Wow. Lot of action. This may be one that you need to buckle up for.
So the tournament finished up on Sunday. Even without Michael Jordan, the tournament attracted a record number of patrons. The television ratings weren’t impressive but this is one event which isn’t effected by poor ratings. The majority of income comes from the sponsors of the event. There are booths set up throughout the course and Harrah’s doesn’t mind ponying up a ton of dough to have filthy rich celebrities lose money in their casino. We started cleaning up when the last groups had nine holes to go and made a sizeable dent by the time 6:00 rolled around.
We got to the course at 8:00 on Monday and resumed the clean up process. I was just counting down to 2:00 when I would be teeing off at the course just a day after Jack Wagner’s clutch performance (He almost wasn’t invited this year, which can explain why the first people he thanked were my bosses, I’m not going to publish the reason). After an eternity 1:30 finally came and I met Brian Dawson at the range for our tee time. Mind you this was the first time that I even attempted a full golf swing since breaking my wrist so I needed some metaphorical WD-40. I took a page out of dad’s book and popped a few Advil before the round, but of course it wouldn’t kick in for a few holes. On the 9th hole I got a long message from my mom telling me to be careful, a total mom message but it made me look forward to seeing her in two days. I played pretty bad but I stepped it up at the right points to win the most skins on the round. Edgewood charges $200 per round for two reasons: it is the only course on Lake Tahoe and their season doesn’t begin until the middle of May due to the abundance of snow in the area. But I’ll tell you, besides the last three holes, it is not worth it. But I am thankful that I got to play there. Now when I play the course in TW 2005, it will be much cooler.
On the 16th hole I sunk a 30 ft putt for bogey dispite the fact that I had Walter’s cousins watching from the back of the green. Then when we got to 17 there was a group of people heckling us from a boat on the lake. I took the moment to sign a golf ball and hit it to them. For some reason no one jumped of the boat to fetch it. Then the highlight of the day came after the finishing out on the 18th hole. I shook hands with the guys we were playing with, ran to the cart while stripping down to my skivies and jumped into Lake Tahoe. I had expected the water to be cold, but it could not have been anymore perfect. It was unreal. And I am telling you, there is something special about that lake. It is crystal clear, fresh water and I think it has some magical powers because as soon as I jumped in I forgot about all of my troubles.
Up until that point, I was winded and very up tight. I tend to get to serious at times, especially when I am trying to prove myself in a work setting. The entire time I was here, I never really let myself go, and while everyone else was staying out till 2 in the morning, I was always in bed by 10:30. Maybe it was a combination of the tournament being over and the complements I had heard during the day, but I am still going to blame the lake itself.
Fun Fact: If you built a canal the width and depth of the Panama Canal on the equator and wrapped it around the world, the water in Lake Tahoe could fill the entire thing plus have enough left to fill a canal with the same dimensions from LA to NY.
I exited the water and basically sprinted back to the hotel. The lake gave me all sorts of energy. The tournament ran smoothly, I made a bunch of connections, and after 3 hours of work the next morning I would be heading home on a 2:30 plane. I got to my room showered and headed over to Friday’s Station (on the top floor of Harrah’s) where we had reservations for dinner. Brian got us the best table in the restaurant and we ate with his assistant Yvonnea. During dinner the entire trip hit me in a flash. I started cracking up for no reason. For lack of a better term, I was “blessed” to be able to go on this great trip. I did a lot of work, but I also got a lot in return.
After dinner we took the elevator to the lobby/casino level and Brian told us that he was going to teach us how to play Craps. We walked over the the table but not before making a pit stop. As we passed the roulette table Brian pulled out $1000, bet on black, and won. I stood there for a full minute besides myself. I became even more stunned when he handed me a $500 chip accompanied by: “Now you have a bank roll. Just stay positive, you’re going to win $1500 bucks tonight.” At this point I was still riding a Lake Tahoe high but I was speechless. At the Craps table Brian told us what to bet on and this began to escalate quickly. After about 10 minutes I was up $50 bucks and ready to call it quits, I am a seasoned casino high/casino low veteran, but Brian was just begining. We were placing $20 dollar bets meanwhile Brian was over there betting a couple of hundred on each roll.
We played until 12:00 when the three of us all crapped out on our rolls. Yvonnea and I called it a night and I nearly fell over when we cashed in our chips for $1900. I gave Brian his $500 plus more back, but he took it and put it right back into my shirt pocket. After thanking him profusely I went to bed with a huge smile since I would be going home in 12 short hours.I could barely sleep that night and when I woke up at 7:00 I headed out the door for my last 4 working hours in Tahoe. Everyone else had gone home by this point, so Mike and I were left with the closing duties. I moved a bunch of boxes to the storage room on the course and boxed up the rest of the things to be shipped out to random places. When 10:45 rolled around I was getting pretty ancy. 15 minutes till a freedom that tasted even better than the million cups of Jamba Juice I had over the course of the week. I had just returned from my final storage room run and all I needed to do was take the trash to the dumpster and I was a free man.
But of course what trip is complete with out the Piccinich Effect rearing it’s ugly head. I picked up the trash bags and boxes at which point I felt something graze my leg. I looked at the trash can (which is basically a tall box which gets folded together) and there was a plastic knife sticking out of the corner of the box. At that point I looked at my leg and noticed that the plastic knife was not a plastic knife but rather a shard of glass the size and shape of a pen that decided to venture into and (thank god) out of my calf. My leg was covered in blood. I calmly wheeled around walked back into the trailor:
Nick: Hey Mike, Do you have a towel or a tournequet of some sort?
Mike: Huh? Yea, why?
Nick: Well I kinda had a foray with some glass
Mike: (Sees my leg) Holy [explict deleated]
Instead of spending the next 15 minutes finishing work and getting back to the hotel, I was stuck on the floor with an elevated leg and electrical tape and paper towels trying to subdue the blood. By 11:30 the bleeding had stopped and I was still going to be able to catch my 12:00 limo, just sans a shower. Sucks for whoever was going to get stuck next to me on the plane. I stood up took a step in the right direction, then the world started doing circles around my head. I quickly retreated to the nearest staircase and crashed. The next 20 minutes were miserable, not only was I not getting to a limo to go home, the world looked like an over-exposed photograph. I was drinking one bottle of water while pouring a second bottle all over myself. By the time death had subsided, it was 12:15 and all hope was vanquished. Another day in Tahoe for me. Now it’s definatly not the worst punishment of all time but……..
Since I was now spending another day in Paradise, I decided to make the smart play, I hitched a ride to the clinic and got four stitches in my leg. I got back to the course at 1:15, worked for another hour and a half and then left for good.
My plane leaves tomorrow at 1. Hopefully I won’t have to take out the trash before then. See everybody real soon.