A friend of mine and I took a relatively uneventful paddleboarding trek on the Chetco River when it was open. I say uneventful because she only fell in once and we only had to portage 34 times. And it rained.

So I’ve been thinking about taking up a new sport. Something easy, like golf!

I chose golf because my friends who partake in this sport always have such good stories to tell about it. They get “holes in seven,” or get to yell “Fore!” in the middle of the woods. They go for long treks in little electric carts and, out in the middle of nowhere, someone cruises up and offers them beer! It’s nothing more than a nice walk in the park interrupted by the occasional swat at a ball. I like it already!

My own golf experience is limited to a “game” at a firefighter convention. At each hole, we had to do something goofy, such as don all our fire gear and hit the ball, or fill the inflatable pool with water from the tanker before drinking a beer. As the organizer of the event, I don’t know how, or why, I came up with some of these ideas.

Anyway, after many of said beers, I needed to — how do I put this — make a run into the woods. Upon my return, everyone was yelling. I had won women’s longest drive! Yea, me! What’s “longest drive?!”

I won a 24-carat gold plated putter. Thing hits pretty well, too.

I mentioned my intention to take up golf to a friend I’ll call “Eric.” He said that once, he’d been teeing off (who can you make angry on such a sunny day? I responded) and the ball went flying, long, long, and landed, stopping dead in its tracks. Against a sleeping elk.

None of us thought this was funny. First, he was speaking of a course in Colorado that many of us have driven by, primarily because we will never belong in a tax bracket that would support our actually turning into the parking lot. Elk live on this golf course; they sleep under the willows, they come up to the 19th hole for beverages. Of course, his ball struck an elk.

We merely wondered how he did his “do-over.” You don’t just walk up to an elk: “Excuse me, uh, mind if I play through?”

The other day, another friend I’ll call “John,” was out golfing on that course. Well, he was trying to golf. He had to wait for a beaver — and its tree — to play through. This is usually when the lady in a golf cart zips quietly out of nowhere and offers you a beer. You get what you pay for, eh? Distractions. “Kindly ignore the beaver on the eighth hole!”

This is not uncommon, having to wait for wildlife to pass through while enjoying a round of golf.

This is how the golf course developer cuts costs, by hiring wildlife to trim shrubs and trees, drain flooded ponds and fertilize greens. You just can’t get this kind of help anywhere! The wildlife lives there for free. It eats for free. And it works for free! Salmon Run should consider it!

A week later, John was playing the same course and he hit the best ball he’d ever hit in his life: a Titleist Pro V1x or DT SoLo, I believe. R2D2, maybe. He hit it 170 yards! Onto “the green,” which is where the money is collected.

And a little tiny itty bitty baby fox bounced out of the woods toward the ball.

“Go away! Git!” John yelled at the baby fox. The fox looked at him. The fox looked at the ball. “Go away! Git! Major expletive!” John yelled. The fox looked at him and snapped the ball up in its mouth and ran off into the woods. John said he was 10 feet from making an “eagle.”

Whatever that is.

Out of nowhere, a lady on a cart appeared and offered him a beer.

So, now I’m not so sure about this sport. Except for the beer.

I think I’ll pursue that paddleboarding thing: Portage and a pint. That’s the game for me.

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