Fighting the Wintertime Blues

I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood.” – Calvin, the co-star of the Calvin & Hobbes comic strip 

Okay, I admit it. I am a bit down and I think I have darn good reasons to be so. “My” Kansas City Chiefs narrowly lost to the Patriots in a game they could have won last Sunday.  It’s not only cold out, but snow and ice remain on the ground. My recovery from finger surgery is going much slower than I expected. The University of Missouri is still in the SEC, which means its fans are still without a legitimate rival (No rivals = No BIG games to look forward to). And the University of Kansas basketball team is struggling without two of its big guys -- the injured Udoka Azubuike and Silvio De Sousa, who the NCAA won’t clear because of a dispute over an online class.

The firing of KC defensive Bob Sutton on Tuesday did lift my spirits a bit, but I remain glum for all of the reasons above. In an effort to break out of this unusually long funk, I am taking Mary Pettibone Poole’s words seriously, "He who laughs, lasts.”      

ou might be a golf nut if you consider Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book the best non-fiction book ever written. 

Golf Trip To Scotland

John and Shawn, who lived in the north of England, decided to go Scotland for a few rounds of golf.  After driving for a few hours, they got caught in a terrible downpour so they pulled into a nearby farm and asked the attractive lady who answered the door if they could spend the night.  

"I realize it's terrible weather out there and I have this huge house all to myself, but I'm recently widowed," she explained, "and I'm afraid the neighbors will talk if I let you stay in my house."

"Don't worry," John said.  "We'll be happy to sleep in the barn. If the weather breaks, we'll be gone at first light."

The lady agreed and the two men found their way to the barn and settled in for the night.

Come morning, the weather had cleared so they got on their way and enjoyed a great weekend of golf.

But about nine months later, John got an unexpected letter from an attorney. It took him a few minutes to figure it out, but he finally determined that it was from the attorney of that attractive widow he had met on the golf weekend.

He dropped in on his friend Shawn and asked, "Shawn, do you remember that good-looking widow who let us stay in her barn about 9 months ago?”

"Yes, I do remember her," said Shawn.

"Did you happen to get up in the middle of the night, go up to the house and pay her a visit?"  

"Well, um, yes," Shawn said, a little embarrassed about being found out. "I have to admit that I did."

"And did you happen to give her my name and address instead of telling her your name?"

Shawn's face turned beet red and he said, "Yeah, look, I'm sorry, buddy, I'm afraid I did. Why do you ask?"

"She just died and left me everything."  

(And you thought the ending would be different, didn't you? You know you smiled, Now keep that smile for the rest of the day!)

hen asked what three things an aging golfer loses, 6-time Major winner Lee Trevino said, “His nerve, his memory and I can’t remember the third thing.”

 AN ODE TO GOLF by Allan Berman
(“Wiser words about golf have never been spoken so eloquently.” – Bob Esrey)

In My Hand I Hold A Ball,
White And Dimpled, Rather Small.
Oh, How Bland It Does Appear,
This Harmless Looking Little Sphere.

By Its Size I Could Not Guess,
The Awesome Strength It Does Possess.
But Since I Fell Beneath Its Spell,
I've Wandered Through The Fires Of Hell.

My Life Has Not Been Quite The Same,
Since I Chose To Play This Stupid Game.
It Rules My Mind For Hours On End,
A Fortune It Has Made Me Spend.

It Has Made Me Yell, Curse And Cry,
I Hate Myself And Want To Die.
It Promises A Thing Called Par,
If I Can Hit It Straight And Far

To Master Such A Tiny Ball,
Should Not Be Very Hard At All.
But My Desires The Ball Refuses,
And Does Exactly As It Chooses.

It Hooks And Slices, Dribbles And Dies,
And Even Disappears Before My Eyes.
Often It Will Have A Whim,
To Hit A Tree Or Take A Swim.

With Miles Of Grass On Which To Land,
It Finds A Tiny Patch Of Sand.
Then Has Me Offering Up My Soul,

If Only It Would Find The Hole.

It's Made Me Whimper Like A Pup,
And Swear That I Will Give It Up.
And Take To Drink To Ease My Sorrow,
But The Ball Knows ... I'll Be Back Tomorrow.

Confidence, of course, is an admirable asset to a golfer, but it should be an unspoken confidence. It is perilous to put it into speech. The gods of golf lie in wait to chasten the presumptuous.” – English humorist P.G. Wodehouse (1881 to 1975)

No golf will be played this weekend here in Kansas City, so I will be watching the Farmers Insurance Open, which is being played on Torre Pines’ South and North courses. The field includes Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods. And there’s always the NFL Pro Bowl on Sunday at 1 p.m. CST. Just another exciting weekend ahead for those of us who know that winter is nature’s way of saying, “Build a fire, have a drink and read a good book.”

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