My Unpredictable Friend Peter
I thought that this was a time to revisit an old post from a few years ago, one that will show the days of Coronavirus are not the only trying times we have had to live through. Sometimes we are faced with an even more urgent, potentially explosive problem that arrives completely unexpectedly.
Where I live the golf season starts in April – or it does in normal times. My friends and I usually play at one of our local public courses, but this particular spring we decided to open the season by traveling up the parkway and playing at a really nice links course in the country.
The course was about 40 miles north, or close to an hour’s drive. So my friend — the friend I call Peter — and I decided to carpool. Now if you knew Peter, you’d know he’s a little . . . well, how do I put this? We all love him; he’s fun to be around; he’s really a great guy who’d do you any favor in a minute. But he’s a little . . . unpredictable.
A Rental Car Disaster
Just one quick story about Peter. A few years ago, when he was getting a divorce, he decided to take a vacation to Australia. He went by himself. He arrived at the airport and picked up his rental car. Did he want the insurance? Usually you answer “no” to that question, because it’s expensive and a rental car is often covered by your credit card or regular auto policy. But Peter wasn’t even thinking about that, and so he just signed on the dotted line.
He threw his bag in the trunk, got in the car, and drove onto the highway. Then he remembered he’d put his hotel information in his bag. In the trunk. So he pulled over onto the shoulder of the road. He got out, leaving the door open, went around to the back of the car and opened the trunk. His head was buried in the trunk when . . . WHACK! A pickup truck clipped his open door. The car door went sailing off, scraping along the guardrail
The truck stopped. It was hardly damaged. Peter was fine. But the rental car had a big gaping hole on the driver’s side where the door was supposed to be.
Peter stood there for a moment. Then he shrugged. He got in the car, turned around and went back to the rental car lot — not 15 minutes after he’d left. He returned the car and explained what happened. They gave him a new car, and he drove off to enjoy his vacation.
Carpooling To The Golf Course
This could only happen to Peter. So it shouldn’t surprise you to know that I told Peter I’d be happy to be the one to drive to the golf course. We arranged to meet at the mall by the parkway. He’d leave his car there; and I’d drive up to the course.
I pulled into the lot next to Macy’s, as we’d agreed. He wasn’t there yet. I parked; I looked at my watch. A few minutes later I saw Peter drive up. He parked next to me, pulled out his golf bag, and I motioned for him to throw his clubs in my backseat.
He put in clubs in the back then opened the passenger door and got in. “Sorry I’m a little late,” he apologized.
“No problem,” I said.
He dropped his golf shoes on the floor, put on his seatbelt. “I had to take my medicine this morning.”
“Oh, what medicine?” I asked innocently as I backed out of the parking space.
“Well, have you ever had a colonoscopy?”
“I’m getting my first one tomorrow. So, you know, I had to start the medicine today.”
“Yeah, the stuff that’s supposed to get you ready for the procedure. It cleans you out. I wasn’t allowed to eat breakfast this morning either. I’m really hungry.”
“Wait a second, Peter . . . you mean the laxative?”
“Peter, don’t you know, we’ll be on the golf course for four hours. It’s an hour drive up there. Another hour back home. We’ll be gone for six hours!” I was starting to panic, imagining Peter exploding all over my car.
“Yeah. So what?”
“But . . . have you ever had that stuff before?”
Maybe I shouldn’t get on the parkway, I thought, looking for a place to turn around and head back to the mall.. “It makes you go to the bathroom. In a major way. That’s the whole point!”
“Oh, I can hold it. I’m pretty good at that. No problem.”
“What do you mean, hold it? You can’t hold it!”
“No, really, I can hold it.”
“Peter, you’re . . .”
Then Peter looked at me. A big grin crossed his face. “April Fools!”