By Greg Price
Got to take a week off from the salt mines of my editorial duties to enjoy both some sun and snow visiting family in Maricopa and Great Falls respectively. As always there are plenty of observations to be had of the human condition.
BORDER BABES: A fairly attractive female customs officer was the one who quizzed me as I crossed the Sweetgrass border on my way to fly out of Great Falls to Phoenix. I was given your standard grocery list of questions like purpose of your trip, how long will you be staying in the United States, what I do for a living, do I feel the rhythm of the night (kidding), etc. Then came the big one of ‘have you ever been arrested?’ in which my smart-ass gene was about to kick in. I thought the line ‘does being arrested by your beautiful blue eyes count?’ might elicit some chuckles for her repetitive day and mix things up a bit … or a stripped down vehicle and a liberal use of a latex glove in a cavity search, so I thought better of it and muttered simply ‘no mam.’ As luck would have it, there was another attractive female customs officer when I crossed back over the border coming back to Canada. But when the woman asked me if I had been exposed to anyone with Ebola, I just couldn’t think of some witty, misogynist remark involving something that affects the functioning of your liver and kidneys, causing internal and external bleeding and kills on average half of those afflicted. Maybe I’m getting rusty in my old age.
Apparently Canada is not only good for trade relations with our big brother to the south, but we help them win American college football games as well.
Running back Jordan Canada helped the University of Montana Grizzlies beat Southern Utah and cross-state rival Montana State Bobcats during my voyage south. Is there anything that Canada doesn’t rock at?
SNOW BIRD NESTING: I still get a chuckle out of what people view as cold in Arizona as I visit there. Other parts of the country were experiencing record colds and amounts of snow, meanwhile those of Arizona ilk were wondering if they should be wearing pants instead of shorts golfing because of the travesty of weather patterns being a few degrees Celsius lower than normal. As I sipped my morning coffee in some pajama bottoms and a T-shirt, just outside my uncle’s place early in the morning, there was a woman down the street walking her dog, covered head-to-toe with a heavy winter jacket on. I know if I began to live there permanently, I would likely get acclimatized to the weather like that, but it nonetheless is still hilarious in my eyes that shorts weather to us Canadians is considered cold by Arizona standards.
I have to start approaching several liquor companies to be their spokesperson for weekend golf hackers everywhere. How else can you explain that whenever a beer touches my lips on the golf course, I immediately start playing better? I do not make this up, I can give several eye witnesses to confirm this phenomena over the years and this past Arizona golf trip was no exception, and no, it is not akin to how some who think alcohol makes them a better dancer. They say golf is 90 per cent mental so maybe a cold frosty beverage is my lucky rabbit’s foot or some sort of superstition other athletes have of pregame rituals. Maybe my libations settle me down and I don’t think so much during a round of golf and just swing. “I don’t always play crappy golf, but when I do, I drink Kilt Lifter beer and my game suddenly becomes mediocre” would be the catch phrase. Several web sites have noted ranges of between only five to 15 per cent of the world’s golfers manage to break 100. Don’t tell me there are not some marketing opportunities here for me as a spokesperson.
BAD ASS: Got to visit some cousins while I was in Great Falls and I had something divulged to me I did not even know about. My cousin recounted the time I was so ‘bad ass’ the last time we hung out in Montana when I got into a near dust up over the possession of four quarters at a pool table in a bar (yes the man’s problem was that petty) that I thought were ours. Beaking back and forth as I offered him two dollars worth of quarters to soothe his nerves over such a minor misunderstanding, he would not let it go. After being separated, he seemed to calm down and walk away after giving me a funny look. My cousin Phil I guess informed him he had better not mess with me because I was Canadian Special Forces, in which my other cousin nodded in agreement that the story was true. This man must of been a tad on the slow-witted side because judging by my doughy body, about the only thing I’ve liberated in my time is the glazed ham from the civil war going on at the buffet table.
FAMILY FIRST: For my week’s vacation I had the option to either go from the Sunday to Sunday in Arizona or the Sunday to Thursday where those extra days in the later option would be spent in the frozen tundra of southern Alberta and Montana. Some would think I would be crazy to only stay until Thursday, but those extra days were visiting family in Great Falls. My Uncle Dale and Ester growing up were like a second set of parents to me and I usually make a point of seeing them semi regularly during the year. But I had found myself this year always having a reason not to make the trip — football season coaching, work, this engagement or that engagement etc. etc. The thing is, if you really want to be somewhere, you make time. Now both in their 80s, you never know how much time you can have with loved ones in that age category so I stopped making excuses. While it was not sipping on a beer by the pool in sunny Arizona, I still had that warm fuzzy feeling visiting with people that have always been there for me with family and was vacation well spent.