2018-08-10 / Commentary

My reign is over


I lost.

So it’s official. I now have absolutely nothing left. There is no sport, game, or anything else in the competitive genre I can hold over the heads of my children.

Why? Because I lost at my very last stronghold... minigolf. For the better part of two decades I was undefeated, but that streak came to a crashing halt last week.

The worst part is that I lost to my oldest daughter, the 20-year-old. Let’s just say golf of any sort has ever been in her wheelhouse. Tennis has always been her sport, and a few years ago I accepted the fact that my slicing and cheap shots couldn’t hold up against her game forever. And it didn’t. She beats me on a regular basis now.

Golf is a different story. I could always count on her to get a six or more on at least one hole thanks to some tricky slope and/ or a few ill-placed obstacles. That was not the case at this year’s annual beach minigolf outing.

Oh, someone got a six... maybe even two sixes... but it wasn’t my oldest daughter.

It was me. I should have known I was doomed when I picked out the course.

I fell for the “under new management” words placed on its sign. In my defense, the course looked perfectly lovely...from the road.

It had big fake animals, a water wheel, a lazy river, and plenty of other golfers. What could be wrong...right?

Well, it took about two seconds to realize I should have kept my mouth shut when it came to recommending a new minigolf course. Always go with the enemy you know.

I paid for five players and gleefully strutted out of the office to pick the club and colored ball that were to keep me undefeated.

My joy was quickly smashed by my three kids and the wife. My kids were shaking their heads with disapproval, and my wife had that look on her face she only got when she was completely disgusted with something. I knew it all too well from previous suggestions of mine that had bombed in similar fashion. Usually, I didn’t fight the face and moved on to a place suggested by her, but it was too late. I had already paid, so we were committed.

I probably should have pushed for a refund.

The lazy river turned out to be concrete ditch that looked like it hadn’t had running water in it since the start of my streak. However, thanks to a very wet July, it did have enough standing water in it to grow a thick layer of algae, sludge, and mold. To complete the ensemble, a beat up old paddleboat rested in the algae.

No matter, I thought. None of that affected the course. However, a similar mixture of rainwater and slime sat in all 18 cups. Because the course was my suggestion, my family was “nice” enough to let me fetch the golf balls from each and every hole. My hands were green by the end of the round.

Maybe that’s why I fell apart on two holes to earn my pair of sixes thus opening the door for my triumphant oldest daughter.

The good news is that I didn’t lose to my 15- year-old son. We tied. My younger daughter and wife were clearly distracted by the “scenery” and never posed a threat.

They will, however, pose a serious threat if I ever pick the course again.

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