living a lie.