Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Yesterday was one of those Tough Days at the Great Corporate Salt Mine.

No, not really.

One of my Weighty Responsibilities of the Day was to accompany a colleague on a golf outing with a customer. The customer sent two of their guys to meet with our guy, so our guy decided that he needed a Fourth Guy to even things up.

Dat’s me: Elisson, the Handy Fourth Guy.

The golf itself was pleasant enough, although my on-again, off-again skills were painfully rusty from months of inexcusable disuse. The fun began as we repaired to the locker room to clean up for dinner.

This particular Country Club is a big, impressive, Jack Nicklaus-designed affair in one of Atlanta’s northern ’burbs. Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown own a house that sits between the sixteenth green and the seventeenth tee, a gaudy monument to Pop Culture Excess. The locker room itself is spacious and well-appointed. I grabbed a guest locker, stripped down, jumped in the shower, washed up, got out, toweled off, got dressed: the usual Post-Golf Routine. Next step in the process was to throw my used towel into the Club Hamper.

That’s when I noticed a trail of blood that appeared to lead from the other wing of the locker room into one of the shower stalls. It was a respectable spatter trail, punctuated by larger splotches, as though someone was bleeding from a leg or foot and had walked from the locker room to the shower stall. Jackson Pollock would’ve been proud.

I called into the stall, not having any idea who might be in there. The answering voice established that it was my colleague, a gentleman to whom I will refer as “Irish Tommy.” [This is to distinguish him from “Italian Tommy,” another colleague that I will be visiting later this week.] The stall door was open…

…and there stood Irish Tommy, trying to stanch a gusher of blood that was issuing from his left shin. The blood was squirting out in an arc, as though his leg were taking a demonic piss. I could see that the flow was not pulsatile, so it was not a punctured artery – good – but I had never seen so much blood in my life outside of a Red Cross donor center. It was all over the shower stall floor.

“Jesus, Tom! We gotta get some pressure on that thing!” I ran to get some towels to make a clean compress and instructed Irish Tommy to keep pressure on the offending vein. A handful of bandages and some adhesive tape to hold the whole mess together, and we got matters under control.

It seems my friend has a wonky varicose vein that wraps completely around his leg. He’s had problems with this bad boy before…but now he’s going to have to do something about it. Something surgical.

I can tell you that whoever washes the towels there is going to have a frickin’ coronary when they see the pile of blood-soaked towels in the hamper. Probably, the Towel Guy will start scouring the locker room, looking for the guy who got shot over a Golf Handicap Dispute or some such.

With Irish Tommy bandaged up and no longer leaking fluid, we had one more thing to do: eat dinner.

And Tommy was a good patient, following kindly old Doctor Elisson’s instructions to the letter: eat plenty of nice, red beefsteak, washed down with lashings of Kenwood’s Jack London Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. ’Cause when Red Stuff comes out, ya gotta put Red Stuff back in.

Ah, Corporate Golf! The bloody adventure never ends…

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