Flogging A Dead Horse: Most Stupid Injuries - Part 4

Wed, June 13th, 2012 at 2:58pm PDT

Comic Books
Paul Jenkins, Staff Writer

Hello again, Chums!

Well, it has been an eventful few weeks here in the Jenkins household. That cheeky Mexican heartthrob, Humberto Ramos and I were astounded and delighted to fool at least 1600 hundred of our closest punters into pledging over $95,000 dollars to support the reprinting of our "Fairy Quest" book. We came in at the third-highest total so far for a comic book pledge drive. So, you know... that went okay. Seriously, though, thank you so much to everyone who followed and supported us during the raise. If you see us at a show, Humberto has promised to hug each and every one of you: even those of you who didn't pledge. Especially people wearing "Furry" costumes. He is like that.

In family news, Kindergarten is now over for the year and while Little Dude prepares for his upcoming year in First Grade he is apparently going to practice being an elephant at 7AM for the next six weeks. Either that or someone is working a road drill in our kitchen at that time of day. This is now supplemented by the sound of Mini Dude smashing his glass bottles on the floor because, as you may have predicted, the little guy is already "Jenkins-weird." When he likes something (such as his widdle stuffed puppy or, say, a strawberry), he likes to throw the object of his affection across the room. We are not sure why. Now this may present a few problems later in his life when he starts dating but for the moment I suppose we are going to have to tolerate it. Lord knows, I already tolerate Little Dude's Pokemon obsession, Nigh Perfect's Amazon.com party supplies addiction and Colin the Corgi's supplemental 7AM barking-at-his-own-fucking-shadow sessions.

So how did my day go today, I hear you ask? Well, let's see: I tripped over Little Dude's Lightning McQueen scooter for the seventy-fifth time; I managed to trap my hand in the sharp pieces of his new metal bunk bed while I was trying to assemble it; I also managed to virtually decapitate myself on one of same bunk bed's metal struts, thereby proving to myself once and for all that no good deed goes unpunished. Long-time readers of Flogging will no doubt guess where this is all heading but let me just add in a few more moments of klutz from the Ninja Master himself. Earlier today I managed to jam my hand in the trunk of my car while I was closing it. Yes... you read that right: even though I was the person in control of the closing, I still managed to leave my trailing hand in between the closing implement and the large piece of solid metal that it closes upon. I am sure many of you have done the same with this exotic and difficult-to-operate automotive mechanism.

In short, I am a self-impairing dipshit with the life expectancy of an old-style VW Beetle in Mexico City -- I may get there in the end but there are going to be a lot of dents and scratches along the way. So it's no wonder, then, that I love to play golf as a way to relieve the stress. I mean no human alive could possibly injure his or herself playing a sedate and genteel game as golf, could they?

Well, I am about to disprove that theory in a little spot I grudgingly call

My Ten Most Stupid Injuries (Part Four)

Number Five -- A Good Walk, Obliterated

(I have covered this incident in an old Flogging but I definitely feel it bears repeating since it will explain why I have spent the last fifteen years or so of my life being dead. Confused? Read on...)

Back in the heady days of the early '90s when I started my career as a Freelance Writer I was already well into my career as a Freelance Idiot. By this point I had mutilated myself most handily playing all kinds of sports (not to mention while bending over to tie my shoelaces or pick a dandelion, or something). My first gig as a writer was on DC/Vertigo's well-established "Hellblazer" title, which followed the exploits of Mister John Constantine. And during my five-year run, my favorite recurring character was the legendary Rich the Punk for reasons that many of you do not understand to this day. You see, Rich the Punk was a crazy, eccentric, lunatic, crusty, British nutcase who had never met a person he could not alienate nor a drink he would not consume. He was bigger than life -- a mix between Sid Vicious and Cosmo Kramer. And he was by far the easiest character I have ever written because in order to get dialogue for him all I had to do was pick up the phone.

Rich the Punk, you see, is my brother.

Rich and I circa 1988. He's a shy, retiring type. Look at me, by the way: I am a puppy. Wow.

Rich the Punk visited me quite often back when I lived in Massachusetts. His idea of a "brief holiday" was to arrive on his younger brother's doorstep and state that his return flight was scheduled in six months' time and in the meantime he was going to be staying with me. Along with his girlfriend. And two year-old son. And his two pals, Grog the Recovering Drug Addict and Smeg the Recovering Alcoholic Who Needed a Six-Month Stay in a Rehab Clinic. Now Grog and Smeg were nice guys, to be sure. But the idea of stepping over their sleeping forms every morning as I made my way towards the teakettle did not fill me with enthusiasm. Not to worry, Rich the Punk cheerfully informed me. As long as I made no sudden moves or accidentally woke them I could expect not to be stabbed in my eye while I was sleeping.

Rich and Grog share some winter fun.
The exact moment where Rich's pal, Smeg, finds out that snow can be slippery. He snapped his ACL as this photo was being taken. Oh how we chuckled!

Rich the Punk was of the opinion that I led a sheltered and sedate life on account of the fact that I sometimes allowed myself to get sober, and rarely spent any of my evenings in a jail cell. Even as children, I could always be found on a field somewhere playing football whereas Rich The Punk could usually be found in a tree nearby burning Natural Incense Cigarettes, or chewing upon Nutritious Organic Mushrooms. He thought that sports were overrated and I was deathly allergic to his herbal cigarettes to the point where even the residue made me vomit for hours. In short, we agreed to disagree.

So imagine my surprise when one day, after waking from a three-day herb-addled stupor, Rich suddenly blurted out how much fun it would be to try something different for a change. What a wizard lark it would be, he thought, to play a round of golf together. But if we were going to spend all day whacking a little white ball around we were going to do it "Rich The Punk-style." Jumping at the chance to spend a day away from the sinister Grog and Smeg I agreed to this wizard plan, and before we knew it we were standing on the first tee of a 9-hole municipal course near the University of Massachusetts. I suppose it is fair to say that whatever happened next, I really should have seen it coming. It's just that my eyes weren't working properly at the time.

Rich the Punk tries on his first ever golf shirt. It's a good bet he is already drunk. Even so, this particular shirt did not make the cut.
Posing for a snapshot with my lifelong pal, Darren: note our Three Stooges demeanor and "ready to go" attitude. It's pure liquid bravado.

By the time we hit our first shot we were very drunk indeed. So inebriated, in fact, that I was forced to grab my brother by the shoulders and point him in the direction of the first fairway before he hit his ball directly at the nearby clubhouse. We had managed to rent a set of clubs from the course pro, who eyed us with the steady gaze of a man who knew he was about to lose a lot more money than he was about to earn. For one thing, this particular course had an all-day cart and rental fee, meaning Rich The Punk and I were going to tear up his course for as long as we remained vertical and there was nothing he could do about it. Judging by the way this day was already going, staying vertical was going to be our main challenge.

Rich's first attempt at driving a golf cart does not go so well...
The Head Pro decides to give us a less expensive golf cart.

Apart from the ratty old set of clubs and a six-pack of revolting American beer (Keystone Ice, I seem to recall), we had been given charge of an ancient gas-powered golf cart that had only one wheel at the front and a metal bar that acted as the steering mechanism. I am not making this shit up. Since we had paid for the rental in cash we felt confident that when we inevitably crashed the thing our surviving family members would have a handy insurance claim. And so after a few massive whacks at the ball on Rich's part -- and a fairway-splitting beauty on mine -- we set off up the hill in search of Rich's errant tee shot and golf immortality.

The novelist Harry Leon Wilson once famously wrote of golf that it was a "good walk, spoiled." Well, had Mister Wilson been armed with a rocket-propelled three-wheel golf cart and had he been slightly more shit-faced than a fly doing a reverse half-twist into a cowpat he would have looked upon the endeavor differently: full contact golf is fun. One of the first things Rich and I decided to do was remove the cart's governor, which is the device that limits its speed. Our little golf rocket was now capable of warp speeds. We experimented with a game of teeing off with the other player sitting in the cart some way down the fairway trying to catch the ball in the cart. This lasted for as long as it took (30 seconds) for one of us to catch a flying golf ball to the midriff. For a change it wasn't me. Things were looking up.

After six holes the Heavens opened. But we were far too plowed to follow the lead of every other golfer on the course: namely, to take shelter and pray to our deity of choice. If lightning was going to play around us then by the power of Greyskull we were going to play around it! And so, wielding the Five-iron of Thor himself we headed bravely and drunkenly back towards the clubhouse, whacking our balls as we went.

After nine holes we restocked with another six-pack of Keystone Ice and set out again to do better than the first time. While our scores had slipped just a little our speed had improved and we covered the next nine in a record thirty-seven minutes, during which time we downed another three beers each. The sun came out. We resolved to hand it to Jack and Arnie by playing another nine and really hauling ass this time. We completed the next nine in a record three hours after accidentally driving across a tee box and having to get out and replace the sod. Rich the Punk happily showed up with some perfectly mown grass he'd found nearby and after a thorough replacement job we were on our way.

To describe Rich the Punk as a golfer is to describe Tiger Woods as a professional welder: it is quite possible Tiger has even welded on occasion but we all know the best thing would be to get the blowtorch out of his hand. Rich's unique style included ululating Braveheart-style every time the ball went in the air, which was not very often. Cue the fourth nine-hole attempt: While we had been making our rounds to restock on beer at the clubhouse, some asshole had gouged out half of the green on the thirty-fifth hole. As we looked down from the top of the hill above hole number thirty-six of the day, a gaggle of new golfers had flooded onto the course. It is fair to say not all of them were pleased to share their early evening with the Jenkins boys. Hole number thirty-six looked particularly difficult. It wobbled ever so slightly in the early evening sun, and there appeared to be at least three fairways. I aimed for the middle one. Rich threw his ball down the hill and we set off in search of it. And this is where the real action occurred.

As we hurtled down the slope our front end seemed to be heading for a large rock. Instinctively I grabbed at the steering wheel, only to find it was in fact a large metal bar. As the rocket cart threw Rich and I like a twelve-ton Bramah bull bucking a cowboy midget, I remembered that, of course, we only had one front wheel! My bad, I thought, as I landed on the fairway with a sickening crunch that sounded very much like somebody's clavicle interacting with a baseball bat. If it was my clavicle, the alcohol had already pre-dulled the pain, so I had that going for me. The next few moments happened -- and I kid you not, it is a real phenomenon -- in slow motion. I looked up as a shadow fell across the sun. It was our golf cart, which was bouncing merrily down the fairway behind us: Two tons of metal and plastic, all of which was aimed directly at my chest. I said a brief farewell to the nearby trees and the little birdies, and watched quite calmly as the cart bounced across my chest, thereby cleaving my torso in two, bursting my lungs and heart and shattering all of my ribs. It didn't hurt one bit.

Indeed, as I lay there waiting for the angels to come and get me I noticed a distinct lack of blood. Or bone. Or anything resembling injury, frankly. The cart had literally bounced across me and had caused no injury whatsoever. I managed to crane my neck to where I could see my dead brother lying face down on the grass. Rigor mortis was already setting in so that his body was making little convulsing motions. Hang on a second... the bugger was laughing! Silently, and with very little fuss, Rich the Punk and I sat up and watched as the rocket cart finished bouncing down the fairway some fifty feet below us. Nearby -- and I swear on my life this is true -- four old guys looked at us with angry expressions because we had been making a noise while they were trying to putt out their golf balls. We staggered down the hill to find that every single rental club in our bag had been bent with the exception of the ball retriever. At that very moment -- again, not kidding -- someone else drove their golf cart into the nearby pond.

Taking this as a sign from the very Gods we had so recently been ignoring we drove our cart back to the clubhouse, marked ourselves down for pars on the last two holes, and left the premises before the head pro could take any incriminating snapshots of us! To this day I am not sure what happened: did my near-perfect state of inebriation save my life? Were my muscles so relaxed that in fact a two-ton golf cart slid across me like a soft patty of butter?

No, I am afraid I have probably been dead all of this time and everything that has happened since has been a dream.

Final tally: Rocket Propelled Golf Cart -- 2 deaths
Jenkins Brothers -- 0

This month's moment of Spousal Madness

I would like to draw your attention to the above photograph of the inside of my closet. Being a thoughtful lass and a wonderful partner, my wife has provided me with a new tagging system for my dirty clothes hamper. As you can see, there is a basket for whites and another for colors... and a third section. I have been staring at this for a couple of days now but I am at a loss to explain what she may have missed in the first two categories that I am supposed to supply in the latter. Do they make clothes in infrared? Is this a carefully disguised intelligence test? Is it a message regarding her disappointment with our last purchase of a washing machine? I have to know. Because I have a feeling that this is going to come and bite me on the ass. Please help.

This month's moment of Little Dude Awesomeness

Little Dude graduated from Kindergarten this month. You read that right: he had a graduation ceremony. For his Kindergarten.

This is Little Dude having a George Bush "Mission Accomplished" moment. We will wait until the end of the Summer to give him the bad news.

The late Paul Jenkins was a wonderful son and father whose ghost can be followed on Twitter @mypauljenkins. Though he has been dead for fifteen years as a result of a tragically stupid golf cart accident, his disembodied spirit may be liked on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/podyonkers. And he and his zombie partner in crime, Chris Moreno, are currently hitting Kickstarter again with new issues of the beloved (not by the IRS) comic, "Sidekick." Check it out, or he will come and haunt you.

TAGS:  flogging a dead horse, paul jenkins

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