Lord of the Discs

by Ernst Schneidereit

I had been sent to the Middle of the Continent. With me I carried two discs. My goal was to cast them into the baskets of Europe. My task would prove more difficult than I had thought, even with the 2002 PDGA Disc Golf Course Directory.

There was no Fellowship here, just my one companion. She, however, had no interest in my disc golfing. She was along to see the sights—imagine that! In Germany, Land of the Teutons, the Directory said the courses were too far afield from the paths of our sojourn. In France, the Franks and Goths treat disc golf courses as they treat day-old croissants—they are not to be found in their country. In Italy I fared no better. Surely the Continent is ready for hearty souls willing to plant baskets over the land.

Fair Geneva, in the Land of the Helveti and the Swiss, gave hope. Yet, there I was felled by a grave sickness (the stomach flu) and could not rise from my sickbed. When I had recovered, my journey required that I move on to the last and most storied destination—the Land of the Huns and the Magyars, Budapest.

Oud Buda Island sits near the west shore of the mighty Danube River, north of the center of the great city of the Hungarians. The isle is not hard for the traveler to reach, but it requires going deep underground to the Caverns of the Metro and then walking to the Green Line city train. One may also sail by riverboat.

The closer I came to the city, the more my precious discs desired to be tossed. With me was an Innova Shark DX midrange—a straight shooter that would be unlikely to stray into the waters. My driver was a 150g Innova Archangel, perfect for a water course, for it would float if it betrayed me.

An Elfish lass, the concierge for my inn no less, told me that the Directory's contact was outdated—no such phone number existed anymore. Even her arts of discovery could not use it, for it came from the Last Age of Men, a relic of the Communist period. They did not use these numbers in this Age. She still directed me to the north side of the island and sent me on my way with hope. There, she said, were sporting halls and horsemen and fields, while the south of the island housed only merchants and craftsmen. The situation seemed grave. Would the course still be there, built in 1995 said the Directory, if there was no keeper?

As I rode the rails to my destination, I noticed large numbers of orc-like creatures. Their hair was matted, they wore huge packs on their backs, their clothes were tattered and shoes worn. Worst of all, no matter what their language, these Back-Packer Orcs stank with the stench of Mordor. They slept and fought and loitered in every station I saw on the way. At my stop, they were streaming towards the island and I was forced to travel along with them. What manner of evil was causing this flood towards my destination?

When I arrived at the walking bridge to the north side of Oud Buda, these dark people were everywhere. By the hundreds they were waiting, despite the soggy ground from a morning rain. They lay drunk in the gutters, stoned in the mud, lying on mats and cardboard and sleeping bags on grass and pavement and riverbank.

When I came to the bridge, it was thick with them, but the discs in my pack urged me on. I forced my way through the throng—what is the cause of this? At the entrance to the bridge, three large trolls blocked the way—Security Beasts. I told them to let me pass. I wished to disc golf. They crossed their arms and grunted "Where is your Pass?" "Why do I need a Pass?" "Rock Festival. Starts tonight. All week long orc-folk play on island."

The sight of the discs did not change their minds. They did not know of disc golf. I snuck into the island by way of another bridge. I saw the horse fields and docks and shops where they made machines and places for sport. Men and Women I found and asked if they knew where there was a disc golf course, but none knew the place or recognized my discs for what they were. I went back to the inn, dejected. In my task, I had failed.

When I returned home, I consulted the new 2003 PDGA Directory. It too gave the old number for the course in Budapest. I fear that this place may no longer exist. But in other lands, I noticed more listings, some quite near to my friends in the Middle of the Continent, such as Mainz, Germany. I will travel there and try again. For far away baskets my discs are calling.

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