Stacy looks over at her brother in the passenger seat and taps him on the knee. “You can relax now, Rog. They’re quite common. As long as one doesn’t form under your bed while you’re sleeping, you’ll survive.”
Roger tenses up even more. “What do you mean under my bed?” He stares at his sister, horrified.
Well that backfired. Stacy steers the car and the conversation towards the Avila Golf Club entrance. “We’re here!”
A pack of dogs run by pulling a sled stacked with golf clubs across the road.
Stacy stops short of hitting them which wakes Roger from the nightmarish projections in his mind of his sister’s guest bedroom being sucked into the ground while he screams for help. He stares at the groundskeeper directing the standard poodles along the fairways and shakes his head a few moments until he notices the club house.
“Wow!” Roger jumps out of the car and snaps a picture with his phone. “This is one of Jack Nicklaus’ courses”. He rushes over to his sister, picks her up, and gives her a bear hug. “You’re awesome!”
“Thank Nancy. She and Brandon are members here. We tee off in 15 minutes. Grab your stuff.”
As they walk to the first hole, Roger goes into excruciating detail about how the course is laid out, which holes are the trickiest, the record for the course and who set it, and a litany of other factoids which would only interest a golf junky.
Stacy lends a partial ear to the babble as she scours the grounds for their hosts. She waves at a dark-haired woman with a pony tail standing beside a man in tailored Bermuda shorts washing his balls (no…golf balls).
“Doesn’t a nice bath feel good?” Brandon whispers to his balls (Yep. He’s a special one that man).
As instructed, Roger ignores the comment and introduces himself, giving Brandon a vigorous handshake with both hands. “Thank you so much for inviting us. I’ve gone over this course in my mind hundreds of times.”
Brandon nods mechanically. “What a strange man,” he thinks to himself.
“We’re up. Ladies first.” Nancy invites Stacy to start the game and off they go.
At each hole, Roger and Brandon debate the optimal line to take for the best score. Brandon of course speaks from actual experiences whereas our tar sands scientist regurgitates vicarious ones. The one thing they do agree on however is that the sand traps have absolutely no impact on greenhouse emissions.
Touché! And Stacy thought Brandon hadn’t notice Roger staring at him every time he whispered “find the pin, sweetie” to his balls.
By the time hole 6 came up, Roger’s curiosity hijacked his mouth as the Iditarod team in training ran along the fairway beside them. “What’s with the frou-frou dogs. Is it duck hunting season?”
A mortified Stacy stomps her brother’s foot with her club.
Nancy is a militant animal activist and vegan. She locks eyes sideways with her husband for a split second then stares blankly at Roger and simply replies. “They’re working.”
Even Stacy is a little unnerved by the tone of her voice and the dead expression in her eyes. She does her best to keep the conversation light and pipes in. “Oh nice. I love poodles. What’s their job.”
The ball whisperer is at it again, making it increasingly difficult for Roger to keep from snorting. Nancy glares at him as she responds to his sister. “Hopefully we won’t find out now, will we.”
Creepy. “I think she’s a little low on B12,” Stacy’s brain mumbles to herself. She turns around to telepathicly concur with Roger but all she see hears is Brandon’s laughter.
Roger has disappeared.
…to be continued in Man-eating Fairway.