July 24, 2003

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

After spending all of last weekend being referred to as "Fairytale Feeney" by the 100 or so golfers at the two-day calcutta golf tournament at Timber Ridge, I felt it best that I refrain from writing for a while. A lesser person may have given in to the urge to get a little payback after our guest editorial two weeks ago painted less than a perfect picture of our normal writer - me.

I don't think any of us gave it much thought when the idea was first proposed about a month ago. My wife's family has a huge get together over the Fourth of July holiday every year. Lots of emails were flying back and forth about plans for golfing, fishing, pool volleyball and the works. I chimed in that I would be glad to participate in all these events but because of work and the fair I would be limited in time. That's when Karri's cousin Michael volunteered to "help".

I subscribe to the school that you never want to look a gift horse in the mouth, so he didn't have to offer twice to help me lessen my workload. Of course I'm not naive, I knew Michael might take advantage of the opportunity to get back at me after one or two of my past editorials. Michael was referred to as the One Fish Wonder when I described our groups trip to Michigan for salmon fishing after he caught a fish in his first 10 minutes in the water and not another one in the next two days.

Fortunately for Michael, there are not a lot of subscribers to the Memphis Democrat out in Colorado Springs, CO, which he calls home. So when he went into work at the office of Ford Motors Credit Services, he didn't face the wrath of his co-workers. No one left him a solitary goldfish on his desk to serve as his mascot. They didn't use the intercom to call for the One Fish Wonder each time he had a phone call nor did they send him one piece of sushi for lunch.

On the other hand, you have poor Fairytale Feeney here who lives in a small community of less than 5,000 where needless to say the bulk of them either read the paper or have someone in their inner circle who does that will pass on any good tidbits of information.

So Thursday after the paper came out (and every day since then) the welcomes have gotten better from each passerby. There was a magic wand stuck to the front door of the office waiting for me that morning. The first caller asked for the storyteller. The next at least offered me a little respect by asking for Mr. Fairytale. After answering all kinds of questions about the Big Bad Wolf and Sleeping Beauty I was ready to lock the door and take the phone off the hook. Then the UPS man arrived with a package for me. Sure enough it was a book to teach me better volleyball skills by Mother Goose.

Okay so maybe it wasn't quite that bad, but lets just say I am sure that I took a little more grief in the first hour after the paper came out than all of my poor, defenseless family members have taken, all combined, since I editorialized about our shared sporting outings.

I guess I haven't learned my lesson yet because we are going to Michigan to attend a family member's wedding and I've already put out the word that any other former victim that would like to take their turn at me is welcome to start writing next week's Outdoor Corner. Either I have thick skin or I just like getting someone else to do my work for me.

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