By Chris Gay
Autumn had arrived, and brought with it a majestic, colorful splendor to that crisp October day. Although it was only 16 years ago, already it feels like 5,840 days. To begin, I had met my friend Jeff at the Twin Hills golf course in Coventry, Connecticut, and though we lost track of each other some years back, I’m confident he pauses to warmly recall my Hole-in-One on this date each year.
Certain other friends of mine who had the misfortune to not be there remember the moment well, anyway. One of them- Keith- who shall remain nameless, may have even mumbled something at some point about me having a slight tendency to “over reflect” on this wondrous sporting achievement. I’m sure that not only was he joking, but in fact looks forward to my annual retelling of the story.
I’d started out that day having my typical golf outing. In other words, seven holes of play that almost certainly were the inspiration for Tim Conway’s old ‘Dorf on Golf’ videos. The eleven strokes I took to finish out the 7th hole, however, was not on me. That can be laid squarely at the feet of Mother Nature. She had had the nerve to drape the entire woods to the right of the tee box with an absurd amount of foliage, showing no regard for my tendency to slice whatsoever. I’d been out there all summer; she, like, had to have seen my swing before. Whatever though, I’m past that. The gist of the story is that several of my Spaulding Plus 3’s went to their eternal rest under a carpet of multi-colored leaves.
As I walked to the 8th hole sullenly recording my septuple bogey, I had no idea that my next swing would forever catapult me into the annals of New England sports history. When my turn to tee off came I strode with great masculinity to the box as I gazed out toward the green of this familiar Par 3, looking for the flag that constantly mocked me with its placement directly behind a sand trap.
This time however, it lay straight ahead; the proverbial one time out of a hundred that it did. Now in its more advantageous location I sensed something unusual, as if this time the gods had something special planned for me. I was sure that Jeff could sense it too, as he looked upon me with what can only be described as a remarkable indifference.
I set the dimpled sphere on its curved wooden stand and stepped back. Within seconds I drew back a 7-iron over my head and, after pausing ever-so-briefly, swung it forward with uncanny precision. As the ball took flight on its 152-yard journey, I momentarily wondered where the slice I had labored so long to perfect had gone. For some reason the orb was traveling straight for the dance floor and, when it landed, rolled right up to the lip of the cup and…disappeared. I held my breath. Not believing my own 20/15 vision, I turned and asked Jeff if it had instead just rolled right off the back of the green. He didn’t think so.
Slowly we walked toward the pin, its attached flag moving gently as a result of a trivial breeze. As I reached the brink of the cup, my feet froze and stayed firmly planted a half-yard away. I leaned in to the point where the top of my head was resting against the pole. The part in my hair was impacted slightly by this action, yet I took no notice. I looked down and there, resting comfortably a few inches deep inside of the hole, was seemingly the only Spaulding Plus 3 that I hadn’t already lost. (Yes, I see you smirking at the Spauldings. Look, I was very young and they were on sale)
To my left a previously unnoticed foursome, who only recently vacated the green that I had just immortalized, began applauding. As the magnitude of the accomplishment sank in I jumped into Jeff’s arms, in an exact replay of a scene made famous forty-one years earlier- nearly to the day- by Yogi Berra and Don Larsen. In fact, the only difference between the two moments was that 64,513 fewer people, including no attractive women, were around to witness mine. Ah well, what can you do? I still took tremendous joy in scoring my first ever Hole-in-One that didn’t involve outsmarting a motorized toy windmill.
The remaining ten holes were anticlimactic. The last thing I recall before we got to the clubhouse was writing a ‘1’ next to the ’11’ on my scorecard. It was there, at the 19th hole, that I related the first ever telling of this tale to an attentive, beer sipping audience of elderly men.
That day as I left my information with the attendant to be engraved on the trophy that I can see clearly as I write this run-on sentence, I looked idly down at my dress code-mocking New York Giants sweatshirt. I wondered where this memory would reside alongside other amateur sports accomplishments of mine in ice hockey, football, baseball and basketball that no one cares anything about, either. Ultimately I decided that it didn’t matter. I had accomplished something that few other golfers have ever done: I had gotten incredibly, amazingly lucky. I was the blind squirrel that found his acorn, on October 17, 1997.
What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.
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As the end draws near for long-retired Sherlock Holmes in Sussex Downs, he calls one last time for the company of his best friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson. What was meant to be four last days of camaraderie and reminiscing instead leads to the most shocking, explosive revelation both of the great detective’s career, and his life.
Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal is a Holmes tale like none other ever conceived. Fans of Baker Street’s legendary detective will be left with the insatiable need to contemplate its extraordinary conclusion forevermore.
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The Bachelor Cookbook is the perfect (and likely only) addition to any guy’s collection of sarcastic culinary literature. If you’re between relationships and looking to make the most of whatever foodstuffs you’ve got until you meet that next special woman, then your prayers have been answered. Unless you’re an atheist; in which case coming across this book just means your luck was in today. For men looking for sustenance over style, I give you this spectacular cookbook. Well, I don’t “give it” to you, per se. You have to pay for it.
Featuring such taste-bud tempting recipes as:
Meat on a Bed of Rice
Cheese and Crackers
Plus Miscellaneous Cookbook Humor, too!
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Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. He writes and broadcasts a daily, minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s also written the paranormal, theological thriller novel Ghost of a Chance and three humor books: And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm. He’s been published nationally in Writer’s Digest and is currently writing his fourth and fifth humor books, Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota and Something Witty this Way Comes; the latter being a collection of pieces written for his humor blog. His book Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal, is an original, extraordinary short story on the great detective. Also, he’s writing the Ghost of a Chance sequel Perdition’s Wrath, and has written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. His website is chrisjgay.com, and his humor blog can be found at chrisgay.wordpress.com.
Hope Springs (Barfly)