A Note from Larry: Golf and Beer seem to go hand in hand. Since the beginning, having a couple after a round with friends has been an important part of the experience. At some point during Golf's evolution, beer began to become part of the game. Also known as "swing oil," some golfers can't imagine playing 18 holes without the support of their favorite brew. In this week's story, a little too much support leads to some rather big problems.
Golfers O.B. For D.U.I. at I.M.A.I.D.I.O.T Golf Outing
Last Monday, what started as a fund raising tournament at Hooking Hills Golf Course, for an organization dedicated to reducing impaired driving (Irritated Mothers Against Impaired Drivers Intoxicated Or Tipsy), turned into what Sheriff Orville Wilburite describes as “the largest one-day haul of drunks behind the wheel in the history of Traylor County Law Enforcement.” The list of those arrested is a virtual Who’s Who of local celebrities, golfers and a bunch of names that don’t matter.
At 3 p.m., in an operation code-named “Wet Blanket,” Wilburite and twelve Deputies swooped onto the County-owned Golf facility in a recently acquired government surplus armored personnel carrier. Officers outfitted in riot gear and armed with cattle prods and ball retrievers quickly began picking up inebriated golf cart drivers "like tattoos at freshman orientation," according to the Sheriff.
In local law enforcement circles, the day is now referred to as “The Great Hooking Hills Turkey Shoot.” Deputies made 119 arrests; 79 for DUI, 39 for disorderly conduct and one for solicitation - after golfer, Lucy Schmuckel, made what Deputy P. Enos Handleman wrote in his report were “lewd references to putters and balls in which Ms. Schmuckel mentioned Golf holes...without using the word ‘Golf.’”
“I’ve been in several golf tournaments where beer drinking was kinda’ part of the deal,” said Wilburite, “So, when I didn’t get an invite to this one, I thought it was a perfect time to see if we could make the County a little...safer.” Aside from the large number of arrests, 1,700 cases of beer were confiscated. The beer will be donated to Spirit House, a local homeless shelter in Pesterville.
Local I.M.A.I.D.I.O.T. Chapter President Devilva Sputz-Demott-Dongler said she was blindsided by the arrests. “This should never have happened. I thought we invited the Sheriff and most of his deputies.” She paused to run a mental checklist. “Except the really overweight one with the real red face, of course. Last time we invited him, he ate most of the buffet himself.” (After some research, this Reporter believes she was referring to Deputy Eddie “Swat” Doogler.)
Sputz-Demott-Dongler flopped into the chair at her desk, “I’ve been doing this a lot of years. I know how to run a charity golf tournament.” She spun her rolodex. “Something got screwed up somewhere. Probably by my Invitation Chairman, Purple Rayne Dibbledick. Her and the Sheriff, apparently, haven’t hit it off since their High School prom “.
The embattled President stabbed a newly sharpened pencil into the top of her desk. “I don't care about the arrests. I just want to get the beer back. I don’t want to see my beer go to a bunch of homeless guys who don’t play Golf. There are plenty of golfers whose home-life is a wreck would be happy to have a six pack of their own to cuddle with.” A small tear wiggled out of her good eye, “This has been real hard. The only thing harder was when we formed this group and spend months with a Thesaurus trying to come up with a good name.”
Piecing together events of that day, from various witness accounts, here's how tournament day unfolded.
It actually began weeks earlier, when Angry Native American Brewers of Poking Buffalo Lake was given the beer concession at the tournament. Angry Native American Spokesperson, Dave Bouncing Bear says the company wanted to do some “product placement” with a group of “guys who can really put it away.” On reflection, Mr. Bouncing Bear says this bit of product promotion may have been the seed of the problem.
Pooter Jacobs, a competitor at the event , and an I.M.A.I.D.I.O.T. board member said the second he voted for the plan to put beer in the golf carts, “I knew I had to do something. I’m good friends with Boots Cuten (Brewmaster at Nesters Crotch Craft Brewery). I told him he had to get involved! You know - get equal time. It was good for everybody. He gets a square deal, we get more beer.”
Mr. Cuten, who is also the CEO and leade delivery driver for the brewery was more direct: ”When we heard that the yokels at Angry (Native Americans) got the 12-pack concession on the golf carts for this tournament - we came in with our refill station idea. I had no idea the refill station guys would begin running onto the golf course to refill both carts and players.”
As it turned out, witnesses say that beer consumption was carefully monitored by representatives from both breweries. As bottles were drained, another cold one was always open and ready.
Bentley Garrison III, Principal at Buttshugg High said it seemed that the beer competitors took it personally if players were drinking the wrong beer. "I'd finish one and out of nowhere, I'd have an open beer in each hand. A week later, I’ve still got a headache.” He blinks his bloodshot eyes and initials a student’s hall pass. “I was definitely over- served. But, I didn’t get arrested. When the cops came, I was half in the bag - my golf bag - looking for tees. My former friend - and the now former Vice Principal at our school, Dr. Emile Everstrait was behind the wheel at the time. So, he was the one who got pinched.” (See the story from last week’s paper: “Vice Principal Arrested for DUI at Charity Golf Event.”) “Hey, I had to fire him. He was drunk in public!”
On the day of the event, Players checked in at 10; and, were given commemorative hats with the I.M.A.I.D.I.O.T. logo. Each golf cart was outfitted with an over-sized cooler and two twelve packs fromAngry Native American Brewers of Poking Buffalo Lake.
By 10:45, the beer was flowing in and out of golfers as fast as the two competing beer makers could tap a keg or pop a top. Competitor Red Isenpayne says he could definitely feel the effect of the beer barrage. “I couldn’t feel my hands. That made it very difficult to have any ‘feel’ around the greens. I couldn’t get my chip shots to hold. I also couldn’t hold my bladder.”
As early as 11:30, golfers were calling in on their cell phones to the pro shop to report porta potty breakdowns. "Right off the bat, we had a kind of odious flooding condition at various parts of the course," says head pro Bix Wilstrup. The Pro winked. “Odious was the word of the day in your newspaper. But, seriously, there was a flooding problem the likes of which we’d never seen out here before. I called the company that pretends to service our porta-potties (Blue Water Enterprises). The guy there said they were out of the chemicals that don’t work - even if they are actually used. And, he told me that overflowing portable toilets are in kind of a legal gray area - between commerce and the environment. There aren’t any rules or regulations. So, I kind of relaxed at that point.”
We called the EPA to check on Wilstrup’s environmental assertion. “All the land in the golf course tract funnels into Purdy Creek,” says Thomas DeLuge, Acting Under Secretary for the EPA’s Regional Office for Egregious Environmental Conduct. “That creek is the sole breeding area for the Striped Wink-Eye Frog. If those frogs are unable to reproduce....” DeLuge stops to imagine what would happen. He takes a breath, “It would have a devastating effect on all area French Restaurant appetizer Menu selections. But, new EPA regulations say we can only regulate businesses that ask to be regulated - and the Porta Potty people haven’t asked. So....” (A quick check with Siri showed that there are no French restaurants within 100 miles of this area. However, there are places nearby that sell French Bread and croissants.)
“The whole round is kind of like hidden in a haze for me,” says Paul Peekerwood, of Plunkwater Village. “I remember the first hole. My father-in-law and I parred the hole. We were closer than we’d ever been.” A tear welled up from just inside the puffy bulge of his purplish black eye. “Then, I don’t know. I started telling Roy how I really feel about his constant meddling in my marriage with his daughter, Paula. And then...” Mr. Peekerwood paused. He seems to be sucking in the whole day in one shaky breath. “Then, Roy started chasing me with his 9 iron.” He points to his eye. “Got me good here. To tell the truth, I was kinda’ glad when the police showed up. Especially since it was Roy who was driving, yelling obscenities and threatening to kill me.”
Deputy Donny Farkenburg says the raid when down exactly as planned. “But, only after weeks of planning. The Sheriff, he planned it down to the last detail. So, when we charged onto the golf course at 3 p.m. it was what you call a “synchro-knifed” raid.” The Deputy took a moment to ponder. “I always thought the word was ‘synchronized’ - but the Sheriff is sure it’s ‘synchro-knifed’...so...” This Reporter asked Farkenburg what he remembered of the raid. “First thing I saw when we busted through the underbrush in our troop carrier and onto one of the fairways, there was a golf cart with a couple of drunks just sitting in it. We managed to hit them with a glancing blow - and they stumbled out screaming and shaking their fists.” Deputy Farkenburg pulls out his ticket pad to refresh his memory. “That’s why Dr. Twill Wartner and his current cellmate, Tyler Prestwick got summonses for DUI and 90 days in jail for threatening an officer of the law.”
Sheriff Wilburite says his onslaught had the effect of stopping the golf tournament and the flow of beer - and beginning a chorus of “do you know who I ams?”
“We nabbed some pretty big fish in this raid,” says Wilburite. “We got the News Anchor from Channel 37 up in Waspishville. I forget his name. (Leonard Steele) But, he was real snooty until he got himself Tazed.” The Sheriff points to the TV in the corner of his office. “I saw him on there last night. I think his voice was a couple octaves higher.”
He pulls out a spread sheet and peruses it; then, hands it to this reporter. Here are other notables who were caught in the raid:
Tewk Headley (Former Quarterback at Eugenia Creamwell High School in 1978, now Assistant Manager at Innie and Outie Maternity Clothing Boutique).
Snake Lazarus (Morning Show Host of Shakin’ Snake and the Morning Crew at WTF Radio).
Ermin Furzel, former Dustwater Creek Mayor and current candidate for Congress.
Pinchey Davis, (the short one in “D-Zees” a singing group with that one hit “Doin’ the Wonky Twonky” that was popular on WTF AM1270 Hitradio! back in the early 70’s - before many readers - and this Reporter were born.
Brock Nootney, local inventor and TV pitchman for his invention that turns any car into an instant convertible: The Car Can Opener. (Currently involved in a legal battle with customers who claim he only sold them used chainsaws with a Car Can Opener decal on it.)
Kenny Dimpleman, former Traylor County Little League star. As he was led away in handcuffs, the 47 year old told officers, he would autograph photos of his game-winning sacrifice fly in the 1980 District semi-final game against Shagmore Carpet for a reduced price - if they would let him go. Dimpleman is now facing added charges of bribery.
In all 78 golfers were arrested and arraigned on DUI charges. Another 39 were jailed for disorderly conduct and/or slovenly appearance. Head Pro, Bix Wilstrup clarifies: “Actually, I partnered with the Sheriff on that last charge. I mean, the drinking was one thing. But, when the shirt-tails come out - and guys start tripping over their untied shoe-strings. Well, that’s just sloppy. It’s bad for Golf. I had to say something.”
Sheriff Wilburite, for one, is glad the Golf Pro spoke up. “Without him, we woulda ‘ missed out on several thousand dollars in extra fines.”
While the legal wrangling in this matter may take months - or even years - to work out. County officials say they’re proud of the Sheriff’s actions. “He saved lives,” says Vivian Festerhump, Councilperson at Large Pro Tempore. “Imagine if there had been school children - or a busload of blind people on that golf course. There mighta been a terrible accident. And, that’s all our lawyer is allowing me to say. In fact, he wrote all of this down for me - word for word...except this last sentence, which I probably shouldn’t have said.”
Tournament Chairman Sputz-Demott-Dongler says she definitely plans to hold the tournament again. “As soon as hell freezes over.”
Larry Caringer has been writing humor for broadcast for a long time. Now, he's writing it for you. The stories, here, are from a collection of short stories from his book "Golf Beat: A Year in the Life of Persimmon Pines."