POPMART Leg 1: 1997, North America

Nov
22
1997

San Antoinio pre-show - Cart chase

San Antoinio pre-show - Cart chase. Willie and Bruce take on the local ranger in a multi-media golf cart duel.

Today was a day off in San Antonio. We are staying in a resort hotel surrounded by a major golf course. Quite why this is, I can't imagine, but it does seem a brave, if not foolhardy place to park a rock band for a few days. The weather was nice, so some of our number ventured out to play golf. I have long been distressed by this golfing tendency, being a firm believer that golf is absolutely the least rock and roll activity yet invented by the human race. Instead, I opted for a stroll with our lighting director, Bruce Ramus. We tried to rent a couple of bicycles, but the contract you were required to sign before taking one out was so terrifying, we passed on the idea. Strolling further, we came to the golf club house. Outside were parked a row of rather nice looking golf carts. And they had keys in the ignition. There was no one about. Well. It'd be rude not to, really. Off we sped, at a giddy 3 miles per hour, hooting and hollering over the manicured lawns of the resort. After ten minutes of joy riding, we discovered to our disbelief, that these golf carts have computer screens on board with a global positioning device in them. The screen was showing us, not only our own position on the golf course, but also the position of other golf carts nearby. Really! Our first goal was to see what happened if you drove off the map entirely, so we headed for the rough. A beeping sound greeted us, with a flashing notice on the monitor "Please return to the path". This is too much! Up hill and down dale we roared, having a high old time, until we realised that if this computer knew where we were, then you could be sure there was one in the club house which also knew. Sure enough, before long we spy the Ranger's golf cart pursuing us, so we drive into the off-map bushes to shake him off. By now the sun was setting and it was a truly idyllic moment, green fields, sunshine, pink fluffy clouds, swaying trees, etc. We were loving it. Whilst we were giving the Ranger a few minutes to move on, we turned our attention to the on board computer. What else would this thing do? Much hilarity erupted when we discovered you could order room service right out there on the course. Punch in the order, and in 20 minutes a waiter will arrive with food on another cart (he knows where you are, remember...). The golf cart would also keep score for you, as you went along. The high point of this discovery was that if you get a hole in one (or if you at least tell it you got a hole in one) a speaker inside the cart blares the sound of an audience applauding. Well, now we were really having fun. Coming out of hiding, we must have taken a wrong turn, because we found ourselves cruising through the swimming pool area on paths way too small for the cart. Happy families looked on bewildered as our vehicle sped by, with the sound of canned applause trailing off into the distance.

Eventually, of course, we came to grief as our cart battery began to die, and we ran into the arms of the Ranger and the golf course manager, who were most keen to reclaim their vehicle. "I tell you what", says the Ranger in his Texan drawl, "you folks mightn't play golf, but y'all can sure drive a golf cart..."

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