"I get ten vacation days a year, and I try to hold off from taking them as long as possible. This year I got to the third week in January." ~ Pam Beasley, The Office.
It's time now for a special Wednesday edition of Thursdays with Bone. Don't think of it as six days late. Think of it as a day early. Work was a malicious, spiteful, complaining woman last week. So even though I've only been back from the beach for ten days, I'm already in need of another vacation.
Day one at the beach included quite a scare for our hero. I was in the ocean when I heard some people yelling. I turned to see they were all looking my way and appeared to be very interested in something swimming in the water. Well, I swear it sounded like they were saying "Shark!" So naturally, I started splashing towards the shore like a frightened little girl.
Then I heard someone yelling "No!" When I looked, they appeared to be motioning for me to stay still. I'm sorry, but if there's a shark in the water, I'm getting out of the water. I might not be able to outrun it but it sure won't be for lack of trying. Finally, I glanced over in the direction they'd been looking and saw a school of stingrays passing just a few yards from where I was standing. Fine, so it wasn't a shark. I'm still getting out of the water.
I did, however, manage to redeem myself -- at least in my own mind -- a bit later when I rescued a girl's sunglasses from the surf. Despite her repeated assurances of "don't worry about it, they were only like ten dollars" I donned my goggles and dove into the water time and again, fearlessly. (The stingrays were long gone by this time.)
I should probably mention here that I have to hold my nose when I'm underwater. That really detracts from the whole Aquaman superhero image. Nevertheless, at long last I emerged, hoisting the glasses -- once thought lost forever -- into the air and returning them to their rightful owner. Another damsel in (slight) distress left... un...distressed.
In addition to visiting all my favorite places -- as listed in the post below -- we tried a new restaurant for dinner one night, an Italian joint called Graffiti. Your classic hole-in-the-wall, it didn't look like much from the outside. I may have even been a little afraid. (Despite what you might think, I don't have that much street cred. I'm more of a internet-message-board cred kind of guy.)
But it turned out to be a really neat place. The walls were covered with all this funky art, and every piece was for sale. The food turned out to be phenomenal. Having had my fill of seafood the previous two nights, I ordered the Greek pizza. And I tell you this, I nearly wept it was so good. It was like a full-body massage for the palate.
Finally, no recap of this Destin trip would be complete without mentioning the odd individual we came across while playing putt-putt one evening. Let's call him Master Putter.
He was a couple of groups ahead of us. Things kept getting backed up and we were having to wait a couple of minutes to start every hole. That's when I began to notice Master Putter.
He'd brought his own putter to the course, as well as his own golf ball. And he had a golf glove hanging out of his pocket. As if that wasn't enough, he was taking exactly four practice strokes before every. single. shot. Also, he was kneeling down attempting to read the green before every putt.
So even though it's taking forever to play, I'm thinking this guy must be really good, right?
We get to a place where the course sort of doubles back and I can see him putting. He hits an excellent first putt, leaving himself about 18 inches for a 2. He blows that about four feet by, misses the come-backer and ends up taking a 4.
Then I overhear him saying to one of his buddies (he was in a threesome... with two other guys, just in case I needed to clarify that), "Man, par would be a really good score on this course."
Par was 54. I shot a 45. I'll let you draw your own conclusions about the course's difficulty or lack thereof. Apparently, super putting was not one of Master P's super powers. Maybe he is invulnerable to women?
He was both hilarious and incredibly annoying at the same time. Then again, the same has probably been said about me a time or two.
On a much more serious note, the Destin beaches were in their usual pristine condition. Although with British Petroleum's continuing devastation of the ecosystem, who knows how long that will be the case. I realize the beaches are just one small part of the damage that is being done. Anytime they show oil-covered animals being pulled from the water, I can't even bear to watch.
But I love the beach. To think that it might not be there next year saddens me more than I am able to say.
"Are we losing the human race? Do we ever really learn from our mistakes? Who's ahead? Who's behind? Will there be a finish line?"