Going away with four friends, golf clubs and disposable income can go a lot of ways. As much as I think of the really good times we have had away together, my mind keeps racing back to images of; police in Virginia Beach (amazing how much noise you can make with a baggage valet in a top floor suite at two in the morning), a possible broken foot in New Orleans (followed almost immediately by me showing up at the airport and realizing I had neither my credit card or my license but still managing to get on a plane post 9/11), almost not making it out of the Circus Circus in Vegas (the comped drinks are very real in Vegas, and you can lose a shitload of money when drunk), and desperate men running naked from the shower (and that was before we even left Pittsburgh.) Of course, there was also the really scary stuff.
In the past, we were usually celebrating somebody’s something; bachelor party, everyone being in town, etc. Sometimes, it was just an excuse to bail for a few days. But this time, we are rallying around us, all of us. All of us turned 40. FORTY! Our combined years for knowing each other, just the four of us, is about 312 years. If you lined those years up, end to end, like a science experiment, and went backward, you would be at the year 1697. Turns out, 1697 was a bad time to live in Haverhill in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Seems some Indians from Quebec raided the village and killed a bunch of folk and took many more hostage. One hostage, Mrs. Dustin later escaped by killing ten of her captors and returned to Haverhill where she turned in their scalps for a bounty. Shortly thereafter, the phrase “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” was born. For more on the year 1697, and where the above anecdote was pilfered from, please go here: http://www.answers.com/topic/1697
We will of course be assuming our aliases for this trip, Mr. Baby, Z, Mud and Hotfire. You can’t possibly go head long into this inferno bearing your real names. After all, protocol is protocol. Neither will this be a trip for the thinned skin. Every misstep taken will be pounced on like a wounded gazelle in the Serengeti. Spill a beer and hear about it for every second for the duration of the trip. This isn’t tough love, its brutal love. Its beat your friends down to within an emotional inch of their lives love. But it’s also “outsiders, mind your fucking business love” or the beating you get will not be emotional and require a very careful analogy of the extradition laws between South Carolina and Pennsylvania.
So I go into this expecting to be ridiculed and drunk. I will not shoot under a 100 and fully expect to buy my share of rounds at the bar. Someone, quite possibly me, will puke. This I know. I will laugh my ass off and count my blessings. Stories from this trip will come, the most important of which has already been told. I’m one lucky SOB to be in such good company.
(AFTERWARD: An intersting note on the internet. When I Googled "What happened in 1697" it came back with an astounding 54,500,000 hits. I thought it would be, I don't know, maybe 3.)