Golfing with My Better Judgement and The Grim Reaper

by Marc Friedlander

Left or right my child?
I was thinking left, but My Better Judgement was thinking right, all the way.
You see I was playing a round of golf on the Bethpage Red course, in a threesome.
It was me, My Better Judgement, and The Grim Reaper. It was the GR that had posed the question, left or right?
I analyzed the situation the best I could - as I was pretty much incapacitated from the pain with which the Grim Reaper was casually coursing through my body.
Better Judgement said right, Grim Reaper said left, and I was undecided.

Perhaps I should explain the impact of this decision. I had (despite the agony I was feeling in my chest) hit a dandy shot to the par 3 fourth. A birdie was possible, and a par likely. So I wanted to putt out, then go left (per the GR's urging) down to the par 5 5th and the rest of the round. However, this was the last opportunity I would have to head back to the first hole and the clubhouse (looking like a tiny little shed, about 1/16th of an inch high, off in the distance), and the sanctuary of my car and the means to escape the GR. If I turned left instead, each successive step would have brought me further and further from this salvation, further from the clubhouse and parking lot, until I played out on the 18th - many long and strenuous holes ahead. 

As crazy as it may seem, I so wanted to go with the GR, and head out to the meat of the golf course. But then there was the incapacitating agony that had the potential of not only spoiling my round, but also making the GR my permanent golfing buddy.
I thought fast and decided for once go listen to my other playing partner - my Better Judgement. It's true that I normally tell this guy to put a lid on it, but in this one case, and although I was playing well, and had only just started the round, and had been looking forward to it, I decided to go with My Better Judgement, and I headed back. And I barely made it. Without a concerned golfer on the first fairway who offered me a ride in her cart back to the starter's hut, and the assitance that was afforded me by the course security staff, I never would have.

From the course I went directly to the hospital where they immediately attended to me. They put in a stent and told me I had a "massive heart attack", the type of which goes by the name "the widow maker" (blockage of the LAD coronay artery) . The window maker is just another of the Grim Reaper's many monikers. No matter what you call him, he's one bad dude. Watch out for him on the course - especially on hot days. And always bring your other partner - your Better Judgement along when you play - or when you are doing anything. Listen to him - he won't let you down.

I am now recovering and looking forward to my next round. I'd like to just go directly back to the 4th green and putt for that bird. The time is not far off - though I think next time I'll leave the old Grim Reaper out, and just make it a twosome. Me and my old dependable, Better Judgement.