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Par for the Course
by Eric Miller

"Looks a bit rustic, my father-in-law said," frowning as he looked out over the golf course to which I had brought him.

"I knew you'd like it," I said with a smile.

"Does rustic mean I like it?," he wondered aloud, before screaming "Watch where you're going; you almost killed us," as the golf cart jerked forward, crashing into a boulder.

"Don't worry, Dad. The only place you have to worry about getting killed is on your scorecard. I own this course."

"Really now, and how much money is that ownership worth?"

"Well, I think we should bet twenty dollars a hole, if you're willing to give me three strokes on each one."

"As well as on a par three?"

"Okay, Dad, just give me two strokes on a par three,"  I said magnanimously.

"Well, that’s more like it. You're on!"

"Okay, Dad, you tee off first."


"Right here; right where we're standing."

"There's nothing here. I don't see any markings."

"That's because it's rustic, Dad, remember?"

"Where's the hole?"

"Out there."

"I don't see it," he complained.

"Duh, Dad, it's just a little hole in the ground. How do you expect to see it from here?"

"Isn't there a pin and a flag?"

"Well, then it wouldn't be so rustic, would it?"

He swung a fairway iron. On the downswing, he hit an unseen rock just below the surface, which caused him to drop his club.

"I'm taking a Mulligan," he proclaimed.

"Did we agree to Mulligans?"

"I'm taking one; get over it," he growled. "Your shot," he said, after he hooked his Mulligan. "That's one," I heard him say, as I swung and missed. "Two, three, four," he said, matter-of-factly, as I swung and missed repeatedly.

My father-in-law quickly abandoned his clubs and began to kick the ball toward the unmarked holes. It was hard to tell which was the cup, and which was just a depression formed by a cow hoof. At the end of nine holes, he looked at me in disgust.

"This is not a golf course. Get me out of here!"

"Well, let's settle up on the scoring."

"I win; you lose. It's as simple as that," he stated.

"Don't forget all the strokes  you gave me,"  I reminded him gently.

"Right, let's see. Well, even with that, you still lose."

"What was your score?," I asked.

"Better than yours," he growled.

"How much better?"

"It's better, that's all that matters."

"But don't forget that my handicap is double infinity?"

"It doesn't count," because I gave you all those strokes."

"Even if you gave me an infinite number of strokes, it wouldn't equal my double infinity handicap. Give me twenty dollars, and we'll call it even."

"No, you owe me twenty dollars for each of nine holes. You owe me $180.00."

"I would like to yield to your infinite wisdom, but I humbly, infinitely, doubly, and indubitably disagree with your scorecard calculation."

"Which is just par for the course for you," my father-in-law observed.