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Tee Times Magazine | Minneapolis/St. Paul

Breezy Point

Local Golf
November 19, 2017

By R.J. Smiley

Buzzy had owned the 8:00 AM Saturday morning tee time at the local muni for the past 30 or 40 years.

The preacher completed his remarks as the coffin was slowly lowered into the grave. The other three members of Buzzy's regular Saturday morning foursome each deposited a shovel of dirt and parting gift to their lifelong golf partner. Mickey dropped a new Titleist with B Z scribbled in red sharpie, Buzzy's mark, into the eternal pit. A white Ben Hogan golf cap, Buzzy's only golf headgear, preceded the soil from Big Benny's spade. Finally Harry, Buzzy's best friend, inched up to the gravesite. With tears flowing down his brown wrinkled cheeks, Harry opened a can of Coca Cola and proceeded to drink the entire can. Then he reached inside his suit jacket and removed a plastic bag from the inside pocket. With the greatest of care, Harry pulled the sealed bag open. Gingerly he removed the black and yellow carcass of a honeybee. Holding the Coke can and the bee up for all to see, he dropped the bee into the can. Then, with a smile on his tear stained face, he dropped the Coke can into the grave. A few snickers rippled through the group who had come to show their last respects for Buzzy.

The funeral procession then moved to the grill at the muni to have a round or two and remember their old friend. Once the conversation about the "nice service" and yes, "Buzzy was a good guy," were finished, one of the men's club members asked, "Why was there a snicker when Harry drank that can of Coke and placed a bee into it?"

"It goes back years," explained Big Benny. "You see, Buzzy loved all living things. He would not kill a snake or a mosquito. Every time a bee buzzed around Buzzy's head he would say, 'He won't bother me if I don't bother him.' Bees would land on Buzzy and crawl all over his face and body. Even into his ears. He would never flinch and never swat them away."

"In the fall when the flowers dry up the bees start looking for sweet nectar wherever it can be found. Soda and beer cans contain the sugar that bees are seeking. I am sure that you have noticed that the trash cans are full of bees in fall."

Harry chimed in, "Buzzy believed that all of God's creatures were created equal. 'Bees are my friend,' Buzzy would says. 'They have as much right to be here as we do. Who knows what their life spirit was in another life.' Then one day it happened."

"It was a beautiful autumn day, temperature in the low seventies, no wind and only a few fleecy clouds in the vivid blue sky. Buzzy was playing really well, he shot one under on the front and birdied 10. He made the comment that if he could hold it together he could shoot the round of his life. He had never been under par for an entire round in his life. With only one bogie through 16, Buzzy was feeling pretty good about his chances. Everyone in the group was wondering how much Buzzy's 12 handicap might drop if he shot 71. After another great drive on 17, Buzzy returned to his pull cart and reached for his always present can of Coke. He tipped the half full can up and took a big gulp."

"Holy hot dogs," screamed Buzzy. "Something inside that can bit me on the inside of my mouth. Could have been a honey bee."

As he turned to face the others in his foursome, his left cheek and upper lip had already began to swell.

Buzzy was muttering and wondering if he had killed that bee as he walked up the fairway toward his ball. When Buzzy stopped at his ball he said, "I don't feel so good. I seem to have a "buzzy" sound ringing in my ears."

"We are close to the clubhouse, let's just head in."

"No, I have a chance to shoot my record round. I will just shake this buzzy sound out of my head and make two more pars."

As Buzzy stood over his ball he began to rock back and forth. Then he dropped to one knee. Without a word Big Benny took off for the clubhouse.

With Buzzy flat on his back, the ambulance, sirens blasting and lights flashing, raced across the fairway and slid to a halt. The medics had the Epinephrine injection already drawn. They knew from Big Benny's description that Buzzy was suffering from anaphylactic shock, an allergic condition from a bee sting suffered by a small number of people.

From that day forward Buzzy (from the buzzy sounds in his head) has been known as Buzzy.

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