OFF THE CUFF

In case you forgot, Oct. 9 marked the anniversary of when some clown who called himself a golf fan threw a hot dog at Tiger Woods during a PGA tournament in California.

Sure enough, when Woods was lining up a putt during the 2011 Fry’s.com Open at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, Calif., his concentration was interrupted by the sudden and surprising appearance of a yelling man and a flying frank. Never mind that the guy was tackled and arrested by security personnel who acted as if he was brandishing an AK-47 instead of a hot dog, just the fact that he bought his “weapon” at a concession stand is worth noting.

Wow. Who knew a wiener-wielding wacko would ever make the news for attempting an assault – especially at a professional golf tournament where proper etiquette and good manners are typically preferred over unruly or disorderly behavior. But he did, and that incident (at least in my mind) forever placed culinary terrorism on the ever-expanding what-to-worry-about chart. I must say, it still concerns me to this day, and food has never seemed the same since.

I don’t know, but maybe professional golfers should carry packages of brats with them on tournament days as a suitable means of defending themselves against crazed gallery members armed with deli selections. For that matter, maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea for all of us to consider keeping a chicken biscuit close by at all times. I guess you never know when some rampaging adversary is going to go ninja on you with a baloney sandwich, and hey, I’d say fighting fire with fire might be the most appropriate way to deal with such a situation.

To me, the ramifications of this guy’s weird snack attack were far reaching. It really makes you wonder whether presidential candidates shouldn’t deliver speeches from behind plexiglass barriers that offer protection from sailing sausage and soaring salmon. Perhaps they should even don helmets to guard against being cold-cocked by crullers or battered by bagels.

Furthermore, maybe everyone who spends even a moment in the public eye should take appropriate measures to deal with potential oatmeal onslaughts or banana blitzes. Seems to me it’s either that or be a sitting duck for a jello bomb.

While I’ve never actually tossed salad at someone, I’m not going to pretend I’ve never had the urge. Yep, there have been times when I wanted to heave a hamburger at a deserving target, but I’ve always stopped short of serving up a feta fastball and have yet to hurl any form of edible matter at anyone.

Anyway, since the precedent was set for public food-flinging involving a celebrity on that fateful day in 2011, I’m just hoping the practice doesn’t one day become some sort of epidemic, and that common sense-challenged humanoids don’t start competing to see who’s king of the pasta-pitching mountain.

But regardless of where we go from here with regard to food-oriented aggression, there’s a lesson to be learned from the golf course wiener-wielder’s actions. Basically, we cannot take for granted that we won’t be smacked by a salami sub as we go about our daily routines, and we had best keep our guards up to avoid having our our worlds be rocked by a chunk of spinach soufflé lobbed in our direction.

As much as it hurts, we must all accept the fact that a Twinkie is not to be taken lightly when in the wrong hands, and a foot-long chili dog can represent a mile of real trouble.

But by the same token, you who fire food at unsuspecting citizens be warned: The law is not on your side and launching lunchmeat could be your ticket to an indoor facility with lots of steel where food is rarely – if ever – airborne.

But after taking stock of the golf course wiener-wielder’s efforts, I realize what the possibilities are and I’m now mentally and physically prepared to handle the worst a cheese Danish can deliver.

Bring it on. I always conceal-carry a stale yeast roll, and I’m not afraid to use it.

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