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MARINATING

‘Parks and Recreation’ sets miniature golf on new course

Saturday, May 18, 2013 - 12:01 am

It's not often the plot of a television show revolves around a game of miniature golf, but leave it to NBC's “Parks and Recreation” to journey to that world of fake grass and stagnant water.

In the recent episode, “Swing Vote,” Pawnee's municipal putt-putt course was about to fall victim to the city's budget cuts. That is until Deputy Director Leslie Knope, played by “Saturday Night Live” alumnus Amy Poehler, took matters into her own hands.

After failing to convince the council's deciding voter that the mini golf course is “like the 'Toy Story 3' of places,” Leslie arranged a sudden-death miniature golf match with the course's budget on the line. (That may be the one and only time since this pseudo-sport was invented in the early 1900s that you hear “sudden death” and “miniature golf” in the same breath.) Of course, inevitable hilarity ensued.

Back in the real world, there is a banner outside a course in my town that reads, “Pay one low price, play all day.” Excuse me: Just how bored do you have to be to play miniature golf all day long?

Now, I admit, I like a quick game (unless you get stuck behind a family of four ... including two little kids) of miniature golf as much as the next guy, but all day? A person can spend just so much time trying to maneuver past gorillas guarding gingerbread houses. (Hopefully, you've seen the episode I have been talking about, or that will make no sense.)

And windmills — don't forget the tiny windmills, which must have some kind of motion sensor built in because the blades always manage to come around just as my bright orange ball is trying to squeeze through that little opening!

And don't even get me started on the clown face that steals your ball on the last hole!

Mike Marin is a cranky curmudgeon who, when he’s not yelling at kids to get off his lawn, likes to complain about the sad state of popular culture, especially as seen through a TV screen. His email address is marinating@tribune.com. This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel.