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Episode Thirty-Two  -A SAND TRAP IN SAN TROPEZ

Copyright © 2002 - 2006 Arthur Jarvinen

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The Invisible Guy is in San Tropez enjoying a relaxing afternoon golf match with a colleague who contacted him with a promise of information certain to be of interest, but who insisted there would be no shop talk until after their game; "Pleasure before business". The Invisible Guy was more than happy to oblige, especially since it’s the off season on the French Riviera, though he's not too thrilled with the idea of getting his ass kicked on the course, golf itself being his "handicap" as it were.

On the 18th fairway The Invisible Guy's drive is, inexplicably, a whole lot better than usual. "Maybe I'm actually getting the hang of this" he muses, delightedly anticipating a respectable score for the last hole when suddenly, his ball, as if acted on by some mysterious unseen force, veers hard left and plummets into the sand trap. "Oh…rotten luck" exclaims his colleague. "And that drive looked so promising".

On his next turn The Invisible Guy ventures into the trap, hoping to extricate his ball with a single stroke for a change, but just as he approaches it, the very earth seems to give way, as if it were suddenly liquid, and he finds himself up to his knees – then his hips - in the sand.

"Sacre bleu! Zut alors!!  MERDE!!!!!

The Invisible Guy's phrase-book-French cursring doesn't go far enough by half towards expressing his true feelings at this moment, nor the gravity of his situation, as he realizes he doesn't have a clue how he's going to get out of this one. He just might be shit-outta-luck. Mere seconds later, only his wedge is visible, protruding from the funnel-shaped indentation in the sand, and that too is rapidly disappearing.

"That's a nasty sand trap, my friend. Perhaps I should have warned you…nahhh!…(he he). So sorry, but I think we've finally seen the last of you, The Invisible Guy" our sunken hero's colleague asserts confidently, drawing smug satisfaction from his Montecristo #2.

Meanwhile in California, Mr. Bunghole is on the 18th green of the Santa Teresa Golf Club, perplexed and bewildered, having seen neither hide nor hair of The Invisible Guy all day, and having gotten no reports from any of his scouts on the other courses in the area. It was bad cell phone reception to be sure, but still, when eavesdropping on the conversation he could have sworn the rendezvous was set for "San Jose".

"Maybe this damn guy really is invisible."
.    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .

Claude, having marked his page and placed on the seat beside him his copy of
Merde: Excursions in Scientific, Cultural, and Socio-Historical Coprology by Ralph A. Lewin, avails himself of the friendly services of the beverage lady, quickly topping off his Coke with a 2 oz. Bacardi Silver and taking a refreshing sip before putting his cart in gear and heading off in the direction of the club house.


A Richard Brautigan Coda to "A Sand Trap In San Tropez", as if he were golfing, and still writing, somewhere in a grassy America…

The Invisible Guy didn't mind so much being sucked into the sand, as the warmth of the sun-soaked grains soothed his tired ankles, and he could think of no better retirement village than a golf course in San Tropez, especially since he didn't pay for it. Of course it's not like the old days, when the likes of Pablo Picasso and Brigitte Bardot would have been his companions for early cocktails and dancing late into the night, but then, no days are like the old days, anywhere, ever.

Early retirement isn't so bad at that, and The Invisible Guy thoroughly enjoys the comfort of his sandy forever bed in the cemetery under the playground of the rich and beautiful who, making their eternally glamorous, moist chip shots, never think about the dry stillness of death, shrugging off the sand trap as a mildly amusing inconvenience as they casually and confidently watch their firm, clean, white balls soar over it.

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