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Sue Spitulnik

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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sports

Chasing a Little White Ball

If my father were still alive and I showed him the above picture, he would say it looked like a cow pasture.  It does, sort of, compared to Augusta National in Georgia.  I’ll add a picture to show you. Now that’s a golf course!

augusta

Do I play?  No, but watching is something I used to do with my Dad, and I now do with my husband.  When visiting my son and his family, he puts golf on the TV so we stay longer.  What is the obsession with chasing a little white ball?  I don’t have a real answer, but for me it would have to do with being outside, admiring the beauty of the course, the serenity of the location and the wildlife that would live there.  I think it also has something to do with camaraderie, a few cold ones, and trying to beat your all time lowest score or that of your buddies.  You know, like trying to beat yourself on a video game or at solitaire.

We just lost Arnold Palmer.  His followers were called Arnie’s Army.  His biography is one of my all time favorite reads.  He and his wife owned a golf course and had 30 year plus employees.  That’s a sign of a good boss.  His competition with Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and Gary Player were as much fun to watch as Tiger, Phil, Rory and Bubba are.  I age myself.  Tiger is already out of the picture and four years from now, Phil will be able to go to the senior tour.

The Ryder Cup finished on Sunday with a win for the U. S. for the first time in eight years. That is a team competition between U. S. players and European players.  Every two years it is played here and then two years later someplace in Europe.  It is meant to enhance patriotism, be fun but still respectful, and make the guys work as a team instead of individuals.  [When it’s on, we don’t do anything else.  Well, we did go to my granddaughter’s birthday party yesterday, but we watched it there while watching the presents being opened.]  The costumes in the crowd are noteworthy, and the rowdiness is a little out of control.  I would love to see it in person just once, but you get the whole picture if you watch it at home.

In our area, during the golf season there is a fund-raising tournament on almost every course on every Monday.  It doesn’t matter how well you play as long you can donate money to the cause.  I volunteer at a couple of tournaments and enjoy the day among the people and the lush green lawns and beautiful flowers and trees.  The little white ball I leave to the others.

 

Double Bubble and Baseball

Today is National Mulled Cider Day.  I had intended to write about that yummy, refreshing cider that you simmer on the stove with orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg and any other spice of your choice to fill the house with scents of fall and then enjoy the hot spicy flavor as it trickles down your throat, maybe accompanied by a fried cake doughnut, but Chewing Gum has much more interesting facts.

When I was a kid we had to choose between Double Bubble or Bazooka if we wanted a chewing gum to make big bubbles with.  I have a lot of hot air,  I was good at big bubbles.  Used to drive my mother nuts.  “If you are going to chew gum, KEEP YOUR MOUTH CLOSED!” I’ve become her, there is nothing more irritating to me than someone chewing gum with their mouth open and cracking it with every chew.  If I owned a retail store or a sports team, my employees would not be allowed to chew gum while on camera or while taking care of a customer.  In the dugout, or on the bench would be allowable.  According to the following facts, chewing gum is a stress reliever.  I’ll accept that, my rules would stay the same.

Various forms of chewing gum have existed since the Neolithic period. In 2007, a British archeology student discovered a 5,000-year-old piece of chewing gum which was made from bark tar with tooth imprints in it. Presumed to be the oldest piece of chewing gum, it was found in Kierikki, Yli-li, Finland.  Made from bark tar, the gum was believed to have antiseptic properties and other medicinal advantages.

  • Many other cultures chewed gum made from the resin of the mastic tree, from plants, grasses, and other resins.
  • In 1848, John B. Curtis developed and sold the first commercial chewing gum which was called “The State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum”.
  • Around 1850, a gum made from paraffin wax was developed and surpassed the spruce gum in popularity.
  • December 28, 1869, William Semple filed an early patent on chewing gum, patent number 98,304.
  • Studies show chewing gum helps improve memory, reduce stress and increase alertness.
  • Chewing sugar-free gum improves overall oral hygiene while also helping to curb cravings and improving digestion.

Do you know if you ever get lost in the woods and are thirsty or need to freshen your mouth you can take a wad of pine pitch off a pine tree and chew it.  If you happen to swallow it, it will pass through like other things do.  The myth that gum stays in your intestines is not true.  Have a colonoscopy and you can verify that.

Back to baseball.  There are less than five games left of the regular season, then the playoffs, and finally the World Series.  If you notice when they show the dugouts, where the teams sit for you non sports people, there are plastic buckets of  Bubble Yum.  The players seem to always be chewing on something.  I have even seen them popping a big bubble all over their face and trying to get the gum off before their next at-bat.  Keep in mind, they are mostly between the age of 20 and 40. (How they chew those sunflower seeds and spit the shells, I haven’t mastered.)

I should also mention Black Jack, Juicy Fruit, Spearmint, Dentyne, Big Red and Teaberry gum.  You have to be my age to remember some of those.  They weren’t good for blowing bubbles, and they lost their “flavor on the bedpost overnight”.

Afterthought….my husband’s favorite baseball team clinched their division.  He’s now rooting for best record.  Then we’ll move on to football coaches chewing their cud!

 

 

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