Linda Curdlesbeak, an accomplished 37 handicap, stabbed at a frank in a sea of brownish beans. "Last Thursday, I actually saw a fox on the third hole at Hooking Hills." She shuddered. Missy Merkle, the Waitress at The Hubbub Hut interrupted to see if anyone wanted more iced tea. Linda didn't - perhaps couldn't - answer. She was reliving the horror that gripped her for a week. "That thing was nearly as big as my cat. I'm lucky to be alive."
More and more Golfers in the greater Traylor County area are, apparently, feeling like Ms. Curdlesbeak. That's why, her Attorney Edgar Pillzucker recently helped her organize "Golfers Arming Against Golf Course Animals."
Pillzucker handed his client a tissue. "I believe," he said, "this is the first anti-animal activist organization of its kind - anywhere." Curdlesbeak blotted at her nose and continued, "Don't get me wrong, I love animals - as long as they're on a leash; or in a cage at the circus. That's why I'm so excited about the other three people who are joining me Wednesday night for our first meeting. I think it's a great beginning. It's time for those who love The Game to stand up against wildlife - put a gun in the Golf bag - and take back our Golf Courses!"
A note. Before meeting with Curdlesbeak, I called Jiggs Dilwick, Greenskeeper at the County-Owned Course to ask if he had ever had complaints about dangerous wildlife on his course. Dilwick pondered. "I've been here 30 years. Only wildlife problem I recollect people gettin' upset about is goose poop on their shoes. Sure, we got a fox. 'Fact is, most people like catching a glimpse of him. Pretty thing. I think he's eating mice."
When I told Curdlesbeak what the greenskeeper said about the fox. The activist spit her tea across the Diner. "My God! There are mice out there, too? So, let’s say I’m on the green - and I reach in to get my ball out of the hole. Am I going to get bit by a mouse?”
Her Attorney scribbled in his notebook and handed his client another tissue. While Missy Merkle dabbed at the tea dripping from the backs of other patrons, I pointed out that Golfers in the area often see everything from groundhogs to wild turkeys, deer, coyote, frogs...and even snakes.
Curdlesbeak sobbed, "Why are snakes allowed out there? Golf is a civilized game. Snakes are not civilized! They don’t even have arms or hair! After we nail that fox...snakes are next on the list."
I asked the anti-animal activist what she would like to see done with the critters who meander onto area Golf Courses. Curdlesbeak put down her fork, looked at her Attorney and considered the question carefully. "Let's be honest here. I'm paying greens fees so I can try to enjoy myself. I can't enjoy myself if I'm afraid of being attacked by some vicious creature with long yellow fangs and terrifying eyes. I think every wild, untrained or unlicensed animal on the property should be removed from public land." She paused, considering her words carefully. "If the Golf Course won't do it, then the rest of us need guns."
Attorney Pillzucker, leaned across the table and patted my shoulder. "We don't want to sue. My client, however, has suffered a tremendous emotional trauma. She's emotionally distraught. Putting a firearm in her hands will empower her. Who knows how many others have suffered the same problems which can result in depression, mood swings and bed-wetting."
Linda Curdlesbeak put down her tissue and quickly added, “I only wet the bed once." Pillzucker handed his client another tissue as the interview ended.
Soon after lunch, I was on the phone with Traylor County Community College Professor of Natural History, Proudfoot Dibbledick, Ph.D. Dr. Dibbledick, who traces his ancestry back to a particularly cold Winter in 1819 when English settlers sought shelter in a Chockasoutauk Indian Village and Nature took its course, was nonplussed by Curdlesbeak's proposal to eliminate wild animals from area Golf Courses.
"As a person with deep ancestral roots in this area, I can tell you, wildlife in Traylor County is facing a do or die squeeze play by Developers and other opportunists who, seemingly, will stop at nothing as they squander our resources and defile the countryside with their gaudy towers of glass and steel and their misuse of forest and field for games which were never intended."
I asked Professor Dibbledick if the opportunists he was talking about included those who were building the new 885-acre Chockasoutauk Indian Casino and Golf Resort near scenic Poking Buffalo Lake, just below Persimmon Spires Natural Monument.
There was a brief silence on the other end of the phone. When Dibbledick spoke, it was just above a whisper. "My brother Donny and me are an Indian Tribe - along with, you know, our blood brothers. The Government says so. Believe me, there's a lot of money involved here. So, if a few animals have to move next door to Wasco County - or fall into the Lake - so be it. But, let me make it clear that, as Nearly One-Eighth Native Americans, Donny and I revere all animal life. And, whatever survives the building of our Casino and Golf Resort will be allowed to live as The Great One intended. We will not allow armed Golfers on Chockasoutauk land. All wildlife, from turkeys to raccoons, will roam free and unfettered - as long as they stay off our fairways and greens especially during aeration."
Before hanging up, Dibbledick added, "Did you know Linda is dating her Husband's Brother, Vivian? He owns Curdlesbeak Exterminators."
I called Linda Curdlesbeak back to ask for confirmation. Most of her reply was unprintable. However, she did close our conversation with this pithy sentence: "Tell the 'Indians' they better put metal detectors on the first tee. Because, I'm teeing off with a gun in my bag - and the safety's gonna be off."
If you're a Golfer and a Gun Owner and interested in joining a new organization that's sure to get a fair amount of attention, be at Chamberpot Middle School on Hussey Blvd. Wednesday at 8 p.m. The first meeting of the Traylor County Golfers Arming Against Golf Course Animals will also include a raffle - with prizes including several handguns and a $100 certificate for Pest Extermination Services from Curdlesbeak Exterminators.
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."