Friends are the most important part of your life. Treasure the tears, treasure the laughter, but most importantly, treasure the memories. – David Brenner
God has blessed this planet with some remarkable minds labouring unceasingly to arrive at solutions to the problems plaguing the human race. Take the actors in The Big Bang Theory for example. Brilliant minds, but put to minimal use. All theory; no practice.
On the other hand Marcel, Moe, Brian and I – four awesome minds - assemble for coffee three or four times a week for the good of all humanity. That is three or four hours a week devoted almost exclusively to finding solutions to the grave problems that elude the think tanks, politicians and tacticians of the world. When we are in sync our minds are like well oiled machines. While hardly batting an eye or exerting a brain cell we tackle problems and propose resolutions to all that ails society in the twenty-first century. Yet, unlike the scholars on The Big Bang Theory, we never ask for a penny in compensation. This is our gift to the planet. We do all this strictly as a public service. When I look around our usual coffee hangout I see other seniors gathered in groups of three, four or five individuals, in all likelihood some of them tackling the same problems as we do, but I doubt that putting all these other groups together would result in anything near the intelligence, tenacity and devotion to task that we exhibit.
Occasionally, however, we will take a day off from our labours, rest our minds and challenge our bodies with fellowship on the golf course. Such an outing was planned for August 27, 2014. It was the annual Knights of Columbus Manitoba best ball tournament to be held at Larters at St. Andrews Golf and Country Club near Winnipeg, Manitoba. We entered a team and, as was our habit, we decided to gather for coffee the day before the tournament to strategize and agree on our travel arrangements for the thirty-five minute drive to the golf course. Marcel volunteered to do the driving and someone suggested we should take a camera along and take a few photos. I said I would do that, but just to ensure I remembered to pack the camera when I got home I said I would set the alarm on my cell phone for 4:00 p.m. to remind me to charge the camera battery and put the camera in my golf bag.
Marcel had the audacity to comment that when the alarm rang I would probably forget the reason it was ringing. The guys had a good laugh about that; we concluded our strategies and headed home with the agreement to meet at ten the next morning to travel to the tournament.
Some thirty-five minutes later I'm sitting in front of my laptop checking emails and my damned cell phone alarm rings. I knew right away it was to remind me to do something, something to do with golf the next day, but for the life of me I could not recall what it was. I checked my "birdie flask", and sure enough, it was filled with our favourite beverage; I checked my golf bag to be sure I had balls, tees and a little snack. As I did the circle check Marcel's words haunted me, "The alarm will ring but you'll forget what it was for." Well, I might have a bit of short term memory loss, but I haven't lost any pride. I knew that if I phoned Marcel he could tell me what I had forgotten to do, but then he would have another chuckle at my expense and I was determined not to let that happen.
As the afternoon and early evening wore on, Cecilia and I ate our evening meal, did the dishes, went for a walk and watched a little TV, all the while an uneasy feeling in the back of my mind. I knew that I had to remember to do something, but it just wouldn't come to me. Finally, it was about 10:30 in the evening, time for old folks to get to bed.
In bed over the previous six weeks or so I had been reading the old Herman cartoons. We have eight of the books entitled the “Herman Treasuries” and they are absolutely hilarious, especially when I hadn't looked at them in several years. I had finished the Herman books and enjoyed them so much as bedtime entertainment that I had picked up a few old books of Far Side cartoons and had been revelling in them each evening. I was just into The Far Side Gallery 2 by Gary Larson. Finally at about 10:45 P.M. I came across a real "far out" cartoon - I guess that's why they are called Far Side - of a pack of hyenas, all hungrily devouring the carcass of some dead animal, all except for one hyena who looks up at another hyena in the background who has a camera pointed at the whole scene. That hyena, looking up, says, "For crying out loud, Doris ..... You gotta drag that thing out every time we all get together?"
Thank God and thank Gary Larson! I immediately realized that I was Doris, I was to bring my camera to the tournament, and I had better get at it. Springing into action I jumped out of bed, located my camera, charged the battery overnight and was fully prepared for photographic action at the tournament the next day and my pride was intact.
The next day arrived: warm, sunny and absolutely ideal for the event. I have some great photos to prove it. However, when it comes to golf our skills are inferior to our intellectual prowess. Needless to say, we did not win the tournament, but if our objective was to rest our minds from the daily grind of solving humanities' many problems, in that we were successful.
There are only three questions remaining. First, how did Marcel know that I would forget why my cell phone alarm was ringing? I guess he is either psychic or he knows that seniors’ short term memory is somehow vanished. The second question is “Do I ever admit to the guys that I almost didn't bring the camera because I couldn't remember why my cell phone alarm was ringing?” Well, I fessed up! At our next coffee gathering I confessed that Marcel was right. The guys had a good chuckle at my expense and we moved on to solving the world’s problems. The third question is - uh - sorry, I forgot the third question. Maybe there were only two questions.
Gerald M. Sliva
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