Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Little Slice of Paradise

Long ago my wife’s family made Disneyland their primary vacation destination. In fact the first time I ever stepped foot inside the Wagner house (I was there to “study”) it was apparent from the multiple Disney frames depicting various trips to the Magic Kingdom that Disney was a big part of this family’s life. On our first anniversary Taela and I drove to Disneyland from our apartment in Klamath Falls. In fact, in the 11 ½ years we’ve been married I have been to Disneyland at least 5 times. Why am I quantifying all of this? I don’t know. Oh yeah…I was going to tell you how much my wife loves it there. The place instantly turns her into a little girl again. Her face lights up like Christmas morning. Disneyland literally alters her personality. It truly is magic for her.
As for me, my Disneyland is a mystical golf haven on the southern coast of Oregon named Bandon Dunes. Bandon Dunes recently overtook Pebble Beach as the top ranked golf resort in the United States. It features not one, but four world class golf courses. Many holes are built on the cliffs above the ocean. Teeing off at Bandon Dunes is like travelling to Scotland 100 years ago except instead of waving your magic wand to get there all you have to do is drive up in your SUV and plop down your credit card.
A couple of weekends ago I made my fourth trip to Bandon Dunes. Last year we put together a group of six guys and had the time of our lives. This time we had three of us (Bryan, Scott and me) for the first day, then James joined us late on day two. Because James wasn’t able to play on Friday we were matched up with a stranger. His name was David and it turned out he was a nice enough guy. He said he was the “assistant dean” of the University of Washington. The four of us had played a few holes together and we were having a good time. I started off not playing very well and I was aggressively cussing out Bryan for beating the hell out of us and taking all our money. Bryan Gray (not to be confused with Brian Gay, the PGA Tour player...he gets that all the time) is a former club pro (well, assistant pro but try telling him that) but he hadn’t played a round in 8 months so it’s not as if he was on top of his game.

In any case, I was having a great time despite consistently hitting the ball like a giant turd face. Scott was trying not to absolutely lose his mind because he was playing like a blind leper.

We got to about the 6th hole and I had already put down a Heineken. I figured it was time to wash that down with a Coke Zero so as Bryan was teeing the ball up I cracked open my pop and took a mouthful. The problem was that this soda was really fizzy and it hit the back of my mouth kind of funny. Instantly it triggered a cough that sent the entire mouthful of Coke Zero flying. The ocean happened to be to my right…the wind comes in consistently from the ocean…David happened to be standing to my left…sorry David. As I coughed I could see the foamy spray take flight. I looked up and there was nothing to be said or done. The only guy in the group that I didn’t know was now wearing the entire first would-be-gulp of soda delivered straight out of my mouth. I absolutely spewed my drink all over this guy’s jacket as he was wearing it. I’m certain some got on his face and probably even in his goatee. He didn’t laugh.
On Saturday we hit the course early. I could tell you all about how the sideways hail storms came in a couple of times. I could tell you about how the group in front of us was slow and made us wait all day. I could tell you how beautiful the course was. I could tell you that Scott hit every ball he swung at (unlike the day before). But you don’t care about all of that. If you want to go to Bandon Dunes then go there yourself. It’s amazing and it’s somewhat affordable in the winter time. As a golfer it’s damn near as good as it gets.
I could tell you all sorts of things about the golf rounds, but instead I’ll tell you that after 36 holes of golf we headed into the pub for some dinner. We were all exhausted and sore…and hungry. Three of us ordered the Bandon Cheeseburger (which comes with Tillamook instead of Bandon cheddar cheese, by the way), one of us ordered Fish & Chips. I was one of the burgers and when it showed up I was elated.

It was finally time for me to fill my belly up with something hot and greasy. I picked up that big, round, heavy burger and brought it to my mouth. I took a giant bite and began to chew. Mmmmm…what’s that?
“Guys.” What? “Holy S.” What? “Look at my plate.” What? “Look at it!” What? “Right there.” Oh no.
There on my plate, right in the middle of where the bun had been resting, was something you never want to see mixed with your food. Was it a bug? No. Was it crusted on food? No. Was it a hair? Yes. Well that’s not so bad, right? It was a body hair.
I'm not going to say exactly which part of the body this particular hair appeared to have come from, but I think you know. I will remember Bandon for a lot of things...unfortunately causing me to lose my appetite while eating a delicious cheeseburger is now one of them.