Our favorite people in town are M and V, and to celebrate our friendship, we invited them last night to Wakonda for dinner. Wakonda was decked out in her full glory, and we enjoyed a very hearty meal. M is a golfist, and referred me to Golf in the Kingdom, one of the venerated texts of golfist mysticism. Out of the corner of my eye, over my wife J’s shoulder, I could see the first tee blanketed in snow. It was snowing and the shimmery Christmas lights added a cheerful glow to the evening’s pleasures. Dinner was a medium rare Chateaubriand filet mignon served with young vegetables and a grilled floret of seasoned potatoes, chased with a very balanced pinot noir (Cambria).
As the night went on, I could swear there was a small dark figure on the first tee. He was bent over, and his eyes shined as brightly as the Christmas lights bedecking the halls. He was wearing a bear coat, clearly a bear because of the bear head that was fashioned into a hood draped across his forehead. He had a gnarled oaken branch that he was using as a staff -it was capped with a golden monkey’s head. He dropped a fiery red globe on the ground, flipped his oaken staff over and took his stance. He waggled his primitive club, and made a mighty blow at the fiery globe, the golden monkey head pierced the fire orb, resulting in an explosion of light. Then darkness.
I turned back to the conversation, which was alternatingly about J and V’s tennis obsession, M’s day trading obsession, and my golf obsession. The retinal flash of that burst of light persisted, and I finished up my pinot with savor and not a little shiver of dread. Dessert was crepes with caramelized pear served with a dollop of fresh cream and a spearmint leaf. As I sipped my coffee and pondered the possibility of ordering a nice port to cap the night, the night golfer appeared in the window behind M, his bony finger pointed at me.
Clearly, it was my turn to tee it up. I gestured at my watch, and pointed at my friends and family around me. No time for golf with the scary bear spirit at the moment. Scary bear spirit shrugged, and floated off into the snow storm. From the red glow in the distance, he had hooked it into the woods between #1 and #4.
Some day, my friend. Some day.