Friday, November 8, 2013

Luck is real.

Worst than losing some plastic.

Every once in a while, your luck simply runs out and you have a bad day. Flat tire, dead battery, lost credit card. Bad day.

Once every long while, bad luck seems to be able to just multiply, expound and spawn. I remember back when I was just a young man of 16, I was watching a play at a high school one-act competition and I saw one of the most phenomenal displays of compounding bad luck unfold right before my eyes.

I wish I could remember more, but this is my best recollection. The first thing to spin off the tracks was that an actress was sitting at a table with a glass ball in front of her, and as she stands up, she bumps the table, sending the glass ball to the floor where it rolls into the front row of the audience.

Next, one of the prop doors on the side of the stage, that the characters were using to enter and exit, became completely stuck and actually pulled over the entire prop wall down on top of the poor kid. People scrambled to push it back up while trying to continue the dialog.

Not to be outdone, an actor came on stage with a prop bloodied bandage on his forehead. He begins to deliver his monologue, but as he's talking, one side the bandage comes un-stuck and is flapping back and forth like a flag - clearly showing his uninjured forehead.

Missed cues, forgotten lines, props that just didn't work... you name it, it happened. The crowd, tried for some time to politely hold it together, but eventually - I believe when the walls literally and figuratively started to collapse, the audience lost it and just roared with laughter. It was brutal, just unredeemed brutality.

That play is the best analogy I have for when disc golf starts to go bad and you simply cannot recover. I played a few weeks ago with my friend Sam, when he had such a round. Lost discs, found discs, lost discs, hitting trees, more trees, lost discs, terrible shots, nothing worked. It culminated when he was teeing off - and at the exact moment he was releasing a drive - he was stung on the neck by a wasp. Seriously.

He valiantly tried one more hole, but he again shanked a shot - losing his favorite driver - and he just quit the round. At the time, I had to hold my tongue because he was clearly not a happy camper - but the next day we were able to laugh about it and he said it was bar-none the worst round he has ever played.

Well, yesterday was my day to fail and it was ugly. I have a park near my office that has a nice long narrow field that borders a small pond and some big bushes. First thing to go wrong - I throw two drives that turn too hard right and end up out by the pond - lost in a huge deep mess of some very thick bushes. I had to go into this mess about 40 feet to get them back. I found them and say to myself, "I can't end on those terrible shots. One more round of drives, just one more!"

I was already pushing an hour into my lunch break, but I wanted to end positive.

Bad call.

This time I manage to turn over my favorite Discraft Surge, which I don't think I've ever done before, and put it INTO the muck filled pond. I can see it floating 20' from shore and start throwing rocks passed it - trying to gently send it floating towards the edge of the pond. Finally after an eternity of rocks, it's 5 feet from the shore and I reach out with a stick to pull it closer and let the air out from under it and it sinks into the murky muck.

At that exact moment, I notice that my wallet is no longer in my back pocket. It's gone.

In all of the crawling through bushes I'd somehow lost it. I quickly pull off my shoes and socks, get into the slime covered pond - manage to get my pants wet and scoop up the sunk Surge. Back to the shore, and shoes back on - pretty sure that I scared the living crap out of a young mother walking her newborn in an otherwise serene park as I come tromping out of the bushes looking angry. I search the shore, I search the bushes. No wallet.

Now I'm running around a park the size of 2 football fields, covered in leaves, trying to find a wallet that's basically camouflage color. Back and forth I run, sweating like a pig, no wallet. I go back to the bushes by the pond and once again dive 40' into the first thicket. Finally, there it is, under some leaves in the spot where the first disc was... my stupid wallet. Nearly an hour had passed since I put the Surge in the pond - and I am done. Or more to the point, "it" was done with me.

So anyways, that's how my lunch break went yesterday. When your luck runs out, just hold onto whatever you can and hope the train stays on the tracks. And when does go off the tracks, just smile and know that it's only disc golf and not a high school one act competition.

This thing exists.

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