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It was after seven when I got back to the protest bus. Martha Burk was hopping mad and they waited for me only because I promised the bus driver an August National rain poncho. “Where were you?” she shrieked. “The protest ended over an hour ago.”
I tried to push past her to the back of the bus. “Geez, Martha, it’s like you never heard of the word, ‘playoff’. Hello?”
She started poking through my Masters shopping bag. “And what is all this crap?”
I tried to give her some line about how I only bought all these items so we could burn them together, as soon as we could get some media coverage, but she wasn’t buying it.
Martha didn’t look so hot. Her hair was disheveled and she was covered in mud. I learned later that she fell down a slippery slope and knocked over two Klansmen who were trying to cadge a beer from the anti-protesters’ tailgate party.
We rode the bus in silence toward the airport. (Martha didn’t know it but, for a pint of Wild Turkey, the bus driver was going to drop me off so I could catch my flight, before starting the long ride back to D.C.)
I started to feel a little guilty. Martha Burk, I was afraid, was missing the whole point of The Masters. I wasn’t about winning. It was about the chase. About Maggert rebounding from that two-stroke penalty to get back into the tournament and still not give up after making a quintuple bogey on the twelfth hole. About Mickelson playing his best, smartest final round ever in a major, but still coming up short. About Len Mattiace having the round of his life, then bogeying eighteen and losing in a playoff.
And it’s about fun. Was Martha having any fun this week?
I walked to the front of the darkened bus and put my fleece Augusta National blanket across her shoulders.
“So who won?” she asked.
“Some white male,” I said. Martha chuckled.
I hope she’ll have me back to protest again next year.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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