Having recently turned 38 – that is, 38 in chronological years, whereas I’m around 75 in cynical years – my already dwindling concern with what people think about me has all but evaporated. It’s one of the things that I revel in with regards to getting older: the confidence, comfort and wisdom to not give two shits about people’s perceptions of what I do, say or wear. Seriously, screw you guys.
What was formerly a huge source of anxiety is just plain gone and it sure is great to have that extra mental processing power to devote to more important things (like boobies). I’ll say pretty much anything in my blogs now, I don’t care who gets offended:
“Fart-bomb, Titicaca, fuckwit, 69.”
“Obnoxiously Loud, Attention-Starved, Little Dick Motorcycle Club.”
Oh yeah, that’s the stuff.
But I suffer the occasional self-conscious relapse. For example, if the words ‘Walker’ and ‘Artist-Designed’ weren’t attached to it, I’m not entirely sure I’d have the nerve to announce that I was going to play mini golf without some kind of elaborate cover-story, preferably between the ages of five and 12, to validate the outing.
As it was, my companion and I weren’t the only ones unaccompanied by children, paying good money to play mini golf at the Walker on the Green Artist-Designed Mini Golf. Indeed, there was a full-on mob of self-proclaimed grownups enthusiastically taking part, though unsurprisingly the place was also crawling with nasty, dirty, unsupervised little people who were not only being seen and heard, but also getting in my way, but I digress…
We passed on the opportunity to play all 13 holes on account of me coming down with a sudden case of Starving to Death, which anyone who’s spent any time around me knows must be attended to immediately. As it was, resolving to do only one of the two courses brought up an early conundrum: which course to play? The bubbly girl selling tickets, familiar with this timeless deliberation, broke down the difference between the two courses with practiced ease…
“Do you want to play the competitive one or the fun one?”
“The fun one,” my companion and I blurted in eerie unison. I don’t know what her motives were, but I wanted to avoid getting into any kind of heated competition with this usually good-natured woman, as she’d just successfully auditioned for the Rollergirls earlier in the week and it’d had an instant impact on her aggression quotient. Those chicks are like Wookies, they like to pound and yank off important extremities when things don’t go their way. Also, I just loathe competition in general, which is why I never invite single men to my parties.
The holes on the ‘blue’, aka ‘fun’, aka ‘interactive’ course ranged from curious, to perplexing to impossible. There were a few holes that might have completely thwarted us if we hadn’t had the benefit of observing the bumbling efforts of the people in front of us and learning from their mistakes, who in turn did the same with the people in front of them… I’d hate to be in the first group of players each day. I bet when they get a load of that bicycle/pinball contraption, everything comes to a screeching halt and the delays ripple all the way back to the ticket line.
Fortunately there were plenty of people ahead of us to learn from, so our mistakes didn’t look nearly as mirthful, like on that hand-crank, ball-lifting, step thingie that, if you put too much muscle into it, your ball jumped off the track, forcing you to start over if you wanted to stick to the ancient Mini Golf Code of Mesopotamia, which we did.
The only exception to learning from other’s mistakes was the utterly impossible hole where it looked as if a giant, busty woman had flopped down face-first on the course, leaving an upper body imprint around a ridiculously placed hole hidden between the ‘neck’ and ‘breasts’. Those dual chasms doubled as hopeless water hazards that could’ve reduced Tiger Woods himself to wretched cursing if not for all the wee, impressionable ones standing around heckling (e.g. “Mommy, that man sucks!”).
Some nights, mini golf/art fans queue up for 15-30 minutes for the pleasure of having their putting skills publicly critiqued by other people’s precious little angels. The wild popularity of the Artist-Designed Mini Golf was a given after the success of the first project in 2004. A heartening green/recyclable theme was once again evident, as well as wholehearted support of local artists. Per the Walker web site: “Designers range from independent artists and architects to members of established companies and design collectives. All are registered with mnartists.org, an online clearinghouse and resource for Minnesota artists of all stripes.”
Thankfully, the evening we played, with my death by malnourishment imminent, there was no waiting to get started and even with the bottlenecks at the more challenging holes, we were through the course in less than 30 minutes. It was a great outing for a beautiful Minneapolis evening and a friendly atmosphere where players freely helped/cheered one another. Quintessential Minnesota. Except for those good-for-nothing kids, who’ve clearly been enjoying too much South Park and too little fear of God.
Walker on the Green Artist-Designed Mini Golf
Through September 7th.
$8 one course, $14 for two, $6 for Walker members seniors & students, $4 for children