Tennessee Disc Golf, Bugs and Brains

It’s been a lil while since my last post. I haven’t much of great importance to pass along, but a couple things–maybe not worthy of posts of their own– for tonight:

I disc golfed Tennessee for the first time about a week back. With my family I played The Claytons in Alcoa, TN, Sept. 4. Unfortunately, because I was with family, most not used to 18 holes, elevation, terrain, bugs and heat, I didn’t get to play even nine of those beautiful holes. What we did play was very nice. Challenging and picturesque.

A couple days later– with most of the family busy doing the tourist strip in Gatlinburg– I played Mills Park, a local course to Gatlinburgers. I left my wife in the car, told her I’d be not too much more than an hour, and went out on my merry way. On hole 2, I joined up with a local fella, Terry, who’d just started looking for two.

A real odd thing then happened after we threw our drives in the direction we were hoping to find #2– Ever see the scary cable show Monsters Inside Me? As Terry and I separated to fetch our plastic, a flying bug– some kind of disc golf-predator divebombed my right ear. I heard him go in, I heard him buzzing in my ear, I reached one finger into my ear, thinking it would come out with half a bug, or a wing and a foot but, nothing. And I continued hearing…. feeling something…. what I thought was burrowing…. into my ear canal. Then panic ensued. Coming up finger-empty a couple times I began dousing my ear with some of the cold water from the bottle I’d brought along. And the noise, and what I thought were little legs racing inward away from the deluge, continued. I then began jerking my head downward, trying to flush out one wet disc-golf-bug. Jerking and dousing, dousing and jerking.

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-8-09-05-pmWhen I looked up, Terry– a good 20 yards away– was looking at me like, who did I just hook up here with in the Tennessee hills and woods!? I shouted something panicked and likely incoherent as I was getting dizzy now from the head-shaking and the cold water ear-wash and thought, he’ll probably peel off and go another direction after this. But he didn’t. And I didn’t pass out. And I didn’t retreat to my wife and the safety of our rental. We played on. (I was convinced by now I had a “monster” making its way toward my gray matter, but finishing Mills Park was my priority.)


Along the way, Terry marveled at my bag, and my 15-18 or so discs– he carried three or four; and in particular, he took a liking to a tie-dyed Pro Leopard I carried. After letting him play the round with it, I ended up giving it to him and thinking I was in some small way, “growing the sport.” Before we finished, he warned me about #9. (I’d read about the img_7317sheer drop after the tee pad, but being warned by a local unnerved me some, I have to say.) But it was fine. Because the fairway was short and steep, I overthrew– into the street past the basket about 30-feet, but still made par. But Mills Park Madness didn’t stop there.

Truth be told, Terry– and Terry if you’re reading this, don’t be sore– Terry played pretty slowly. Hell, his wife wasn’t waiting in a rent-a-car, so his pace was a leisurely stroll. After the bug, being lost once and a couple insane walks between holes, I was gone way over my hour. So my loving wife told a cruising squad cop that I’d gone “missing in the woods.” I learned all of this after I told her my bug story. As we drove out of Mills park, we spotted the Gatlinburg police officer questioning a nearby park visitor who– coincidentally was wearing the same fluorescent yellow-colored dri-fit as me.


Embarrassed, we waved ourselves out of Mills Park. Good round though. Had fun with Terry.

For the next day or so, I Q-Tipped, and rinsed, showered, and yes– head jerked a few more times. If I have a monster inside me, for now at least, he’s behaving himself quite nicely. As his landlord I have no issues with him. Her. Didn’t affect my game, anyway.

Enjoy the Leopard Terry.

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