Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Our lady of the par 4.

One eye shut, leaning on the counter, I found myself gazing at the pharmacy lady, saying, "Crystal meth?.... what?.... Crystal meth?"

"Yes dear," she said all wide eyed and church lady-crazy looking. "In the city they use Sudafed to make crystal meth. So we keep it behind the counter."

"Are you kidding me? Do I look like I cook... anything? And judging by those pin curls, you've been cranking up the bunsen burner a bit yourself back there. No. Right now, I just want something to dry up the cesspool of Cabernet Sauvignon and snot currently clogging up the front of my face, so I can drive back to the city."

We'd been at White Point on what turned into a full-on golf mini-break, instead of the sit-like-a-lump-reading-on-the-beach-with-a-Corona mini-break that I had envisioned. Of course, I had taken full advantage of my client's hospitality, and had the requisite White Point headache.

Always claiming to hate golf, I confess to actually getting a bit of a kick out of it now. It helps that I really don't get all worked up about my performance. My child, on the other hand, loves golf. A beginner – but apparently a natural – like most sports, he takes every shot to heart and is beyond frustrated when things don't quite go as planned.

His technique is to choose a club carefully, walk up to the plate or whatever it's called, take a few patient practice swings, lining things up in his head. He then steps up to the ball, his little face all serious and focused on the task at hand, and swings.

I play most balls with a 7 iron. I take a swig of my Schmirnoff Ice, walk up to the plate and let 'er fly. I must say when I make contact, this big girl can make that little ball dance, but I spend a fair amount of time replacing the big chunks of sod that usually land about 15 feet away. But who cares. I am walking by the ocean with my beautiful boy and life is, for those moments, very sweet.

Life hasn't been all that sweet lately, and I keep waiting for something good to happen. I recall some lesbian, Virginia Woolf I think it was, writing about wasting time waiting for the big, glorious light when actually life is about worshipping the daily candles that flicker in the dark, or some bullshit like that. Mind you, she killed herself, but never mind. I want the big light. A sign. The big break. The big Publisher's Clearing house cheque that Ed MacMahon was going to bring to my door before he went to everlasting golf with Johnny. And I want it now.

Teeing up for whatever hole we were on, Jack knocked his ball into the creek and was having a hissy fit. I miraculously lofted mine up and over the little hill, pissing him off even more. I must say it was a nice shot and although I couldn't see my ball, I knew it wasn't in the trees. We were on one of those lovely hilly holes by the ocean and feeling no pressure from a foursome of keeners behind us, I left Jack cursing and combing though the creek for his ball and wandered toward my ball.

Now, what I am about to write is the honest to God truth, no bullshit, Scout's honour, cross my heart and hope to die. I couldn't make up something this fucking awesome if I tried.

I crested the hill and saw my ball. What was so amazing wasn't that my ball was lying in a perfect position for the next shot. What was amazing was my ball was lying about 2 feet away from a bag of Cheesies.

No shit. My ball was sitting next to a bag of Cheesies.

I laughed, and then I started to cry. The significance of Cheesies in my world goes beyond the chemical-induced euphoria and greasy goodness. Cheesies haven't been the same for me since my friend Sheelagh died. Together, she and I embraced the value of a big bag of Cheesies and a bottle of wine on many a weeknight, while our boys belched and giggled and played road hockey out in front of the house. I haven't been able to whole heartedly enjoy a bag Cheesies since the day Sheelagh died.

But there it was. The sign. Sheelagh had left me a bag of Cheesies as a sign. She was telling me that life was precious and good, and these are the moments to be cherished, and not to worry so much. She was telling me that everything was going to be okay.

Jack caught up with me and we sat on the bench overlooking the sea, eating Cheesies. He was chatting happily about which clubs to use for this next hole, having left the anquish of his past shots well behind him. I was thinking about how much I loved him and how lucky I was to have him as my golf partner, even if he was an asshole when he missed a putt.

I guess that's what I like about golf. And life. There's always hope that the next shot you take won't suck as badly as the last one.

Hope. Golfer, Mike Weir is bringing this same hope to town with his Miracle Golf Day for Kids in support of the IWK Health Centre. It's a two-day fundraiser happening August 30 & 31st. There are lots of ways to get involved, so tuck a bag of Cheesies in your golf bag and start swinging that wallet around.

If you are looking to get involved or have sponsorship inquiries, please contact: 902.422.6277 or Or check out the website by clicking on the link to the right.