Thursday, 8 October 2009

Don't Let Sleeping Bags Lie

Back at Uni. We had to present all the golf balls we'd found over the summer to the our tutors and peers. It was a poor show. The majority of my contemporaries, I hesitate to call them students (the University refers to them as customers) on this golf course management degree had barely collected enough balls to fill a bra - and a back-to-school bra at that. I on the other hand decanted a whole sleeping bag full. And I'd made quite an entrance into that darkened seminar room. The group were already at their desks with their balls on the table, as I entered backwards, dragging a sleeping bag full of golf balls noisily through the double doors. My sleeping bag's bright red and being as loaded as it was, it looked like a massive swollen tongue or a mermaid with crabs (but how would she catch them?). I'd got the sack dragging idea from a Bunuel film ("That Obscure Object Of Desire"), where Fernando Rey, a smart middle class, middle aged, well dressed man, is seen dragging an old sack (contents unknown) through Paris. This sack dragging scene is never explained and seems to have nothing to do with the plot/story of the film.
The group formed in a circle around my boil-ridden tongue. You could have heard a golf ball drop, they were all tongue-tied. I started to redden up. Having spent all summer camping alone on golf courses hunting for balls, I felt hemmed in, on the spot (or as we refer to it here, 'put on the tee'). I had to fill the void (left by the lack of words) - I had to do something visual. So I employed a step-ladder from the back of the room (it was safe to do so, we'd all been on a ladder awareness training course last term). I climbed the ladder holding the neck of my sleeping bag. Once at the top,  I hauled the bag onto my back, hoisted it over my head (as best I could) and showered more than four hundred golf balls onto my peers and professors. The golf ball fall was from a height of about twelve feet. Balls ricocheted off the walls and bounced back like bullets off the ceiling. The entire tutor group were atomized. By the time my tongue was flaccid again all the golf course managers (and the professors, or as we have to call them, the professionals - the pros) were either under the tables or face down on the floor. The sleeping bag didn't quite have to double as a body-bag, but two students were still out cold as I was being taken away. But I saw a lovely scene as I was being led to the Dean - I just got a glance. One of the students who'd been hit on the head was taking aspirin, but instead of popping the pill in her mouth she'd  balanced the painkiller on the tip of her tongue (which was green). What a scene - just like a golf ball ready to be teed off.. If I'd have had a hairdryer I'd have blown it down the hatch there and then. When I'm done with the Dean (or he's done with me) I'm going to find that girl with the lump on her head and and ask her out for a walk in the rough (the rough is a technical term for the long grass that borders the fairways). I hope she'll accept -  I'm not going to take a headache as an excuse.

  Here's a shot from the summer, when I'd been camping out on golf courses and cricket pitches, collecting balls.

Look at this. This tiny image of sleeping bag on a golf ball. I found this golf ball. The red markings on it (made by the ball's original owner - most amateur golfers have bright coloured spots on their balls, usually made by marker pens, for identification) resemble the sleeping bag I slept in the night before, the very night before I found this ball. Spooky! That's one of the reasons I'm studying golf course management - a course that manages chance encounters, facilitates coincidences, is purely Pataphysical.

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