Runaway Cart

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

Huck Tales

Runaway Cart

No golfer has had more problems with golf carts than Fuji. After he joined Golden Eagle, he purchased a private cart. That cart, by the time of the following episode, was several years old and suffered from a multitude of maladies. I called the cart “Rattle Trap.”

One day, Fuji, Ninja, and I were playing against other threesomes in a three-on-three Wheel Game. Rattle Trap, enveloped by a comprehensive virus, was experiencing problems starting, continuing, and stopping. As Rattle Trap moved forward, Fuji would step on the gas pedal a second time and, somehow, the cart would act like it had new life. Fuji called it a second gear.

Our threesome reached the sixteenth hole. The sixteenth is an uphill, par-four, dogleg left that begins just in front of a pond or reservoir. The pond supplies the course with water. Fuji hit his tee shot left, close to out of bounds, and he and Ninja took off in Rattle Trap. As Fuji brought his cart to an uncertain stop, at the top of the hill, he and Ninja exited the cart in search of golf balls. Riding solo in a club cart, I topped the hill and saw smoke signals rising from Rattle Trap. She was parked, but she was not silent. As I neared the cart and heard the sizzling, I uttered a few derogatory words to make Fuji aware of his cart’s condition. With great bravery, he boarded the smoking cart; and, after several jumps and fits, the cart moved down the hill and into the fairway. The cart, now, seemed peaceful, but she was pointed backwards toward the tee and the pond.

We resumed the search for golf balls, found them, and hit our shots. Fuji boarded Rattle Trap again and quickly announced that the cart would not budge. The gas pedal was pumped vigorously, the seat was lifted, battery cables were shaken and shifted. No response. Ninja noticed that the key was in the “off” position. Fuji had forgotten that he had turned the key off in order to extinguish totally the flow of power. Ninja, from outside the cart, promptly turned the key to the “on” position. Rattle Trap’s wheels spun as she took off, unmanned and in full throttle, toward the pond.

Though Fuji likes to chide me for not running after his cart, I was four or five yards behind Ninja. I hold in my mind a very vivid image of Ninja, as the cart reached the twenty yard mark, standing there and holding out his right hand as though he were still turning the key. Fuji, at this point, took off in hot pursuit. This cart had never operated with such great acceleration. Rattle Trap appeared to be on a suicide mission, determined to end her misery once and for all in a watery plunge.

For about a year, Fuji and I met in the early mornings to work out at a sports training center. Except for the days of our youth, we were never in better shape. Fuji often brags about being an athlete; and, truthfully, I have seen Fuji make a lot of strong, athletic moves despite a bad back and a bad hip. But I have never seen him move as fast as when he ran after that suicidal cart.

Fortunately, he was able to grab the reigns of Rattle Trap, calm her nerves, and divert her away from the pond. He drove the cart up to the green, stopped, got out his phone, called the pro shop, and requested that his son, who was working at Golden Eagle, bring him a club cart. Rattle Trap, still smoking, was abandoned.

Shortly thereafter, however, Fuji donated the cart to an engineer, a fellow Huck known as C.P. The cart runs just fine for C.P. Fuji bought a new cart with a high speed motor. He went through three motors before the experts decided the motor needed to be governed back just a bit. More recently, Fuji had a problem with the lug nuts coming loose on his back left wheel. The wheel would make a clunking noise as Fuji drove. Eventually, after a few tightenings, the bolt threads wore out, and Fuji was told that his wheel would have to be cut off. Yet more recently, when Ricky Bobby sat down in Fuji’s cart after hitting his shot, a coil spring broke, a spring that holds the rear of the cart off of a tire. If you ride in Fuji’s cart, be prepared to find an alternate mode of transportation.

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

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