The unusually tough winter in central Michigan made their trip to southwest Florida even sweeter. As our foursome of golf nomads got off the plane at Fort Meyers Airport, Jake said to his three buddies, “I am not wearing any of that sun screen crap on this entire trip. I want to go back home with my face and arms sunburned and pealing so the guys at work know I have been some place – HOT!”
“Well, with the new ACA you should get some really good care when they remove those melanomas. Me, I just hope I brought enough golf balls. I hear these fairways at Marriot’s Golf Club are all lined with water,” Salvador, the muscle-bound Italian, exclaimed with a smirk as he wrapped his huge hand around the handle on his Club Glove travel bag.
“Ah Sal, with your wife a damn lawyer you can just buy all the new balls and stuff you want. I bet she never even looks at those credit card bills. Seems like every time we play you have a new pair of golf shoes. If you ask me, I think she likes for you to play golf so she can slip off with that little shit she works with.” Henry the Hammer said as he jabbed his finger into Sal’s ribs.
“If people heard you guys talking and bitching at each other, they would never believe you have been friends since high school,” Meek Mike said as he dropped his empty water bottle into the re-cycling basket. “I just don’t want to get dehydrated in this heat, some people don’t even know why they feel weak. What is the rental car company Sal?”
As they turned left off Collier Boulevard toward their condo, Meek Mike said, “This place looks really nice. Where did you find such a good deal, Sal? Where are we going to eat tonight? What time is our tee time? Do you think we have time for 36 holes tomorrow? Will they store our clubs for us?”
“Damn Mike, you can ask more questions than a woman. The answers are: The internet. I got us a reservation for 7:00 PM at a seafood place I read about. 8:15. Yes. And, no they don’t store our clubs. Now don’t ask another question – until you can ask the waiter what she recommends.”
“This really looks like a nice course, damn look at all that water!” Hammer expounded.
With daylight savings time still a few weeks away, Jake had the coffee ready by 6:30 as the others emerged from the shower and dawned their newest outfits accented with fluorescent orange and lemon. A little later, balls were thrown; handicaps adjusted to higher slope and cart mates were changed so partners could ride together. On the second hole Hammer noticed a beautiful white bird with long black legs and bright yellow feet slowly moving, head down, in the longer grass along the fairway. “What is that bird?” Hammer questioned, “He’s beautiful.”
Sal laughed back, “I don’t know what it is, but you noticed it because his feet match the color of the soles of those ECCO shoes your kids got you last Father’s Day.”
“Give me a break on these shoes, my kids gave them to me but my wife picked them out. Matter of fact they are growing on me. They feel GOOOOD!”
“I think that stork looking thing is called a snowy egret. Looks like it is looking for food? But I thought they feed in the water on minnows and frogs and tadpoles,” Mike piped in from the other cart.
Two holes later our Michiganders spotted a flock of these graceful egrets moving in tandem along the rough near a water hazard pecking at the grass in a slow motion feeding frenzy. Again Meek Mike responded, “I thought those things fed on stuff that live in the water? Why else would they have those long legs?” They noticed more snowy egrets feeding in the grass through out the day.
The next morning over coffee Meek Mike enlightened the slightly hung over group. “Last night after you guys passed out, I checked the net to find out what snowy egrets eat? Answer, almost anything. They were probably looking for snails in the damp grass, but they will eat snakes, night crawlers, and even small lizards if they find one. Nasty little bastards, really.”
Three days later our “golf weary” nomads were in the air, seats back, eyes shut – dreaming of a snowy egret eating the Geico Lizard.