As I was driving into Arlington, Texas this morning, my boss called me on my cell phone. "You damn sure better have delivered that car by now," he bellowed.
"Riff, I'm almost there and I'm an hour early."
"You're going to a very posh country club community. Try to be professional."
"Of course I will."
"Don't screw things up like usual."
"I usually don't."
"Listen doughnut, I don't appreciate your lip. You got a lip on you."
I let out a sigh and said, "I'll call you once I've delivered, Riff." Then I clicked off.
It took me another half hour to get to the huge country club. The man I was to deliver to had told me on the phone how to navigate the streets around the golf course to his house. And he made it very clear that I could not wait anywhere near his house for my cab to come get me. He suggested I make my way to the Country Club clubhouse and wait there. But as I measured it on my odometer, I found it to be three miles.
I pulled into the driveway and the man came marching out towards me. As I stepped out the car, he said, "Let's make this quick, I don't have all day to waste on you."
"No problem, just look over the car and sign the papers."
He grabbed my paperwork. "Oh I will." He signed the papers without even looking at the car. "So you can get on your way before my neighbors see you."
I was confused, for I was in casual dress clothing as usual. This man just seemed like he had way too much starch in his underwear. "Yes sir, I will go the clubhouse as you suggested."
"And as quickly as possible please."
I gave him his copy, picked up my bag, and started the three mile walk. It was a hot and balmy morning, and I was dreading the distance with each step. Plus my bag can get a bit heavy at times. As I made the first curve, I noticed a clear lot between two houses. Behind the lot was the golf course, and a straight line towards the clubhouse. It looked to be just over a mile, but that sure sounded better to me than three miles. I really don't mind a long walk, but I will always take a shortcut when available.
I turned and strode towards the course and found the grass to be very comfortable under my feet. I have never played golf, other than mini golf, so I'm not much familiar with the rules. But I heard that my father was a very good player, so maybe I inherited some of his talent. And that's the moment a ball whizzed past my ear. I heard a man in the distance yelling at me but couldn't make out what he was saying. I quickened my pace.
One hundred yards later, a golf cart rode up alongside me, and an elderly British man addressed me. He was very stuffy and puffy. "Hello, old fellow. Nice of you to be out here on foot in this heat to wait on us. Well, let's have a Bombay sapphire martini, very dry, pearl onion. Be on your way, and godspeed." And then he drove away. I kept up the walk, and soon I saw several men off in the distance walking in my direction very fast.
When the two men were close enough that I could understand them, the more agitated one said "What in the name of heaven do you think you're doing?"
"Trying to get to the clubhouse."
"Are you playing here today?"
"Are you a member of this club?"
"Then you have no business here and are trespassing. You better start coming up with some good answers."
I paused. "So are you in charge here?"
"No, but I am a charter member."
"OK, I see. Well sir, I was trying to take a short cut and I am on business. I'm sorry if I offended you, but I don't owe anyone any further explanations." And I continued my walk, as the man continued to call me names but not follow me further.
I got to the clubhouse and called the taxi to come get me. The people that worked in the clubhouse were very nice to me. And it was kind of a fun memory about the ball whizzing by my ear. Call it golf dodgeball. As I waited out front for my taxi, the elderly British man came rolling up again in his golf cart. "Well young man, I must say I'm disappointed. When I want a libation I want it now, not later. You seemed to have forgotten all about my order." And then he drove away. And then my yellow cab pulled up.