The True and Terrible Story of “Bufordgate”

(also known as “The Scandal”)

BufordThe 2003 Myrtle Experience was approaching. The BGA had made its reservations for 4. The Snowman was unable to post so we brought along our resident bartender, Mr. “C’mon 13” Levine as our fourth and the condo at The Caribbean was booked.

13’s cousin, “Woot” (hey, I don’t make up all of the names, he came with this one!), wanted to come along as a non-golfer to get a break from winter’s grip on Baltimore. Our condo only slept 4 but we thought we could get a cot set up for Woot and 5 would make for an even better poker game at night.

Word of this got out to Buford, our 438-pound non-golfing, organ-playing friend, and he wanted to come along, too. Good ‘ol Uncle Buford had come down with us several years prior and had a good time with an ambulance-chasing non-golfing lawyer friend of ours who is only known as Mr. Butthead. Buford and Butthead had done the tourist thing during the day and we all got together for drinking and cards at night.

Having six people made things a little more difficult since there was no way for all of us to squeeze into the condo comfortably (besides, we were there for bad golf and really didn’t want to share our space anyway). Also, 6 could not fit in one vehicle to drive down so Buford decided to make his own arrangements for rooming with Woot and all was happy. That is until he learned that he would be paying almost $60 more for his room with no other amenities than we were for our condo and we also had golf included and, and this was a huge “AND” where Buford was concerned, we golfers were getting the all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast at The Sea Captain’s House, a terrific restaurant near The Caribbean where we were staying. FYI, for all of the above, including carts, we were paying $215.00 per person for 4 nights in a condo, 4 rounds of golf at very nice courses including carts, breakfast buffet with custom omeletes made to order, and use of the lazy river, hot tub, etc.

Buford whined so much that the Travel Office of the Bad Golfers Association agreed to see if we could get him a better rate. Knowing how hard it is to get four people moving in the same direction, let alone six, the Travel Office agreed to make the additional reservations and divide all costs by 6 to keep it simple. This meant that Woot and Buford would save $60 each and get the breakfast buffet. They would, however, get a 2-person room in the hotel across the street from our condo. All was well and everyone was happy. Deposits were sent to the Travel Office and arrangements were confirmed.

By the time the Myrtle Experience came around, Uncle Buford was on another diet. This one was the Atkins diet as interpreted by Uncle Buford. Being a shadow of himself (Buford was down to a slender 290), Buford was becoming a little cranky to deal with. The Commish still feels that a few good helpings of french fries with gravy would have made for a happier Buford and a happier trip as the infusion of wasted carbs could have brought about that peaceful contentedness that comes with a full belly. If only Buford’s belly could have filled, “The Scandal” may never have come to light. But, alas, the bottom of that pit has naught been found.

First came the complaints that he would have to drive himself. Why couldn’t the four of us take 2 of our vehicles? Why did he have to drive? Waaaa waaaa waaa. Very calmly it was again pointed out to him that he did not have to drive himself but there was no room in our car, there would be no refunds and the 4 of us golfer-types were leaving at midnight for the drive down. As soon as he realized that we were really leaving, without him if need be, he came to terms with having to do something for himself and wanted to meet somewhere so he could follow. Since Buford didn’t want to drive alone (and pay for all of his own gas), Mr. C’mon 13 and Woot said they would ride with him and split the gas.

One final thing and we were ready to roll. Because of Buford’s diet he had to travel with 8 pounds of fried bacon to munch on. Without it he was sure he would gain at least 25 pounds on the trip down. Before we reached the NC state line C’mon 13 couldn’t stand the smell of bacon or the sound of it being crunched anymore and was begging to be put out on the side of the road where he could mercifully be run over by an 18-wheeler. C’mon 13 jumped cars, leaving poor Woot alone to share in all of the joys of baconhood.

We noticed that Buford was not going to dinner with us, or gambling, or enjoying our company to its fullest. In fact, the only time we saw him was at breakfast where he was seen sitting contentedly by the fireplace before we arrived at 7:30 and still eating when they cleared the tables to set up for lunch at 11:45 a.m. This last time was supplied to us by the Omelete Chef as we were off to play golf at our 8:30 tee times. Woot, who weighed about a buck thirty, was obviously getting tired of the 4-hour breakfast plan. In fact he stopped going to breakfast and gave his chit to Buford who then brought a carryout breakfast back with him for an early lunch. Did I mention that they had lots of bacon on the buffet? As long as he continued to eat lots of bacon Buford was sure that his Adkins diet with modifications was going to be successful.

On the last night of The Myrtle Experience, Buford was talked into going to Dick’s Last Resort, one of our favorite dives in Myrtle Beach. They serve lots of food and the waiters take great pleasure in insulting the dinner guests. A few beers and everyone was happy again. Buford was so happy that he had an extra bucket ‘o fries and made sure that no roll was returned to the kitchen. Carbs once again saved the day. Uncle Buford even smiled when the waitress made a special condom hat for him to wear. All was right with the world until the next morning when we were leaving for our eight hour trip home.

When we stopped for lunch, C’mon 13 Levine once again jumped cars and forced Mr. FourSkin to ride with Buford. Not only did Buford have another bundle of bacon to munch on but he was complaining the whole time about being cheated on his room rate. It seems that after getting $60 off on his trip he began to be upset that his room was not as nice as the golfers’ condo unit. This led him to inquire at the desk and found that golfers could bring their wives and pay a slightly lesser rate for them than if they were also golfing. However, the regular rate for someone who was staying there was higher than that paid by golfers. Being a non-golfer staying with golfers Buford had convinced himself that the BGA Travel Office had taken advantage of his good nature and he should have been given “the wife rate” and therefore was entitled to a refund of eleven cents per pound or about $32. The fact that he paid $60 less than he could have gotten himself and got almost 16 hours of grazing time at the breakfast buffet thrown in did not deter him in his outrage. After keeping his anger in and letting it simmer for 4 days his breaking point had been reached. He demanded satisfaction.

The Commish was called upon to mediate between the aggrieved parties (The BGA Department of the Treasury and the party known as “Uncle Buford”). Again showing infinite wisdom, a decision was reached and the matter settled.

The Commish pointed out that L’il Larry (the legal and true name of Uncle Buford) had been pleased to get his reduced rate and free breakfasts when the arrangements were made. The Commish also agreed that the golfing parties had received a benefit of approximately $8 each in the total cost of their trip since the total cost was whacked up 6 ways evenly. These being the facts L’il Larry’s petition to the BGA was denied but he was encouraged to seek remuneration from each of the 4 golfers individually. After the laughter and, in retrospect, insensitive chants of “fat chance of seeing that money again” stopped, Uncle Buford climbed into his car and drove home in a surly and unhappy condition. His parting words were reminiscent of another unhappy scoundrel as he also once ingloriously departed with the words, “You won’t have Uncle Buford to kick around anymore.”

The Commish nodded knowingly and said, “I can live with that.” And so it has been these many long years, no more Uncle Buford to share in The Myrtle Beach Experience! However he has been spotted occasionally at a local watering hole having “a double bacon sandwich, hold the bread.”

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While playing golf today I hit two good balls. I stepped on a rake.
    ~ Henny Youngman