As the Big Thaw begins and the dig-out continues …
Well, perhaps “stranded” borders on being a bit of misnomer. The Spousal Unit and I had told ourselves that we were going to stay home Wednesday when the blizzard proper was at its zenith. She had a wonderfully aromatic pot of pasta sauce slowly cooking on the stove and I was bundled up on the couch, goofing around online with a few friends and getting ready to catch up some stuff we have on our perpetually filled-to-capacity DVR.
Besides, bucket loads of snow and 50 mph winds really don’t make for the best driving conditions ever known to man.
Such things don’t seem to bother my buddy, Shimmay.
Around 6pm or so he starts text messaging both of our phones. “You guys coming out to putt tonight?”
My reply: “We have a 48 foot snow drift at the end of our driveway; not digging out in this much wind.”
Moments later the Spousal Unit gets a message from Shimmay: “I’ll be there in 25 minutes to pick you guys up.”
So much for a quiet nice at la casa del Buck …
But who am I to turn down an adventure on night like this, right???
And quite the adventure it turned out to be. I dare say Shimmay had the biggest challenges keeping his happy face on; not only did his beloved Washington Caps lose to a bunch of drunken bastards from Canadia, we had a couple of interesting characters already playing on “our” GT machine upon arrival. The round table behind the playing area was loaded with almost a dozen recently departed Budweiser’s, several loaded ash trays, a few packs of cigarettes, a c0uple Starbuck’s gift cards (that’s what most of us here in town use for Golden Tee identification purposes) and various other personal effects. Not meaning to make the pub sound unkempt, but they were seriously under-staffed and damned near packed to capacity.
The denziens of Leesburg had been trapped for days on end, some on unplowed roads and without electricity for much of that time. Spanky’s, as it turns out, was not only the ONLY place in town open that night, there was not a single day in the midst of these historic back-to-back blizzards where Spanky’s failed to open its doors for business. Word of this evidently spread wide across the county and it was THE destination of anyone stupid enough to be on the road that night.
And before you even start wondering if the owner is some sort of an evil ogre, I need to point out that he — at the onset of both storms — called his staff and told them to stay home, stay warm and stay safe.
Bartenders don’t roll like that, though. Not when bartenders like ours are dealing with a drinking community like THIS!
But back to the two guys at our beloved Golden Tee machine …
With most garden variety non-regulars, this would not be a problem; especially when it’s only 2 or 3 players. Most times, asking if one (or two) of us can jump in causes most players to defer and pass the table to us at the end of their game. In some cases, though, they do invite me/us to play and that is usually a one time event.
Except when the “outsider(s)” happen to be really good players. But that’s another blog for another time … when it comes to the dredges of GT, most competitively minded people really don’t enjoy being trounced by 20 strokes and more. It’s downright humiliating and I don’t mind being the Giver of said humiliation; it almost always results in them walking away and opening the machine for me and the rest of my friends to play. BUT … you might want to know that I do so in a very polite, gentlemanly manner. That’s just who I am and, therefore, how I naturally behave as a result.
Wednesday, however, was not one of the nights where the machine was going to be easily relinquished. Instead of garden variety outsiders, we had two familiar faces from our recent past to contend with. One being a very recent addition to the mix and the other a sometimes notorious figure from my semi-recent past, as well as Shimmay’s.
His name is Jason.
Many people just don’t quite get Jason, which is a shame. To keep it short, there are two sides to this young man. There’s the Good Jason (the sober guy), and then, when things have piled up in his life and he’s overwhelmed, he hits the bottle with reckless abandon giving rise to Evil Jason.
And nobody likes to be around Evil Jason.
There are those with whom he argues with almost anything said in a viciously combative manner. For reasons I won’t expound upon here, the chemistry that particular evening brought out that very side of Evil Jason that night and Shimmay was the party towards which EJ’s combativeness was directed. Fortunately for me, Jason doesn’t play that way with me. I think our history goes back far enough and on a personal enough of a level that there’s some odd modicum of respect between the two of us.
But anyhow …
As if having a two-out-of-three sheets to the wind Evil Jason on our hands weren’t bad enough, his new best-buddy and GT opponent du jour was a 6’8″, square-jawed, behemoth of a young man we had dubbed — for obvious reasons — Yetti.
We met the Yetti — who would later be re-dubbed “lil B” — during the previous storm less than a week earlier. He works for the postal service yet lives in a town almost an hour from his office here in Leesburg. When major snow storms or ice storms are in the forecast, he will usually stay at a hotel just around the corner from Spanky’s and take advantage of not having to drive. Let’s just say that he is a very loud, albeit wonderfully pleasant, and insanely distractable human being when he dives headlong into the fire water.
After several beers he turns into a freak of a social butterfly and this, as you might imagine, is NOT conducive to a well paced game of Golden Tee. In fact, when playing with people who are orders of magnitude lessor of a player AND you’re having to repeatedly call them back to the table to take their turn, it can get more than mildly irritating.
After a brief exchange in private, Evil Jason decided he was going to go ahead and call it a night. Unfortunately, lil B was now in the mood to start ordering everybody rounds of shots … and was clearly still in the mood to play more GT. We humored the Yetti for one more game but I dare say I may have put a bit of a wrinkle in our budding potential friendship by dealing him OUT of the next game while he was off taking a bathroom break. When he returned I pointed out that it had taken almost an HOUR AND A HALF to play the previous round (thanks to his terrier-like propensity towards terminal distractability) and that the 3 of us really needed to pick up the pace if we were going to get home at a decent hour.
He took it like a goodly hearted dude … and, I’m sad to say, said “decent hour” never quite materialized.
But we played pretty well once the pace actually picked up! :o)
HOWEVER … the combination of Mama-Buck not having to worry about staying in a safe-to-drive condition, the shots purchased for us through the evening, and the wonders of having an empty tummy prior to epic moments of imbibing, saw her eventually reach a place where she pulled me aside, and in a dead serious tone exclaimed, “I THINK SOMEONE SLIPPED SOMETHING INTO ONE OF MY DRINKS!”
There is a very, very weird couple that has been visiting our fair little pub of late, and they really creep me out more than your run-of-the-mill oddball at a bar. As I got to thinking about it, though, there would be no plausible explanation for slipping my girl a Mickey as they had no angle to capitalize on something like that.
As we got to talking more, it became increasingly clear that her sense were being assaulted by a barrage of subatomic anomalies of some sort and was, therefore, clinically not sober. She started chugging a bunch of water and ordered some fries and well before the end of that particular round of Golden Tee, she was feeling kinda, somewhat, sorta grounded again.
I qualified so heavily because as Shimmay drove us home a little later she had him stop the vehicle on more than one occasion claiming to have just seen a snow frog hopping across the snow and ice covered streets.
In fact, she was so insistent, even the next morning, that I guess she must’ve seen a couple mice or some other small animals dashing across the road, disoriented by the wind and blowing snow.
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As I mentioned in a recent blog post, I am the newest member of SharkBait Productions as well as the Recovery Channel®. Mikey Rez is currently working on a faux’cumentary of the Blizzards of 2010. Here’s an exclusive sneak preview of a rough draft or a proposed narrative for a voice over of the opening moments of a film that may, or may not, be about the recent Snowpocalypse, the target rich environment that our town has been for any would-be snow shark hunters, or have any relation to the resulting snowcano that was deposited in our fair town this past week …
(your thoughts on the following piece are encouraged and would be warmly welcomed)
. . .
North America has been gripped by a series of weather events of historic proportions. Unless you’ve been living in a cave or, perhaps, a self-induced coma, it is impossible for you not to be aware of this.
But then again, there’s surely at least one reason why you are watching …
The Recovery Channel
As our solar system spins and wobbles its way through its light years long orbit through the Milky Way, it crosses through regions of intense quantum instability. These thin, unstable ribbons of subatomic debris interfere with our atmosphere in a manner similar to the way in which photons from our own warming star, the Sun, interact with our ionosphere and atmosphere.
In essence giving us the quantum equivalent of an aurora borealis event.
Unlike the benign light shows generated by the polar auroras, these quantum disturbances affect not only the weather patterns of our planet, but the psyche of most life forms that inhabit it.
One of the most unstable manifestations is known as a QAGE (pronounced “cage”): a Quantum Alignment Glacial Event.
The surface of our planet is encased in an infinitely thin skin of subatomic energy. Under normal conditions this thin veil eludes observation and is not given even a single thought.
However, when Earth collides with one of these ribbons of subatomic debris — the tail-like remnants of a deceased black hole — pockets within this thin skin of energy react and sets into motion the spontaneous creation of anti-matter.
Should this process last for more than 7 picoseconds – a picosecond being a mere one trillionth, or one millionth of one millionth of a second – quantum volcanic eruptions tend to occur.
And thus the otherwise infertile ground gives birth to a QAGE.
Loudoun County Virginia was witness to one such event during the second blizzard of 2010. In its wake, a flaccid quantum volcano that some of the local recovery refugees dubbed …
We were there to film the historic ascent to the summit of this freakish quantum phenomenon that has less probability of occurring than a convention of Gay Jewish Muslims for Christ.
. . .
… stay tuned.
Seriously … Mikey Rez has already filmed the ascent, put together various interviews with locals, at least one sherpa and more. Tune in to The Recovery Channel and find out more …
Until then …