Joe’s Cart Tricks

Roybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf

Huck Tales

Joe’s Cart Tricks

At Golden Eagle, on a Friday afternoon in May of 2004, some of the Hucks set out on an “E-nine,” (an “emergency extra nine” holes, most frequently agreed to for reasons that have little to do with exigent circumstances). Burger, Joe, Ricky Bobby, Fuji, and I embarked upon a five-man Wolf Game fueled by enough alcohol to revive the temperance movement.

A Wolf Game, if the reader does not already know, normally pits two golfers against three or, on occasion, one against four. The players take turns teeing off first, and the first player to tee off either declares “Wolf” (i.e., plays against the other four players by himself) or picks a partner based upon the tee shots and handicaps.

It was my pick on number seven. Burger made a hole-in-one and rejected my decision to pick him, an allowable offense which increased his winnings substantially. Oddly enough, in the wake of what would transpire next, Burger’s hole-in-one was almost forgotten. It was not what we would remember most about that evening.

We moved on to number eight, a par four that traverses uphill on the drive and then slightly downhill on the approach. Joe was driving Burger in one cart, Fuji and I were in another, and Ricky Bobby was in a third. After everyone hit his tee shot, Fuji and I moved out swiftly. We knew Joe was considering one of his cart driving maneuvers. Unfortunately, we were not swift enough.

Joe, coming up behind us, said to Burger, “Watch this! I saw this on Cops.” He meant the television show by that name, and he may as well have said, “Here! Hold my beer. I want to try something.” Seldom does anything good follow those words. Joe was planning to hit the rear end of our cart and make Fuji and I slide sideways.

Fuji and I, though, felt only a slight bump at the back of our cart. When we turned our heads around to see what was happening, the cart previously occupied by Burger and Joe was unmanned and bouncing wildly into the air from one side to the other. Burger lay on the ground, face up, on the opposite side of the cart from where he began. Joe, too, lay on the ground, face up, on the opposite side of the cart from where he began.

As the lonely cart rolled to a stop, we noticed Burger was not moving.

A little panicked, I inquired “Burger, Burger, you alright?”

Joe raised himself slightly, realized Burger was not moving, and collapsed downward again. Burger, to the relief of everyone there, began to rouse himself. Relatively uninjured, Burger made his way to the cart and was delighted to discover that a good bit of his Scotch had somehow survived the accident.

Ricky Bobby had witnessed the entire circus act. His initial response, before realizing that Burger may have been wounded, was, “Now, what the hell are they doing?” Ricky Bobby reports that when Joe’s cart bumped our cart from behind, it flipped on its side to the right. Burger was thrown out of the cart to the left front, and Joe was thrown out to the right rear. As Joe was leaving the cart on the right rear, the cart was flipping back onto all four of its wheels. Joe realized that the cart was flipping back onto Burger and, fortunately for Burger, pulled on the cart’s frame. The cart still ran over Burger’s left arm, but matters could have been much worse.

After the fivesome regrouped and examined all the equipment, play resumed. When putting out on the eighth green, I was confused when Fuji cheered for Ricky Bobby to make a putt. Fuji, as Wolf Man, had chosen Burger as his partner, not Ricky Bobby.

I asked, “Fuji, why are you cheering for Ricky Bobby. You picked Burger.”

Fuji replied, “Well, your partner ran over my partner, so I got another pick.”

After a pause, during which I recognized a basic fairness in this new rule for our Wolf Game, I said, “You’ve got a point there.” I had to write it into the rules: “If an opposing partner runs over one or more of the partners selected by the Wolf Man, the Wolf Man may select alternate partners.”

The eighth was tied, the boys moved on to number nine, and E-nine was completed without further incident.

Burger’s Arm with Cart Tire Tracks

On Wednesday morning of the following week, we were pleased to learn from Burger, via e-mail with picture attached, the exact width of a golf cart tire. At midday on that same Wednesday Ricky Bobby prepared the group for another round of golf with Joe by bringing football helmets for everyone in Joe’s group. When the Hucks played that day and arrived at the eighth hole, they found a shrine I had created: a bouquet of flowers and a cross with the names “Joe” and “Burger” inscribed.

A few days later, heading out on yet another emergency, Joe and I boarded a cart together. Joe was driving, and the cart was facing the entrance of the cart barn. Rather than throwing the cart in reverse, Joe decided to screech forward around the cart barn, grazing columns and threatening a two-wheel tilt. Finally through the barn, Joe suddenly remembered that he had forgotten to get a towel. He stomped down on the brakes, bringing the cart to a squealing stop and slamming my already ailing left knee into the cart’s dash.

Grabbing my knee in pain, I yelled, “God damn it, Joe!”

After a few seconds of recovery, I exited the cart and, without saying a word, went back to my golf bag. Anticipating my next move, Joe had already risen from his seat and was beginning to unstrap his bag from the driver’s side. The bag exchange was made, and the two of us, with me in the driver’s seat now, made our way to the first tee. Joe was a very contrite Army Ranger, but we still do not let him drive.

Roybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf

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