Santa Maria Sun / Humor
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 13
Free is a four-letter wordComplementary costs
By ROB KRIDER
After 10 years, my parents decided they were sick of having their windows broken by golf balls from “those damn golfers” trespassing in their back yard. They packed up their stuff and moved far, far from anywhere having anything to do with golf. Being a good son, I drove three hours and helped them move. At the end of a back-breaking weekend of hard labor, my parents gave me the greatest news of my life. They wanted me to take the golf cart. A free golf cart! It was the coolest thing anyone has ever given me. I know I am supposed to say things like “my wedding day was the greatest gift,” or “the day my son or my daughter was born was the greatest thing that ever happened to me.” Realistically, my wedding day was a blur and the birth of both of my children were pretty tough days (I had to grow up, and then I had to change diapers). I am going to be honest and say the day I got a free golf cart, now that was a good day.
I don’t live near a golf course. I only play golf about once a year (if you can consider drinking heavily and losing 11 balls actually playing golf). So why on Earth would I want a golf cart? Because golf carts are awesome! And this particular golf cart was outfitted with seatbelts, lights, and a horn so it could be driven on neighborhood streets—even better! I called my wife with the good news: “Honey, Mom and Dad gave me the golf cart!”
“Why do we need a golf cart?” she inquired.
“Honey, I don’t know how we have gotten by this long without a golf cart!”
“How are you going to get it home? You can’t drive it at golf-cart speeds on the freeway for 100 miles.”
Damn women. They always have a point. She had a particularly good point. I drove my car home (three hours) picked up the truck, rented a trailer, and went back to get my free golf cart. “Free” began to cost me a little money. Gas: $150. Trailer rental: $125. Total free: $275.
Since my parents didn’t golf, ever, the golf cart had been sitting for a while. They weren’t sure if the cart just needed to be charged or if it needed a new battery. I didn’t care. It was a golf cart, and it was free. I would figure it out later. When I got home, I later figured out that I could charge it for 72 hours and it still wouldn’t move. But I’ll admit it was comfortable to sit in while stationary in the garage. Even with its dead battery, I was smiling while I sat in it. After a few days of sitting and smiling, I decided to get a new battery. Only I found out that the free golf cart had seven batteries. And they were special batteries, meaning my free golf cart set me back another $1,300. Total free: $1,575.
I went to the DMV to register the free golf cart. Ol’ Mom and Dad hadn’t done that in a while, I found out the hard way. I had to pay back-registration to 2004, totaling $850. Total free: $2,425.
I didn’t care how much it cost, because the free golf cart finally ran, and I could terrorize my own neighborhood. My kids loved it, too. They thought the golf cart was the coolest thing ever (just like their dad). We drove it all over the place. But because of the low speed, we were limited to our neighborhood. I decided that with some ramps I could fit it in the back of my truck and we could take it to other neighborhoods to drive around and terrorize. I went down to Harbor Freight, which was having a sale (aren’t they always?). They had a set of ramps rated to 1,000 pounds for $65. Sold! Total free: $2,485.
I put the ramps on the tailgate of my pickup truck and began to drive the free golf cart up into the bed of the truck. My wife, whom I love, came out just in time to see the brand new ramps fail underneath my free golf cart as I was halfway up. The free golf cart, the twisted remains of the new Harbor Freight ramps, and I came crashing down to the ground. Hard.
I was uninjured (except for my pride), but the truck and the free golf cart suffered minor damage. The 1,000-pound-rated ramps were a total loss. The crash made such a noise my whole neighborhood came out to see what all of the commotion was. They each had their own private laugh at me since they had been watching me for weeks terrorize our neighborhood with my free golf cart. I think they were laughing out of spite and jealousy because they didn’t have their own super cool free golf cart.
I fixed the free golf cart ($100), built my own heavy-duty ramps ($200), and made the free golf cart work again (and it even fits in the truck). Total free: $2,785. My parents gave me a wonderful gift, and I will always cherish my free golf cart. If only it had actually been free. Oh well, I’m happy—but unfortunately, the kids probably won’t be able to go to college.
Rob is currently zipping along in his golf cart, terrorizing the neighborhood with the wind in his hair, a smile on his face, and an empty bank account.
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