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I think we should take a mulligan for 2020.

It came to mind when my wife told me that her little dog had gained 2 pounds. That may not sound like much, but the dog started at 10 and went to 12.

You know that saying about people in glass houses not throwing stones? Yeah, I don’t do fat shaming, not even for little dogs. I was trying to be supportive, because it’s been a hard year for all of us. There’s been more than a little stress eating going on, and not only by chubby dogs.

I think we need to take a mulligan.

I’m not a golfer, but when a golfer I know told me about mulligans, I immediately became a fan.

As the story goes, a golfing foursome included a guy named Mulligan. He’d had a busy day, was too distracted to warm up before the game started, and at the first tee, whacked a terrible shot. He set another ball down and got ready to take a second swing. His friends asked just what he thought he was doing and he said, “Oh, I’m taking a correction shot.”

The idea caught on and soon bad golfers all over the country were giving each other a chance to take another whack at things, penalty-free. The concept was named for Mr. Mulligan.

What do you think?

Mulligans do require a couple of rules. First, you only get one per game. I don’t know about you, but I’m 66 years old and I can’t think of another year in my lifetime that I would like to have wiped from the board more than this one. I’m aware there’s a chance of a worse one coming down the pike, but I don’t want to live my life waiting for it.

Second, every member of the group that’s golfing has to agree that a mulligan can be part of the game. That could be a problem. Right now, we couldn’t get everyone in the United States to agree the sun rises in the east. But I may have found a loophole to our mutual problem. The one thing that we might all agree on is that 2020 has not been a particularly good year. Now I’m not saying nothing good has happened all year – quite the contrary. Babies are being born, lovers are getting married, the world is continuing to turn in it’s magical, baffling way. Sure, we haven’t let anyone outside our immediate family in our house for eight months, and I’ve noticed a number of people on Facebook who no longer consider me their friend, but beyond that, life can be pretty wonderful. We were, however, thrown a few glitches, like a contentious, never-ending election, and a life and business-destroying pandemic.

I’d suggest that we might be better off if we all agreed that a correction shot is in order, to take a proper swing at the ball. Because here’s the thing about when everyone who’s playing agrees that it’s time for a mulligan: it makes the game more fun. And fun has been in short supply.

The little dog is taking long walks and eating less between meals. It won’t be long and she’ll be back down to being a ten-pounder. Me? I’m hoping we can agree this year was just a practice swing and we can all relax and enjoy the game.

Copyright 2020 Brent Olson

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