Marolt: True friendship and the football team fundraiser |

Marolt: True friendship and the football team fundraiser

Roger Marolt

Dear Abby,

I have a dilemma. To give any meaningful advice, though, you are going to need a little background about the place I live and the people who live here. It’s different.

You see, the main reason people live here is not because it is where their families have lived for a thousand years nor is it to work. People come to this town basically — and please don’t be judgmental — to play.

I live in a small mountain resort town that might be the most beautiful place on the planet. How many of your readers have written in and said that? But, it’s true. And, not only is the scenery magnificently gorgeous, there is also a ton of stuff to do. I mean outside, in the spectacular setting. Believe me, this is one place where it is considered a good thing to become part of the scenery.

I mean, we spend winters outside alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice-climbing, fishing (believe it or not), ice skating and doing all sorts of other outdoorsy kind of stuff. The rest of the year we ride our bikes, run, swim, play tennis, hike, rock-climb and do all sorts of other warm temperature outdoorsy kind of stuff. We’re really competitive about all of it and, when we are not competing with each other, we are training in some fashion. Sixty really is the new 30 here as much as the ultra-marathon is the new 5K.

Now, you may have noticed I didn’t mention golf as one of the activities. It’s not because we don’t do it. We play it as hard and seriously as everything else. I didn’t mention it before because it plays a prominent role in my dilemma and so I saved it so I could go into detail.

Here’s the thing: Even our high school has figured out that the best way to raise money is to tap into the town’s competitive nature. They sponsor an annual golf tournament fundraiser for the football team and charge a small fortune to play in it, but people line up to get in, so I figure God bless them.

I, as a red-blooded local, wanted to play in this tournament just like everyone else, and about six months ago I was asked to participate. This is where the story gets interesting; I promise. There is this guy; I’ll call him “my friend.” I could just as easily have called him “my neighbor” or even “Bill,” but let’s just go with “my friend” to keep things simple.

Anyway, my friend is the one who asked me to play. I considered it a done deal and waited for the snow to melt. About three weeks before the tournament, I hadn’t heard from my friend, so I called to see what was up. He told me he had put together a team and he was sorry, but I wasn’t on it. I reminded him that he had invited me to be on his team and I pressed the issue through all his excuses until he finally just came out and told me that he wanted to win the tournament this year and he didn’t think I was good enough to be any use in that regard.

Well, I tried to hook up with another team, but either because people had been talking to my friend or maybe because they had actually seen me play golf, nobody wanted me on their team. As you can imagine, I was heartbroken. But, I took the highroad and moved on. I went so far as to book an appointment at the local annual health fair the morning of the tournament just to show I was unaffected.

The night before the tournament I was at my friend’s birthday party and learned that one of the studs on his team had to back out for some reason or another. Right in front of me he pestered almost every guest if they wanted to be a late fill-in, except me. “Jeff, you want to play?” “How about you, Rico?” It was sickening.

Here’s where it gets really good. That very evening I even caught this jerk’s — I mean my friend’s — cold and woke up feeling like crap. Lo and behold, he calls at seven, begging me to round out his foursome. I laughed in his face!

So, here’s my question: Should I go see a doctor or just keep taking vitamin C and gut it out? Playing that tournament in the rain was murder on my cold and I want to get well for a big bike ride this weekend.

Roger Marolt now knows that a friend in need is truly a friend indeed.