Monday, April 29, 2002

DAD-STYLE ROADTRIP
With Natalie at work this past weekend, I loaded Jake and Tesla into the car and drove down to the folks in lovely Naples. Despite some trepidation that I'd somehow screw up a weekend alone with Jake and the dog miles away from home, all went well. Tesla even got some time on a dog run (an invention that somehow hasn't hit O-Town). Of course, Naples being very South Florida (and the temp hovering in the low 90s), there wasn't much running at "Rover Run." Mostly, a small herd of dogs sniffed each, then headed for shade, where they'd flop down, panting and trying hard to avoid sand spurs. Before figuring this out, Tesla walked across a stretch of scortching, sun-burnt sand and began hopping about like she'd gotten thorns in every paw.

Jake and I found a little nine-hole golf course surrounded by condos where we played a round late Saturday afternoon. We slipped on just before a foursome of old men who were smoking cigars and snickering at us. In addition to a large TABASCO baseball hat, Jake was wearing lime-green sunglasses in the shape of hearts. The first tee headed straight across water and as I set up, Jake gave a loud running commentary. Are you gonna hit it in the water? Grandpa said we'll be in trouble here! We can't get it out from there. The old guys were very amused. Needless to say, I sliced my first shot right into the water (it bounced onto the rock edge). My second shot slammed into the second floor of the condos with a sickening THWACK! Having lived on a golf course, I can say the only good thing about that sound is it wasn't breaking glass. A solid thwack means you probably don't owe anybody money for damages. That ball bounced fair so we moved on, Jake chattering non-stop. When I told him he was about to boogie the last hole, he started crying. He's watched enough golf to know a boogie is bad for the pros. I tried to explain, but gave up and told him if he sank the putt, it would be a birdie. He sank it.

This afternoon, while swimming, Jake said Stop tickling me or I'm gonna pick your nose I hadn't heard that before. I proceeded to get vicious, nasty sunburn which aches as I type.

My folks were their normal weird and wonderful selves. My Mother repeatedly asked Jake Do you want to stay here with Nunny after Daddy leaves? Eventually, Jake answered Yes and that made her very happy. My father, in addition to teaching Jake how to count to 100, taught him the phrase That's my story and I'm sticking to it. and the word Pussy (as in Phil Mickelson is a pussy for missing that putt). No word yet if Jake (who slept for 13 hours last night) will recall any of that.

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