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My Mind
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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Knock off the noise!

"Careful, now. We don't want to spill it," I said to my friend. He was carrying the heavier end of the washtub. It contained a pitcher full of Kool-Ade, grape, along with a container of ice and a stack of paper cups. We were balancing on an old two by four we'd found. It sat about four inches above the water that had crept up with the tide. It was a drainage ditch that ebbed and flowed with the waters from the Stono River. On the other side was the fifteenth green of the Municipal Golf Course.
Our intention was to flip the washtub over near the green just off the fairway. The bottom of the tub would furnish a table upon which the pitcher of Kool-Ade would sit, the ice to the side and the cups stacked next to the pitcher coated with rivulets of condensing water. It was coming on hot this early morn and we hoped to earn lots of money from selling cool drinks to hot golfers.
We could see several people in shorts pulling golf carts behind them. They were still a good ways off so that we had time to set up our drink stand.
"Look at that," I said. "They're mopping their brows with handkerchiefs. We've got captive customers." My eagerness came across with loud enthusiasm.
"Shhh," my buddy hissed. "Golfers don't like noise when they are on the green. Watch 'em when they get here. They concentrate real hard about gettin' that ball into the hole where the flag is."
I quieted down as they parked their bags at the foot of the green. Each of the three men pulled their flat putting irons out and walked to their respective golf balls. Two of them stood quietly leaning on their putters while the third hovered over his ball making pendulum movements just above it. After several swipes he leaned into his putter and sofly whacked it. The ball moved swiftly and accurately making a plocka-pock-pock noise as it dropped into the small hole.
"Nice one," said one of his companions as the next one began the same routine over his. His preparation was shorter and he clicked the putter against his ball. It rolled swiftly and accurately. He retrieved it and the last member of the group prepared to tap his in. He missed. It went farther away and up the sloping green to stop then roll back even farther away.
"Tough luck," said one of his companions.
A second stroke sent the ball two inches past the hole for a another miss.
"Ooooh," groaned both his friends. They stood silently as he made his third attempt. It went directly to the lip of the hole circled quickly and zipped into the rough.
"Take a three on that," said one of the men. "We'll allow it."
The man picked up his ball mumbling words under his breath. We caught a couple of them and giggled.
That's when they noticed us.
"Well, now. What do we have here?"
"We're selling cold glasses of grape Kool-Ade, sir," I piped in.
"You got plenty of ice?"
"How much?"
"Ten cents."
"It's a deal. Fill the cup full of ice," he said pulling change from his pocket.
I scooped ice into the Dixie cup and poured. He gave me a dime and I gave him his cup.
"Hey, boys. These enterprising young men have a cold drink for a dime. Give 'em your business."
His friends took the handle of their bags and wheeled them over reaching into their pockets for the coins. R-- poured two cups and handed them out in exchange for nickels and a dime. They took them and ran the cups over their foreheads.
"Nice and cool," said one. With clubs rattling they walked over the grass and onto the path to the next T-off mound.
"Thirty cents! We're gonna make a killin'," I said.
"Yeah. We got a captive audience," said R--.
While we were talking on about our sales and prospects the next group came to a stop. They looked at us and hissed loud SHHHHHH'S our way.
We clammed up immediately looking at each other reaffirming our closed mouths.
While they went through their rituals to knock the little white ball into the hole in the ground, we began getting ready for a sale by pouring ice into cups. The rattle of ice into Dixie cups was too much for them because one of them yelled at us, "Dammit! Will you kids knock off the noise!"
We both froze so that not a sound came from our position.
They finished up and grabbed their clubs wheeling right past us. We got harsh stares from these guys as the moved toward the sixteenth fairway. 'Why do they let these brats on the golf course?" we heard one of them say.
"I didn't think we were that noisy."
"Aaah, they were just rotten players taking it out on us. Hush. We got more customers on the way."
I turned to see a group of four approaching the green. They parked their bags and withdrew putters. Their countenances showed stern concentration as the quietly made their way to the balls at different parts of the green. Each one pocketed his ball with the first stroke. They were loud in their jubilation and with smiles came over to our table.
"Whatcha got, boys?"
"Grape Kool-Ade, sir," we said.
"Lotsa ice?"
"Load up four cups. How much?"
"A dime apiece, sir."
"Fair at the price. Here ya go."
"Thank you, sir." I took the four dimes and R-- offered the cups.
"Uh, how about a fillup," said one of them after downing the drink in one gulp.
"Yessir!" I poured his refill.
"Anybody else want a second glass?" he asked his comrades.
We refilled two more glasses. They smiled and walked on. I looked at the pitcher. Their wasn't enough for another round.
"I better go mix some more," I said to R--. "I'll be right back. Hold down the fort."
"OK," he said.
I ran across the two by four and along the canal to my back door. I put down the pitcher and grabbed another nickel bag of Kool-Ade dumping it into the bottom of the receptacle. Then came a cup of sugar. Under the spicket and up to the top of the handle, I poured the water. A clanking stir with the big spoon gave a beautiful purple liquid. I tossed the spoon into the sink and headed out with the pitcher cradled in both arms.
I got back as a group of three were walking off.
"We just missed a sale," R-- said.
It would have been another thirty cents. We should have brought the Kool-Ade packs and a jug of water with us so we could mix it here," he said.
"Great idea. I'll go get them." I was up and off as the next group of golfers rolled up.
At the house I found two more packs of Kool_Ade powder. The bag of sugar was half full so I grabbed it. My next problem was finding a container for the water to mix. Looking around I spied the kettle. Why not? I thought. I filled it and was out of the house and across the creek again.
"I just sold to those guys."
"Terrific. It's a good day to sell this stuff."
"Is that all the water you brought?"
"It was the biggest container I could find."
"I was thinking, maybe we should put the ice into the pitcher."
"I'm OK with that," I said.
Before the next grooup arrived we scooped ice into the pitcher until it was full again.
For the rest of the afternoon we sold our drinks to the players as they came off the green. When our product was gone we packed everything back into the tub. For a few minutes we sat under the oak with its waving Spanish Moss, feeling the cool breeze waft across our skin and listened to the choir of birds singing about the happiness of the day. We counted dimes, nickels and pennies which we split on the spot. It had been a very good day for a Kool-Ade stand on the golf course. I took my money to town and bought the chess set I had been wanting. I think R--- put his in the bank for his future education. Either use of proceeds was fine because it was a good day for kids. The golfers didn't have a bad one either.

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