Normally when Mrs. Sixline and I visit the rest of the family down Salt Lake City way, I take a few hours and go golfing with my brother in law. As he is preparing to get married and move to Las Vegas, he and his soon-to-be better half journeyed there to look for houses and visit the UNLV campus. (He'll be doing his MBA. Smart kid.)
As per his absence, I went golfing alone. I went resolutely, wearing a t-shirt and jeans. I also have mismatched clubs I purchased from the local second hand thrift store at a whopping $1.50 per club. Normally when I go I go with said brother in law who is more experienced than me and understands the subtle nuances that makes one blend in with the golfing crowd. I was painfully aware of my own existence going alone without him.
But, I wanted to go. So I show up at a course I had not yet before visited and nonchalantly asked how much a 'bucket' was. In golfing terms, this is the cool way to request time and golf balls at the driving range. I paid for my services and was given a token-- a small dime sized metal disk with 4 teeth on it-- to use on a machine that dispenses golf balls at a rate of 10 per second. A bucket consists of about 50 balls.
I proceeded outside with my token, picked up my clubs that I had left outside, (See? I was aware of one rule: Don't take your clubs inside the store with you. Bad form.), and proceeded toward the driving range. While still wearing the clubs around the back, I approached the machine, put the coin in, and waited for a split second until I heard the signature loud rattle and hum of the machine that told you it was about to let 50 golf balls fly out. It was in this moment that I had an epiphany as clear as any revelation or supremely good idea I've ever received: I forgot to put the bucket in place to catch the balls.
And off they went... 50 golf balls being shot out of the machine like bullets. I shouted a very loud expletive starting with the letter 'S,' grabbed a bucket and tried to catch the rest of them. I only got about 10. There were golf balls strewn about in a radius of about 10 feet. The loud swear word in the middle of heavily Mormon populated Bountiful area caught more than just one pair of ears and several sets of eyes. Groaning, I moped about picking up all my balls and putting them in the bucket. At least by the time I got done collecting my effects everyone had lost interest and had gone back to their swing.
Worst golf moment ever.