Ed Puskas: A stinging rebuke on the golf course

Ed Puskas

My entire life can be summed up in the “good news and bad news” mantra. Or is it an axiom?

Who the heck knows?

I’m a word guy, but I prefer words I actually like. Of course, if you’ve ever played golf with me — or say “nearby” — you understand that some of those words aren’t fit for print.

Not that “mantra” or “axiom” are any better. 

Maybe more socially acceptable than some of the words that follow a sliced tee shot or a bladed chip, but definitely not better.

Mantra? Axiom? 

You might as well give me a pop quiz on when to use “that” or “which.” 

Hint: I’ll fail. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t taking notes that day in English class and although I’ve known several colleagues who had “that or which” guides taped to their computers, I missed that memo in every newsroom in which I’ve cursed deadline, conjugated verbs, typed in horse racing results from a barely readable “fax”(ask your parents) and inhaled more than my fair share of election-night pizza.

But anyway, back to the good news and bad news.

As I mentioned here previously, the good news is that I’m an excellent candidate for a kidney transplant. The bad news is that I need a kidney transplant. More bad news: I’m still in the market for such an organ because mine are more useless than Eric Swalwell and Matt Gaetz combined.

The “news” can be applied to much of my daily life.

Good news: I’ve been able to play a lot of golf this summer. Bad news: I’m still awful at it. It’s the most frustrating thing I truly enjoy.

Good news: I am not allergic to bees. Bad news: I was reminded of that  the hard way while playing golf, which put a bit of a damper on my round. And a stinger on my tongue.

That is not a typo. One moment, I was eating a hot dog. The next, a bee landed on it when I wasn’t looking and then I took another bite. I can’t tell you what I said next, but I hadn’t yelled things like that since my tee shot on No. 5.

A very angry bee gave his life so that he could watch me nearly choke on a bite of hot dog and ruin my chance to break 100.

Fake-news alert: The bee sting — which happened during a brief break at the turn — had nothing to do with my score, although it did put me in a bad mood for the rest of the round. Anger might be a good motivator in some sports, but it didn’t seem to do much for my golf swing. Everything was still going left, which could be a metaphor for the country.

Or is it an allegory? Perhaps a parable? I didn’t realize there was going to be a test. That, as many of my teachers and professors can attest, is clearly a metaphor for my checkered academic career.

But back to the important stuff — my golf game.

Being the trouper I am, I didn’t storm off the course and make a — wait for it — bee line to the drug store for some Benadryl. Once I plucked the stinger out of my tongue and delivered the requisite hissy fit (tantrum?), I was back on the 10th tee and  ready to shank some more drives and miss putts that would have been “gimmes” for Roy Orbison, Ray Charles and Angel Hernandez.

The best part was that I didn’t collapse and no one had to give me CPR. I wasn’t really worried about anaphylactic shock, because bees and I had always had an arrangement of sorts, going back to my childhood. They’d periodically remind me why I don’t like them by stinging me when I least expected it. And often in a sensitive body part.

But until Monday, I’d never been stung on the tongue. I don’t even want to think about the limited possibilities of a worse place to get stung.

ED PUSKAS is editor of the Star Beacon. Write him at epuskas@starbeacon.com. Follow him on Twitter, @Ed_Puskas.

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