Friday, January 31, 2014

Beware the Bad Towel

Honestly, I've been holding onto this story for a while because I was just too embarrassed to even bring it up, let alone write about it on the world wide web. In all good stories there's gotta be the poor sucker who is behind the 8 ball. This time it's me, directly behind it.

The plan was simple enough. Playing a casual tournament round with a few friends on a brisk Saturday morning. I had slept well the night before, a stomach full of delicious Indian food, a few nitro stouts and the sweet dreams of ace runs and sinking fifty footers all while racking up the birdies. 

I got up early, drank a nice cup of coffee and then waited for the inevitable call of nature that shows up shortly after that first cup. Nothing doing on the southern front. Not a second thought about it as I knocked down another cup of joe and a scarfed down a little breakfast.

The round kicked off with little fanfare, a quick players meeting and a few warm up putts. Nothing that would make me think that bad things were awaiting me just 10 holes away.

The game unfolded at a pretty brisk pace and somewhere around the 9th hole I felt a vise like grip of pain shuddering in my stomach. Beads of sweat punched across my brow and I grabbed my brother's shoulder and quietly asked how far he thought we were from the port-a-crappers by the parking lot?

Michael, 9 years my junior, looked at me pretty amused while the color was draining from my face. "It's at least a 15 minute walk from here... 15 back... plus whatever time you need. You'll have to drop out of the tournament... you can't hold up the card for 40 minutes." 

Sweet christ on the cross! I couldn't care less about dropping out of the tournament - I was more worried about that 15 minute walk... maybe a 5 minute sprint? 

Another wave hit me like an impatient child waiting to be birthed. My knees trembling, I looked at him and swallowed. 

I ask my brother, "Did you bring any toilet paper?!" my eyes watering and desperate.

"No. Why? You're not serious?" he looked at me with real concern.

"I'll be back." I manage to muster as I shuffle off into the closest ravine full of small bushes I can find.

Somewhere during this short walk into the most secluded spot I can find, I realize that this was no longer a matter of "if" but "when". The reality was that pants on or off, this poop baby was going to be delivered REALLY soon. 

I lob my disc bag onto the ground, rip my pants and underwear all the way off! This was not time for shame, this was a god awful 4 alarm emergency in T-Minus 5... 4... 3... 

I'll spare you the next 60 seconds. 

There are a few moments in your life when you witness something just so depraved and horrendous that the memory won't leave you. For me, it was a morning while I was driving to work in the Mission District of San Francisco about 10 years ago. The homeless situation in the Mission is terribly bad and there are many camps of tents under the freeway. 

I was stopped at a light near my office, and I looked across the street to see a familiar homeless man begging, who had one leg and a wheelchair. He was full-blown crazy and cracked out to boot. He would beg nearly everyday on this corner. Seeing him wasn't surprising - but what happened next was VERY surprising. 

I watched as he hopped out of the wheelchair, spun around on one leg and I quickly noticed that he's not wearing anything below his shirt. My eyebrows raised and my head cocked to the side as I pondered what exactly was going on. He grabbed the wheelchair and like a shotgun blast of thick and horrible coffee - he unleashed a cavalcade of poop-spray all over the sidewalk. Then without so much as a second thought, he hopped back in the chair and continued begging.

It was then that I heard screaming coming from inside my own car. I looked around wondering where it was coming from before realizing that it was in fact me. I was death gripping the wheel and screaming "NOOOOOOOOO! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, NOOOOOOOO!"

That, my friends, is what would have happened if some poor hapless soul would have stumbled upon the scene that I was creating in a ditch on the side of a disc golf course. The saving grace was that nobody happened to come across the scene. It would have been un-imaginable. 

I looked through my bag, hoping against hope that there would be something resembling toilet paper - but no dice. Then I see my blue disc towel. Sorry old friend, but your time has come.

I put my clothes back on and wrap the disc towel up as tightly as possible stuffing it into the outside of my bag and stumble back to my card. 

"Don't ask and don't use my disc towel", I say to my brother and he assures me that he wants nothing to do with me and that he doesn't know why he brings me out in public.

On the next drive, I nearly dropped the disc while trying to throw it. I felt like I had run a marathon and my nerves were pretty well shot, but after a few drives things settled down and I actually felt like the day might just turn around. That's when I realized that the blue disc towel that had been tucked into an outside pocket (for later disposal) was gone.

My eyes dart from player to player around me. My initial thought was that somebody was about to wipe down their disc and then there would be screaming and angry time.

Nobody was holding the towel so I quickly back track as much as possible to try to find the towel, but it's just gone. It must have fallen out somewhere along the way. 

I walk over to my brother, "Hey. The towel. The... the bad towel. It's, uhhhh, it's gone."

"WHAT?! Dude, you're unreal."

And that's how I had somehow become the pant-less, one legged, crack head shitting in the street. 

Next hole I parked a big annie 6' from the pin and all was forgotten. At least that is what I have to tell myself.


  1. Cracking up because I've never experienced this, but I'm sure the day will come!

    1. Wet wipes are now a permanent fixture in the bottom of my bag. NEVER FORGET!

  2. It was the 2009 Ice Bowl at a nearby town. Hanging out at tourney central, a fellow player comes through carrying a towel and asking if anyone had lost it. A little later a buddy of mine confesses to me he had used the towel in question to wipe up after a similar urgent call. He didn't claim the 'lost' towel though.

    1. Claiming it would take stones that I don't have either. Good stuff!

  3. I've finished a round without socks... it's like a nice soft glove =)

    1. Adding socks to the list of things I won't approach in a public park.

  4. I read all posts by Heavy Disc because they tend to be well written."Beware The Bad Towel" was also well written.There is also humor in this post that I can appreciate. I just thought that invoking the name of Jesus Christ (I am not even religious) while perhaps poking fun at a mentally and physically handicapped person in a disc golf post about shit splatter is a little over the top.
    Just sayin

    1. I checked w/ my 65 year old mother... died in the wool life-long Catholic. She assured me it was absolutely fine and that Jesus Christ wasn't bothered.

      Thanks for reading!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. The funniest part about reading this was getting to the bottom of the page and seeing an amazon add for "Blue DGA Disc Golf Towel"

    I used leaves before. But thanks to this reminder have added TP to the bag.

    1. Somebody told me that they got an ad for a toilet. CLASSY.

  6. Had some sweaty butt and instead of the inevitable chaffing, I sacrificed my towel for a good wipe and stuck deep in my bag until I found the garbage can. Also in a pinch you can use a sock.

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