In the afternoon, the clouds opened to reveal blue sky and the air warmed to a comfortable mid 60s. Perfect, I thought. A full round might be washed out, but at least I can go pound away at some range balls.
Unfortunately what I had hoped would be just another of my light-hearted travelogue-y looks at the various golf facilities all across the wonderful golf universe, is going to end up as a bitter lamentation and a damnation of the shallow heart and abject wussiness of the Southern California lifestyle.
Earlier in the morning, I was in a supermarket grabbing a few grocery items. I overheard a couple of people talking about the weather.
"Is it raining still?"
"Coming down pretty hard?"
By me and most of the non-desert world, what was falling outside at that moment would be called "light rain" and hardly a shit be given to. Puddles were barely forming. Windshield wipers were on the lowest setting. At the time that little conversation struck me as amusing. I felt conciliatory towards these people even. You can't blame them, I thought. This is a desert environment and these folk simply do not deal with rain for 95% of their existence. How could people be blase and unmoved toward a nature phenomena with which they are unfamiliar? I'm pretty sure that if the Aurora Borealis decided to visit the tri-state area one night, we would not be blase, or unmoved.
Anyways back to the sunny afternoon. First stop, the range at Arroyo Trabuco GC (the first photo in the post), an exceptionally inviting-looking plot of land to which to whack balls. But there was not a car parked in the driving range lot. I should've just u-turned and left. But I got out and saw a pro giving a lesson to what was probably a member. He told me the range was closed today. As I walked away he must have sensed the dejection because he called out Hey! We'll be open tomorrow though!
Fortunately, there's another range and it's not even a mile back in the direction I came, the one at Saddleback College. (Why does a junior college have its own driving range? I went to one of the best universities in the whole state; we didn't have shit. These kids need to buckle down and focus on some studies if they have any hope of transferring to a real... aw, forget it.)
Unfortunately these people are just as
unprincipled big pussies as the ones at the first place.
Fortunately still, there's yet another range and it's on the way back to my parents' house. Unfortunately, big pussies etc etc.
Look it's not even just about some dude and his wanting to hit some range balls. This indignity runs way deeper than that. This is about life, gratitude, the Cosmos. You see, sunlight is truly a gift. No, scratch that. That sentence was a glib, platitudinous insult to God and His wonderful creation. Sunlight is way more than a gift. It is the very source of all energy on Earth. It is life itself. Without the sun we are nothing, we are the void. We don't exist. In short, it is damn near everything, the sunlight.
Not in Southern California though. Here, sunshine is something to be taken for granted. Familiarity breeds contempt, motherfucker. These are people who barely know how to read a weather report, never mind make sense out of a Doppler radar map. I know this because I was once one of them. I lived the first twenty-some years of my life around here and could probably count on fingers and toes the number times I consulted a weather report in that time. Frankly I have no actual recollection of ever having done such a thing as an insufferable clueless Southern California youth, wearing my fucking flip-flops to school and what not.
This a rare occasion on which I feel glad about having moved east and gotten clued in to what normal Earth weather is like and how you can manage to carry on with life in the face of it. Other parts of the world also have days on which everything shuts down. They are called snow days, in which the precipitation forms a actual insurmountable physical barrier between people and their workplaces and schools. A few puddles in between your car door and the front door of your destination is hardly that, jack.
I could understand shutting down a driving range business if it were to rain the entire day. The idea of calling it a day on account of a half-day of rain, of throwing a perfectly good sunny afternoon in the garbage meanwhile the ground is no longer even wet, frankly it's annoying me to the very core right now. I cannot look at these people the same way ever again. I have to go now. I am going to the backyard to take a few vigorous air swings, and then I am going to find a California secession petition to sign. Thanks for nothing Golden State.