Okay, you're going to hate me.
More than you might already.
I know that going in.
I will be gone the next couple weeks. No, that's hardly why you will hate me. In fact, judging by some of the hardy responses to past columns, you might actually like me for that.
No, I'm headed to Barcelona to pick up a Crystal Cruise adventure that will meander through the Mediterranean, stopping at nine or 10 cities, including Casablanca and the Canary Islands, on the way to Lisbon.
Now, wait, it's a working cruise. Seriously.
I will do a couple of thought-provoking lectures ("It all began at a tiny newspaper in Ocala, Florida...") and co-host six golf outings with former Masters champion Billy Casper and a club professional from California named John Clark.
See, I knew it.
You view me this week with a hardy mixture of hate and envy.
Frankly, I don't blame you. Just the opportunity of spending quality time with Billy and his lovely wife Shirley is worth the price of having to be nice to everyone on board. I had known Casper for years before "working" my first cruise with him last fall, from Montreal up around Maine and finishing in New York City. We had five or six wonderful golf excursions, the best of which was probably Granite Links which overlooks downtown Boston, but no matter where we were, just being around the man is one of life's great treats.
There is never a frown, never a nasty word. He has been a part of this particular cruise line for years and you can understand why. People just gravitate to him and he never meets a stranger.
And the stories.
Oh, my, the stories.
And so there you are.
If you happen to be playing Real Club de Campo in Malaga next week or maybe Valderrama in Sotogrande, Solobra Golf Club in the Canary Islands or Palheiro in Madeira, Portugal, slap me silly. I will deserve it and probably won't even notice.