Cobra Journal – Day 3

‘Hood’ and side curtains

Day 3 – There’s not too much driving in the plan today but, as it turns out, there’s still plenty of Cobra story going on. First though, somewhat accurate tales of wild abandon and various shenanigans on the golf links.

Something you need to know about my golf game. First, when I was a younger lad (I’m still a lad at heart) I loved to play the game and did so with regularity. Like most things (not all) you do consistently, you achieve a certain proficency at it and would like to think you have some skills in the area. Anyone who plays golf knows this is a lie because the better you think you are at the game the poorer you play…and so on. Call it one of the game’s (many) ironies. Second, one of life’s great lessons (in my opinion) is that you can never play the way you thought you did…because you were never that good to begin with. You just remember it that way. The mind is a wonderful instrument that way, conveniently rearranging your recollections to fit how you would like them to be. Got to love God’s sense of humor on that one.

Before we head off to the course, there’s the obligatory trip to the local Target store to hunt down some: extra balls, a golf shirt for Rosemary (fashion is a big part of this event) and few unrelated items (some car, some other). This turns into a real shopping expedition for Paula who uses it as an excuse to look for all manner of things for school, home, personal and all other assorted $1 items, deals, and specials. I try to score points by remaining to look interested and stifling any whining that might seem to weaken my apparent (and however disingenuous) enthusiasm.

Last minute purchasing out of the way, our departure hour soon arrives and Christine (sister) shows up in a snappy outfit ready to take home the “Best Dressed” award. I decide to leave Baby in the garage so I don’t have to fret about her if I’m out on the course somewhere and it starts to rain…rendering me senseless if I’m forced to sprint to the parking lot without benefit of oxygen. We pile the clubs into Chris’s Jeep Liberty and jump in for the 45-minute ride to the course. As it turns out our traveling group is also our foursome for the day’s activities. I’m not sure who’s idea it was for me to be paired up with the three Fiorella ladies but you can be sure I’m going to get for them it later on. No ride is complete in this group without an ample amount of salacious gossip and this one does not disappoint.

Absolutely nothin’ to do with golf

Our golf experience starts off by observing Paula attempting to figure out how to get the cart started. To be fair, this isn’t something she does regularly but that doesn’t stop our group from standing around in fits of laughter. Oh no, indeed, that’s kind of one of the basics here…any weakness means wide-open season on ridicule. Anyway, after several minutes of fiddling around with this switch and that, she finally caves in and asks the attendant how to get the thing going (done) and motors over to our group, muttering veiled threats to me as she arrives. This could be a long, long nine holes. I appear as repentant as pride will allow me, agree to let her drive and essentially park my male sensibilities somewhere else for a few hours. This seems to work and we’re off to take a whack at it.

On the first tee, a couple of things become clear: 1) we’re not as bad as we thought we would be (everybody managed to hit it in the fairway and a couple of us actually got the ball in the air) and 2) as amazing as it may seem, folks are supportive of the others’ efforts making me immediately suspicious (a feeling that will not have much merit by the end of the day). I won’t bore you with too many of the game’s details here except to say that we all shot much better than we had a right to and that there were a number of astounding shots on the part of each player that deserve mentioning: my pitch and run on the third hole that left the ball teetering on the edge of the cup (but it didn’t go in), Chris’s drive on the next hole that was as straight and true a golf shot as ever struck, Paula’s pitch on number 7 that gave us a shot at par (we made it) and Rosemary’s putting which, in general, was the superior part of her game (ours too for that matter). We close out with a four-over par round that could (you knew this coming) easily been four-under (the winning score by the way) if the golf gods had just smiled on us a little more. Still, we’re feeling quite pleased with ourselves and head off to the true purpose of this expedition…the partying. Bring it on!

As we were first off, we’re first in and first to the bar. Drinks all around. Let the festivities begin. Other groups straggle in claiming various spectacular shots of one kind or another. In that aspect, golf is a lot like fishing; the taller the tale the greater the admiration for the teller. Facts are not a necessary an ingredient to this activity (in fact, they frequently get in the way) and it helps if you have a witness (or witnesses) to verify your prevarication. No problem there as you can generally count on your foursome partners to back up any exaggeration (or outright lie) you would like to regale the audience with. It is, I think, one of the sport’s finer moments.

Now the Cobra part—you don’t even need to have the car around for it to become the center of nearly any conversation. Even people you didn’t think would have the slightest interest in Baby ask questions; “How fast will it go (there are reports of raced prepared cars hitting in excess of 180 mph)?”, “How fast have you gone in it (I can’t disclose that)?”, “How long did it take you to build it (about a year and a half)?”, “What color is it (British Racing Green, of course)?”—and so on, for the next two hours or so.

Wherever you go, if people know you own a Cobra, you become an involuntary celebrity of sorts. The weaker one’s are derisive (some sort of penis envy thing) but most are just eager to talk about it, usually with more than a twinge of envy. The car is a great social leveler. Professions are forgotten, differences set aside, social tie-ins rendered irrelevant when the Cobra comes up. It is…the great meeting place, a centrist device (however unintended) where people of any persuasion talk openly and enthusiastically about something they know very little about. And it doesn’t matter. You’re having so damn much fun you just forget all of that societal crap and get down to acting like real people can. Maybe everybody ought to own one of the things (or something like it) and we could have world peace. What do you think?

All the Cobra conversation makes me wistful…I wished I’d brought the car so I could have enjoyed the drive home. Which, by the way, was incredible. Or, more accurately, the drive was unspectacular but the evening sky was one of those rare things—a powder blue field, fading to nearly white at the horizon, laced with striking orange/pink clouds that seems wholly unnatural, making me eternally jealous of God’s coloring box. He gave us some cool hues to work with (for sure) but I’m convinced He kept all of the really good ones for Himself. I’m grateful though, that He chooses to break them out now and again to remind us what a beautiful place the world can be when mankind isn’t out mucking it up.

Like yesterday’s adventure at the beach, all of this vacationing has made me a tired boy and I’m not home long before the call for sleep overpowers my will to stay up…and I’m off to bed. Tonight, I sleep the sleep of the contented having had a fair to middling golf outing, not only endured but enjoyed the companionship of the ‘girls’, and having been treated to some heavenly artistry to top it all off. All of this and no e-mail! Go figure. Now, I just need to figure out how I can do this all of the time…

On to Day 4, Back to Day 2