Dave Tomlinson took a deep breath of salty ocean air, the glistening flounder lying flat beneath his hands on the silky sea grass.
It would be a good dinner after a tiring yet mundane day, most of which was spent standing in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
If it hadn't been for the leathernecks yelling obscenities from the metallic orange Camaro on his drive to the beach, it would have been a non-descript day, the kind you file away but are powerless to recall.
Dave thought little necks would be the perfect complement to the flounder, but was nervous about an extended flossing session before bedtime.
Dave sighed deeply, then poured a glass of Conundrum before changing the batteries in the TV remote.
So one of my best friends, Richard, and I have a Butternut Farm tee time yesterday at 9:32 a.m.
Since it's a Sunday, there's no way we're going to play alone. Sure enough, Terry and Ron join us at the first tee.
The conversation is somewhat pleasant and they both talk much more than Grumpy Dick. Problem is, they seem to be obsessed that the group in front of us is from France.
So off we go and both Richard and I are striking the ball fairly well while Terry and Ron are clearly struggling. Hole after hole we're waiting while Ron, who kind of resembles the Hunchback of Notre Dame, is punching the ball out of the woods and Terry, an angry Asian-American, is hitting low line drives that are going sideways instead of forward.
Terry has a golf swing like the former great Red Sox hurler Luis Tiant pitches. Standing behind Terry, he comes face to face with you during his backswing and you wonder how he can even address the ball.
While Terry's unorthodox swing is a bit unsettling, it's his temperament that is scary.
After hitting a bad shot out of the woods, he curses and viciously whacks a tree with his club. And then he does it again.
Richard and I glance at each other and, without saying, decide we aren't going to carry a conversation on with these guys, especially Angry Terry.
Just play golf.
Except Angry Terry decides to start picking up my ball now and then which, if you play golf, is understandably annoying.
On the fourth hole par-3, my ball is just short of the green in the rough. Angry Terry thinks he finds a lost ball and pockets it. Until I confront him that he just picked up my ball. It's a par 3!
Later in the round, instead of acknowledging my ball visually, he has to touch it to determine if it's not his.
But perhaps Angry Terry's most annoying act comes when our round unfortunately comes to an end after our tee shots on the par-4 15th hole. A wild thunderstorm blows in, with whipping wind, light rain, thunder and lightning.
My tee shot is clean in the fairway and I walk to the safety of the trees, fully prepared to hit my approach shot if the storm blows through fast enough. I make a quick call to my wife to make sure she puts the umbrellas down because a thunderstorm is heading her way and I look up to see that Terry has pocketed my ball and is heading toward the clubhouse.
Turns out Richard has had enough and, despite hoping to play out, we walk back to the clubhouse.
Where I ask Angry Terry if he picked up my ball.
He gives it back.
It's the principle.
And it turns out the group playing in front of us isn't from France.
A stranger was seated next to a little girl on the airplane when the stranger turned to her and said, "Let's talk. I've heard that flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger."
The little girl, who had just opened her book, closed it slowly and said to the stranger, "what would you like to talk about?"
"Oh, I don't know," said the stranger, "how about nuclear power?" and he smiles.
"OK," she said. "That could be an interesting topic, but let me ask you a question first: A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff — grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps of dried grass. Why do you suppose that is?"
The stranger, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence, thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea."
To which the little girl replies, "Do you really feel qualified to discuss nuclear power when you don't know shit?"