Hat Day, Bumper Stickers, and Playing in Absentia

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My Sunday Morning Group has a certain amount of branded merchandise, which is available for purchase by members only. Our wristbands (above) are free if you wear them, five dollars if you don’t. We also have European-style S.M.G. bumper-stickers, which cost two dollars but are currently not in stock. If you have one on your car (and also if you don’t), you can park in the Executive Parking Lot, between the clubhouse and the Dumpster.

IMG_2062Most of all, we have hats. The original ones, which we designed ten or fifteen years ago, are purple and orange, a color combination we selected because we thought it would get on the nerves of some women who had recently complained about our drunken boorishness, and so forth. (When we wore our new hats on a field trip to a golf course in another town, an assistant in the golf shop asked, “Do you guys all work for Federal Express?”) The most recent hats are purple and fluorescent green. You can see both versions in the photo below:

Nick wanted us to have a POW/MIA emblem on our hats, but he settled for an American flag.

Nick (not pictured) thought we ought to have a POW/MIA emblem on our hats, but he settled for an American flag.

Some guys wear their S.M.G. hats fairly often, but most guys wear them only on Hat Day, when wearing them is mandatory. Hat Day takes place whenever Hacker (real name) says, usually once or twice a season. If you come to Hat Day without a hat, you have to buy a new one (for $19.99), rent a loaner (for $3.99), or buy a reconditioned one (for $9.99). The reconditioned hats are loaners that have been reconditioned by sitting in Hacker’s barn since whenever the last Hat Day was. On the most recent Hat Day, Hacker sold three of them.

Hacker (with the last three purple-and-greens) and Greg, Hat Day, 2013.

Hacker (with the last of the new purple-and-greens) and Greg, Hat Day, 2013.

We had twenty-one guys that day, although only twenty were physically present. Peter P.—who had a horrific car accident shortly before Labor Day—was still in the hospital, but Hacker had figured out a way to let him play in absentia, by giving him a score of net par on every hole. We played two best balls, and Peter’s team needed his ball on seven holes, so he was more useful than quite a few of the guys who actually showed up. Peter also won a share of the Money Hole. During lunch, we used colored markers and construction paper to draw get-well pictures for him:

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Here are some of the pictures:

Stan for Pete Harry for Pete-001 Greg for Pete

Tim for Pete

That last one, by Tim, shows Peter himself painting a picture of a golf hole. Peter doesn’t actually paint golf holes, but he is a painter. Just a couple of weeks before his accident, he held a reception in his studio, and a lot of us went—a rare opportunity to learn what someone we hang around with does when he’s not playing golf. Here’s Peter that evening, along with some of his paintings:

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And here’s where he works:

IMG_2707And here’s another one of his pictures:

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We want him back soon, in person, and not only because he draws better than we do.

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