Even though we’re only in March and technically, the first day of spring isn’t until this weekend, and Pacific Northwest springs aren’t very spring-like until about May. Right now, it’s freezing outside and raining, and I’m hungry – there are some summer sporting activities that I cannot wait to see again, as outlined below, don’t stop now you’re almost there; you should read this.
I mean, it would be a shame if something happened to that nice car of yours so go ahead and have a seat and let’s get on with it:
Public access golf. Nothing screams “summer” as much as a completely burnt fairway on a public course where there’s literally no barrier to entry, fence, or otherwise. My favorite pastime is to listen to the brown, highly flammable grass crunch under my feet as I hack my way through an 18-hole course, utilizing my dad’s circa 1977 leather golf bag, seven clubs, a case of golf balls, 12 Miller Hi Life’s, and my phone turned off because my wife thinks I’m at Home Depot buying supplies to fix our fence.
Boozy Softball Games. I don’t enjoy sweating. Even though serious adult softball leagues are filled with ex-varsity athletes who somehow still have something to prove, the reality is softball is a joke sport that shouldn’t be taken too seriously or produce perspiration. Thus, I enjoy watching the super-casual leagues, typically co-ed, where the outfield consumes alcohol in Red Solo cups during the game in the form of beer or maybe one of those canned Moscow Mule or other premixed drinks that are all over the place. Anyway, my kind of outfield can’t be bothered to shag foul balls or cover a base.
Or sweat. Note: I said I enjoy watching these games. Like from the benches or maybe lying in the dirt. Not playing in them.
“NO HORSEPLAY” signs at pools and “NO DIVING” signs at waterparks. Or really any restrictive signage around things people enjoy, like pools and water parks. This stems from the fact that part of me is a huge advocate for increased caution and safety around wet things. In contrast, the other part basically appreciates anything that prevents people from having a better time than me, regardless of what I’m doing or they’re doing.
Boozy Disc Golf. I used to work with a guy who was so into Disc Golf he would tear out of work at 900-miles an hour at quitting time, and I swear he played right up to the moment he had to return the next morning. It was weird, to the point that I hoped he did it so that he could get stoned versus having that level of obsession for the actual activity. I’ve never played Disc Golf or seen it played, other than when we were at a social distance-friendly park a few months back on a rare sunny Seattle winter day. I saw these nerds throwing impossibly small saucers at Disc Pole Holes which is the absolutely hilarious name for the sport’s catching device consisting of 10 chains hanging in a parabolic shape over an upward-opening basket. Anyway, they looked like they were having fun, but not too much fun, so I support this behavior.
Dog Fish. Beware, along with the blistering 68-degree heat of a Pacific Northwest summer come the Dog Fish. These are miniature sharks that swarm our ocean beaches and inland waters as they migrate from God-knows-where, probably near Anaheim, in search of shark girlfriends and boyfriends with which to perform slightly buoyant, kinky sex acts. If you fish for salmon in the saltwater, you’re likely familiar with these beasts’ razor-sharp teeth and preternatural ability to chomp your leader in half. Dog Fish may be the one animal I’ve never heard anyone attempt to throw conservation at. They’re probably like, “Yeah, those things? We’re good on those.”
Zombie Fish. When salmon spawn, they die. It’s a weird process, kind of like what happens to third-party candidates, as the animals steadily decompose in motion. If you fish certain rivers in Oregon and Washington in the heat of summer and you stay sober when passing over some gravel shallows, you get to see the black and white, desiccated, skin-peeled zombie salmon hovering over the crop circle-like indentations of their nests, presumably establishing the foundation for some future salmon I’ll be eating. Er, fishing for. Or maybe they’re just dramatic about their deaths. I don’t know.
Watching People Do CrossFit from a Bar. Most CrossFit places in my general area somehow have indoor/outdoor facilities. I guess what I’m saying is they have parking lots and front doors that open, which I think isn’t really a big deal. Anyway, CrossFit enthusiasts smack of extroversion or fitness obsession, two qualities I, as a slightly overweight introvert, find quite irritating. However, if you’re lucky enough to have a burger joint with a bar across the street from a CrossFit gym, let me assure you nothing beats sitting outside, in the sun, with two or three pints, a double-bacon cheeseburger maybe with some jalapenos and a side of onion rings, and watching these lunatics push themselves to their physical limits in said parking lots. One day soon, I will seek to push my physical limits again without involving bacon, cheese, or a fryer.
Maybe by the end of summer.