Life is Heald: I wish I was in Dixie, just not in room 112

To review, I won tickets to the Masters golf tournament. My cohorts and I have deemed ourselves too “bumpkin-esque” socially to immerse ourselves in the worldly culture of Augusta, Ga., lest our rough edges be ridiculed by the descendants of Scarlet O’Hara.

We’ve just spent two days outside of Atlanta, being much closer in both proximity and pedigree to Rhett Butler, attempting to golf on the monochromatic, granite golf courses of Stone Mountain where, unfortunately, spring has not yet sprung.

We leave behind 36 holes, and several times that in golf balls, the latter having secured their freedom courtesy of the “Underground Railroad” that is our lousy golf swings. The local topography now teeming with our Titleists, our gas mileage actually improved; our cargo manifest now devoid of the dimpled dead weight dropped curbside for recipients “Sasquatch” and “Loch Ness.”

It’s a common fact that a ticket to the Masters golf tournament is accurately referred to as “the hardest ticket in sports” or “the most expensive ticket in sports.” Simply by using the figures provided in my current junk mail, the tickets we had in our possession could feed white rice and beanie-weenies to a small African nation of average population for 9 months and 12 days. At the request of the equine coroner, I will not crunch the numbers to determine if our Masters tickets were worth more than the golf balls we lost at Stone Mountain. (Beat a dead horse? Equine coroner? Get it? Horse humor.)

The value of the tickets now established as significant, the reader understands why I secured them in the hotel room safe immediately upon check-in. Similar comprehension provides insight into as to just how close I came to soiling myself when, having checked out and with Stone Mountain some 30-plus miles in the rearview, I realized the entire 9 months and 12 days of white rice and beanie-weenies was still in the cupboard. Traditional profanity did not provide justice; I actually copyrighted several of the things I said that day.

We called, they checked, they had ‘em. We came back, we got ‘em, and, had that gentleman at the front desk not turned at the last second, I would have kissed him square on the lips. I am sure of it.

Our second attempt to reach Augusta did not involve a U-turn of galactic proportions and we arrived early in the evening. When you have an event of world-wide interest in a town the size of Augusta, the law of supply and demand calls ahead to tell you, not to warn you now, but TELL you, that you will be violated in unnatural ways. For the sake of clarity on this issue, I feel obligated to remind you that is Georgia, where most folks still think Burt Reynolds was the bad guy in “Deliverance.”

Rodeway Inn, room 112. Augusta, Georgia. $260 per night. The homeless shelter was full. A nice, young girl was being trained behind the front desk by the owner, a global entrepreneur of Indian descent whose voice I recognized from the last time I called for help with my computer. I checked in, got my keys, drove around to the room, got out, opened the door. Had penicillin smelled this bad, NyQuil would be $1,000 an ounce.

Within minutes, the nice, young girl from the front desk knocked on the door. She was holding a large bag of just-purchased air fresheners and asked how many I wanted. Oh, so you KNEW my room smelled like your boss’ feet and you still gave it to me, albeit with no coupon and for only $260? She asked how many I wanted. I told her I was a Catholic priest and forgot my candles and might I have them all? Bible belt my butt, I was allotted two. I got some dental floss and made a necklace out of mine to wear in the room to ward off mold vampires.

Twenty minutes later, she was back. Had the Pope called that quickly? She asked if I wanted her to spray the carpet to help with the smell. (I have witnesses and a rash if you want to call me on this.) I suggested she skip the spray and help me take the carpet out instead. She looked down and said, “Uh, you don’t want to do that.” I suddenly felt the presence of Jimmy Hoffa. I told her to spray away and she did just that. I think it was bleach mixed with Boone’s Farm, but it seem to do the trick.

We decided the best way to stay in the room was to stay out of it. For as long as possible. We showered and went out. It was 9 p.m. Either Augusta had called it a night or the Russians were coming. We caught the tail-end of some wild nightlife at a Dairy Queen and had a nightcap that looked for all the world like a “Peanut Buster Parfait.”

We went back to the hotel, took one last deep breath of oxygen the way God intended and opened the door. I put on my garlic-air freshener, mold vampire necklace and climbed into bed, but not before jamming the other air freshener up my nose.

Tomorrow was the Masters. I could hardly wait.

- - -

Oh, so you thought Kevin was going to write about the Masters? Yeah, so did we. He said, and we quote, “Silly rabbit, words can’t describe the Masters.” Intervention, tomorrow, 3 p.m., Kevin’s house. We’ll bring beer. No, wait. We’ll bring...yeah, we’ll bring beer. Kevin’s at LIFEisHEALD@yahoo.com.

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