July 10, 2003

Outdoor Corner

by Michael Kutzner

Greetings dear readers! I would first like to thank Chris Feeney for the opportunity to write a guest editorial. I have taken the abuse dished out in his weekly column, like so many other members of his extended family, and wish to set the record straight. Our reputations have been tarnished, and we only hope to defend our honor.

Now everyone who reads the Memphis Democrat knows that Chris is an avid sportsman, preferring fishing and golf. But has anyone ever stopped to notice that these are precisely the same sports that greatly encourage lying and exaggeration among their participants? It's true! From the huge bass that mysteriously got away to the mulligan (or my favorite, the "foot wedge") used on the back nine at the golf course, these types of embellishment when recounting the day's events are common. I, for one, do not see this as a coincidence that Chris has taken a shine to these activities for they bring out his natural instincts. And I would say as a writer that Chris has taken exaggeration and almost made it into an Olympic sport. He molds the truth at a whim for the enjoyment of his readers providing only one version of the event. As he has written in columns, it is indeed good to have the last word on his side, and furthermore to have it in print.

I should at least, in the interest of fair reporting, cite an incident from this last weekend before it becomes altered and ends up in a future column. The 4th of July weekend is fast becoming the favorite holiday within our family with the fireworks, family T-shirts, and succulent food. However, it is the healthy competition and gaming that really kickstarts the fun for some of us. The most recent addition to the weekend is water volleyball in the swimming pool, and the trash talking among participants was in abundance. Chris and I were on opposite teams for the final match, and my team was six points from victory before Chris made a crucial error in judgment. He chimed in with a wisecrack stating the only way our team had won a previous game was by serving the ball repeatedly to a four year old girl (which was not altogether untrue, but a vicious comment just the same). Well, instead of coming back with a witty retort, I simply decided to let actions speak louder than words. I proceeded to send the final six serves directly at Chris to close out the match. You should have seen the crushed and bewildered look on his face and the giant splashes of water as he dove from one missed volley to the next, huffing and puffing after the futile effort (not to mention all the displaced water from the pool). Six balls served to Chris, and six straight points for our team. Victory was ours, and there were no more comments about 4 year old girls after the match.

I do have to say that I respect Chris deeply for his fair and accurate reporting in other areas, however it is his memory on family functions that becomes hazy. You can see that he has chosen sports and a profession where his penchant for exaggeration is not frowned upon, but rather encouraged. But thankfully, dear reader, that is why I have asked to provide you with the rest of the story. So when you hear or read such slanderous accounts with names such as the One Hook Wonder, Dead Fish Dave, or Back Fin Brent, you will know to take the information with a grain of salt. You will know this because they come from Chris, or as we have ultimately dubbed him after all the tall tales and embellished stories, "Fairy Tale Feeney."

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