I answered: “I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who ever broke his ankle while playing golf.”
“How’d you do that?” he asked.
“It’s a long story,” I answered. He took off my shoe that was filled with blood and said, “Looks like we have a while.”
“In that case,” I said, “it began last Wednesday, when my father asked me to accompany him to his big business golf outing this weekend. It would be neat — father and son representing the family company.”
My thing with regards to both family and friends is you can say “no” on occasion, but not every time. So, after spending the night checking the weather — it was supposed to rain — and drinking at Main City Bar into the early morning, I found myself meeting my father at the Frisch’s in Fort Wright at 6 a.m., which was still closed, assuming all the while he wouldn’t be there.
My father’s an even a bigger drinker than me, so when I spied his car in the parking lot, I realized: My dad didn’t even bother to go home. Quickly, there was a cavalcade of cars moving in a way that only drunk people can proceed at that hour through Kentucky. There were construction barrels the entire way as we approached Devou Park, but it was early in the morning, so who cared?
We arrived at the course, and the first thing I noticed was that there wasn’t any beer in the coolers.
But there were 40 carts lined up on the pristine green, 80 people and one woman with a bullhorn exclaiming to the crowd: “WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T DRIVE OFF THE PATH. THERE IS DEW ON THE GRASS! IF YOU DO, YOU WILL DIE!”
Well, the third time I teed off and my ball went the wrong way again, I jumped into our cart. And, as I drove toward the idea of my ball, my dad said something he had never said to me before: “What the hell are you doing?”
I said, “I’m not walking toward that shit.” And, just as I said it, I realized we were going downhill. Not in a figurative sense, but truly going downhill, at 65 miles an hour while still slightly drunk and trying to make an “impression.” In my mind, I figured I would simply hit the brakes and stop instantly, but instead of stopping we were soon going even faster as I literally stood on the brakes, until we hit the gravel of the cart path, at which point we stopped violently, and the cart turned on its side and part of me was underneath it.
In fact, the entire weight of the cart rested upon one improbable part of my body: my right ankle. And my father, who weighs 300 pounds, was perched above me on one of the bars of the cart. Suddenly, he was trying like hell to remove himself from the equation, and every time he pushed off to do so he dug the cart into my crushed ankle, so it was only natural for me to think the reason I was in pain was because my 300-pound father was trying to get off of me but simply couldn’t.
Thus, when he finally extricated himself from the cart, two things happened simultaneously; first, I assumed, wrongly, that I could just push the cart off of me by grunting. The second thing was much more frightening: There were four overweight nightmares — the very same people I was there to impress — running at me in slow-mo while mouthing, “OH MY GOD, WHAT SHOULD WE DO?”
“Lift it off me, you dumb motherfuckers!”is what I said, and they finally did. Afterward, I brushed myself off like I had simply slid into second base, looking as cool as possible under the circumstances. Then I proceeded to play my way to the clubhouse while shooting the best three holes of golf in my life. Because I had to.
When we arrived at the clubhouse and I mentioned to my dad that I should probably be leaving because there was blood pouring out my shoe, he asked, “Really, you’re taking off?”
I answered, “My ankle is broken, isn’t that enough?”
Still in shock, I found my car. Soon realized it was now eight in the morning and the aforementioned construction was now in full bloom. I drove around for a half hour with sweat pouring in my eyes and blood rising halfway up my stick shift, unable to find an exit or hospital.
At which point I realized life was a joke and maybe I should become a comic. I’ve been plying my trade ever since, even when I can’t exactly stand up.
CONTACT MARK FLANIGAN: firstname.lastname@example.org