Yep yep yep yep yep yep yep yep yep yep yep yep."
- Hardware Store Clerk, response to a question concerning the welcomeness of American Express cards.
Lucky Thirteen was a year of experiences, and one which welcomed many a new Man to the Weekend of Man Alumni Association. Men came from lands near and far, enjoying an experience to which many of become accustomed.
With no attempt at satire or sarcasm, Lucky Thirteen started smoothly. The Bobocracy, Undrafted Jeff, and Sam Adequate began their annual ritual of circuitous routing to get to The Weekend of Man. Their adventures took them north and west, with a noble objective of stopping into local bars and bowling alleys. Miller High Life and the rarest kind of Busch Light - bottled - were consumed along the way.
At approximately 4:00 pm, these Men arrived to Giants Ridge and were immediately met by the other Pioneering Men, with Kahnke Kong and Cinnamon! leading the way. Given the time of their arrival and a day of exceptional sun and warmth, Men set to tasks normally reserved to the following day, setting the Super Game Fisher to sail under her own power, propelled by the ever-reliable Johnson Sea Horse, with fresh new spark plugs.
The Smoking of the Pipes and other traditions of the Pioneering Men played out with much enjoyment and little fanfare. The good weather brought a calming effect to the Pioneers, many of whom retired early that evening in preparation for the following day, and the splendid forecast it brought.
Up early, Macho Rod led a small contingent to the local gas station, again for breakfast sandwiches and influencing local politics. After these Men were satiated, they went to the most reliable purveyor of bait, followed by a stop to the local hardware store. A new acquisition during Lucky Thirteen was Black Mamba, a new depth transponder capable of high resolution scanning and bottom imaging. The exchange above took place when an attempt to purchase the first set of hardware was made.
Men then eagerly boarded the Super Game Fisher for a first-time-ever event: Fording the "rapids" that separates two lakes near the Home of Man. Sam Adequate was forced to exit the watercraft and walk it through these "rapids", a task which he nobly completed. Upon making it upstream to this other lake, Men proceded to catch only two fish, none of which were deemed appropriate for future consumption. Instead, they placed their boat adjacent to the spectacular 17th hole of The Legend, where upon they provided commentary, critique, and other feedback as unknown golfers hit ball after ball into the lake.
A second trip to the hardware store was made later that day to procure some fasteners needed by Macho Rod. While attempting to purchase again with an American Express, the owner informed Men present that the store did not accept American Express. His action was met with ridicule and a commitment to limit future business.
That evening another group of Men went to the nearest Walmart, roughly 43 miles round-trip. This occured just before midnight, and the Walmart was so large that Sam Adequate was temporarily lost. The purpose of this adventure was to replace the deep cycle marine battery used to power many of the electronics on the Super Game Fisher, and acquired it was. Sam Adequate was also found.
The next morning with Super Game Fisher in good working order, the most successful single day of fishing during the Weekend of Man took place. The first fish landed was a lunker walleye, boated by The Bobocracy. While normal measurements would place this fish at roughly 24 1/2", the measurement used when retelling the catch is that of a "four beer can fish". This catch was followed by six more, all Walleyed Perch and Sauger. The Bobocracy and Sam Adequate had the hot hands.
While the fish were being boated, Macho Rod was able to get his VR-enabled drones working. Impossible to describe with any level of relatability, it allows Macho Rod to fly a drone with a first-person perspective. This new innovation has made for several hours of enjoyment for he and others, diving the drone through trees, valleys, and over lakes.
The rest of the Men arrived in good spirits and the first round of golf was played under immaculate skies on The Legend. One of the new-comers was Undrafted Jeff's high school friend, a golf pro who worked for the same company that manages the facilities at Giants Ridge. Shooter McGaven didn't even think about attempting to leverage his employment status to further the discounts to the Weekend of Man, an oversight he hears about regularly.
The next day continued the non-normal streak of perfect weather. Eight Men set out for a 6:30 am tee time on The Wilderness, approximately 35 minutes north. The early alarm was worth it as bright sun, mild temperatures, and no wind made for perfect playing conditions. The regimen of Men that made a later tee times were happily eating lunch at the course clubhouse when the early group finished their first round. Pleasantries were exchanged, and the afternoon group was met with equally amazing playing conditions.
Heavily meated pizza, a feature of the year prior, was quickly acquired as the dinner meal. It was consumed with haste.
A difficult round at The Quarry followed the next morning. It was not for weather conditions however, as the streak of unparalleled sunshine and mild temps continued. It was simply the nature of the Class of 2019's golf games and their inability to manage both distance and direction. Profound statements such as "golf is hard" rustled through the trees, along with many a golf ball.
Immediately after the round and a catered lunch, Men headed back to the villas to begin an afternoon of beer drinking and general relaxation. This saw the only bad weather of the entire week, a 10 minute thunderstorm that delivered several minutes of hail. Following the hail, the Portland Contingent, Shooter McGaven, and The Bobocracy went in search of more fish. Only two were caught, but they were caught simultaneously.
Simultaneously to that, Bruce-in-Law brought a retirement gift from his daughter, a very expensive bottle of single malt scotch, to the Weekend of Man. Bruce-in-Law, either through inexperience or assumptions of positive intent of others, offered this bottle to all Men present and left it open. he was agast to find the bottle empty within the hour. Live-and-learn, said Scottish Rob, who secures all his single malts in a locked cabinet on Mostly Harmless.
The evening closed with a trip to the Whistling Bird, a nearby restaurant held in high regard by Men since it was the site of the official declaration of The Weekend of Man, with four christened as Founding Members. All enjoyed the meal and Cinnamon! did not wear a child's T-shirt this time.
The sun rose the next day, warm and bright, continuing the legendary weather while Men golfed the last round on The Legend. Proving the luck of Lucky Thirteen, the trip home was done so with little to no construction, the first time in many years that return travel happened without incident.
Lucky Thirteen was just that - Lucky. Yep. yep yep yep yep yep.