The first four holes had gone fairly normally, apart from the fact that I had somehow miraculously developed an ability to aim the disk with pretty excellent precision. Then, at the fifth hole, things for my friends took a turn for the worse. Leo threw his Frisbee straight into the ground, Danny tripped as he took a running start for his throw and ended up tearing holes in the knees of his pants, and both Gerry and Andrew managed to get their Frisbees stuck in the trees lining the way to the hole. I feel guilty about it now, but at the moment, I couldn’t believe what a wonderful turn the afternoon had taken.
Thankfully, Leo’s next throw was a bit more on target, and Danny’s fall hadn’t been bad enough to draw blood, but it took us forever to get the Frisbees out of those trees. We got through the rest of the fifth hole without too much more trouble, then hit the sixth hole, where I watched my friends’ chances of winning fall apart even more. This time Leo and Danny’s throws ended up in trees (or, in Leo’s case, bushes), Gerry’s Frisbee landed on its edge and rolled all the way onto a different hole’s green, and Andrew’s throw hit a bird in mid-air, resulting in both the disk and the now dead bird plummeting to the ground only a few feet from us in a cloud of feathers. My throw was straight and strong, soaring through the air and landing a mere fifteen yards from the hole, and I could not have been more pleased with myself. Though I was starting to notice a certain decline in the morale of the other members of my crew at this point.
I couldn’t believe I was winning. I’m not very coordinated or athletic, I’m not strategic enough to master card games or board games, and I’m generally just an all around unlucky guy. So for me to be extremely excited about the fact that I was genuinely winning our game of disk golf that Saturday afternoon was perfectly warranted, I promise. In fact, not only was I winning, but several of my friends seemed to be experiencing the kind of luck I’m usually stuck with.
Once we had arrived at hole number six, I could tell my down-on-their-luck companions were a little reluctant to throw their Frisbees for fear of what might happen when they did. I graciously volunteered to go first, and the whole group watched as my Frisbee soared beautifully through the air, landing once again only a few yards from its intended destination. With a satisfied smile, I stepped back to let one of my friends take his turn. When no one stepped up, I’ve got to admit, and I became a little irritated.
“C’mon, guys,” I whined, “I know this has been a rough game for you, but somebody’s gotta go next.”
Slowly, reluctantly, Gerry stepped forward to make his throw. It didn’t go well. He had to wade into the little pond to the right of the hole until the water reached halfway up his thighs. When Leo finally got up the courage to throw his Frisbee, the results weren’t much better. He knocked a beehive from its tree with his toss, but he managed to get the disk back with only eighteen bee stings on his arms, legs, and face. Andrew threw next and ended up with a Frisbee covered in some animal poop that smelled like death. Having watched all our friends’ throws go so wrong, it was understandable when Danny blatantly refused to throw his Frisbee at all.
“Danny, it’ll be fine,” I tried to reason with him, “Throw the Frisbee-like you have every other time we’ve come out here to play. You won last time, didn’t you?”
Danny nodded nervously and inched forward to take his throw. I could tell by how high his shoulders raised that he was taking a deep breath in, probably trying to calm himself. He exhaled in a big huff, swung his arm back, and let the Frisbee fly.
And it flew straight. And it flew far. And it landed just a bit short of mine. A gigantic smile spread over Danny’s face, and the rest of us cheered at his successful throw. Until we noticed the goose, that is.
Our cheers quickly turned to curses as we watched the awkward grey bird waddle onto the green, snatch up Danny’s Frisbee in his beak, and continue waddling on his way. Danny just turned to me with a glum expression and threw his hands up in resignation. The rest of the boys were about ready to give up, too. As nice as it had felt to win, I wanted my friends to have fun more than anything else. In a moment of inspiration, I jumped up on the bench beside our group and said my piece.
“Wait, guys! Don’t give up yet!” I said loudly.
“Why not?” Leo asked, looking tired, “This game has turned into a disaster.”
“But don’t you wanna turn it back around?” I asked.
“Well, sure, but- ” Gerry began.
“Don’t you wanna show that bird who’s boss?” I interrupted, pointing straight at Danny with a devilish grin.
I watched as he seemed to mull this over. Finally, he broke into a grin of his own.
“Hell yeah, I do,” he answered, nodding.
“Then let’s get him!” I cried as the whole group broke into a run.
The poor little bird hardly knew what hit him. We charged at him fast, but he managed to avoid us for a while, waddling as quickly as his little legs would carry him and fanning his wings out wide when we got too close. He tried to scare us off by hissing like geese tend to do when they’re angry, the nasty buzzards. Finally, he seemed to figure out that this Frisbee, in particular, was going to be more trouble than it was worth, so he dropped it onto the grass and flapped into the air, honking gracelessly as he went.
Our victory cries could probably be heard for miles around, and the energy of the group skyrocketed to an all-time high. And if I purposely threw my next few shots as badly as I could, well, nobody needed to know.