While vacationing on Fripp Island, SC, my mother- and father-in law were also visiting the island. My brother-in-law generously decided to rent a golf cart for them. This entailed conspiring with my wife to complete and pay for the rental agreement and deliver the golf cart.
The delivery part is where I come in. I drove it from the rental station at the marina to house my in-laws rented after the paperwork was completed. What I expected to be a rather dull experience turned out to be anything but.
In the office, I notice several signs regarding rentals. They charge $x dollars for returned checks. You are required to have a driver’s license to operate at golf cart (but not a moped!). One in particular caught my attention: There is $1600 fee for tampering with the golf cart’s governor.
Whoa! I found out later that some people will take a pine cone (an immature one that looks more like a jumbo miniature corn cob rather than the prototypical pine cone) into the carburetor to get more speed. It’s the cost to rebuild/replace the engine.
I the clerk, a college-aged woman, what the top speed was. There are 15 MPH zones on the island that get enforced, and I know that golf carts come in two varieties: a 15 MPH or 25 MPH max top speed. She said that the speed was limited to 10 MPH, which meant that I could speed, no matter how hard I tried. Not unless I got out and pushed, anyway.
That explains the tampering sign, too.
I’ve driven a golf cart before on the golf course. Sometimes, it get’s interesting getting close to where my ball lands–woods, weeds, flowers, etc., certainly, not in the middle of the fairway, but that’s a different story. Anyway, the point is that it’s not an entirely new experience. I leave the office, and the first thing I notice is that the accelerator is more like an on/off switch than a car accelerator. I pushed down nearly three-quarters and the cart goes about the same speed. I put my foot to the floor, and that’s it–10 MPH.
It was loud. The wind blew through my hair. And it was fun, more fun that I ever imagined!
Of course, my wife passed me in the car, part way back to our rental. I picked her up and delivered it.
Over the next couple of days, we had a few opportunities to borrow it. We cruised around the island with my foot on the floor. At one point, we raced a dragonfly… and we eventually won.
Along the way, we adapted several movie and TV lines, but the first was a Far Side adaption: In this, we could be grizzlies from hell. I thought of the cartoon where two bears in the woods find an abandoned car.
My wife came up with: Watch out for hop ons; you’re gonna get hop ons. This, of course, is from Arrested Development where the Bluths are forced to drive a airplane staircar.
The last waswas from Men in Black: Tear-assing around Fripp Island wearing a brand new Eager suit.
After almost twenty vacations on the island, I never imagined having such a new, thrilling experience. But there you have it–it was a blast!
I’m interested in many things, from Mars to space travel, music to books, movies to creating my own stories. My sci-fi novel, The Music of Mars, is available now.