Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Is this career—being a Caddie Master—really a plausible selection for me? Is there something else I should be doing with myself? Do I have the ability to manage people? Could I ever handle the business-world? Important questions, and unfortunately, I haven’t really had the time lately to discover any answers.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, but the final episode of this season’s “The Apprentice” was on TV. Now I’ve never been a huge fan of the show. And in thinking about it, I can’t really remember why. I think it was because I haven’t really had a lot of access to a television until this winter. My schedule was just too ERRATIC. Well, whatever the reason, I haven’t really watched the show before. But thanks to TiVo and a roommate who won’t stop sitting on the couch, I’ve been watching a fair amount of this season’s episodes.
As you’ve probably gleaned from some of my previous posts, my personality and management style are quite different from that of the current Caddie Masters’. He has more experience, demands respect immediately, utilizes a passive-aggressive argumentative approach and can be wishy-washy when it comes to determining just exactly where he stands on a particular managerial decision. I, on the other hand, have little to NO experience as a Caddie Master, would rather be friends with my co-workers than their boss, my confrontations are done face to face, and I like to stick by my convictions and let everyone know exactly where I stand (This site may come off as a little passive-aggressive sometimes, but I do really let people know right away how I feel about something. My heart is on my sleeve. I can’t help it).
Tonight’s episode of “The Apprentice” happened to highlight the final tasks of the final two candidates for Mr. Trump to base his hiring decision off of. One of the candidates had more experience and a better statistical track record in the competition, but showed some major character flaws and proved by the end of the show that he really didn’t care about anyone but himself and his own success. The other was young, inexperienced, and held a mere 1-2 track record throughout the competition, but displayed a high level of loyalty and respect towards her competitors. As the Caddie Master and I looked at the screen, watching these final two candidates support their decisions in front of Trump himself, I couldn’t help but realize the amazing parallel of the whole situation. It was like each of our personalities and managerial styles were manifested in these final two candidates. It was at this moment when we started to argue. He fired first.
“So who do you think Trump should hire?”
“I think the girl.”
“Why? The guy’s got much more experience and education backing him. He’s also started his own company and made millions on his own. It’s no contest.”
“She started a non-profit at the age of 15 and raised almost a million dollars. She has strong beliefs in the work she’s doing and the people around her. Plus, look at what he’s doing. He’s making a personal attack on her abilities as a manager.”
“He’s trying to get the job! That’s how you succeed in business! You have to fuck over your friends if they aren’t getting the job done. You know Trump would.”
It was really depressing to watch. For those of you who didn’t see it or didn’t get to watch the whole thing, here was the part that bothered me: After the final task was completed by each candidate, they relaxed together in the suite and had a leisurely breakfast the following morning. They did nothing but talk about their experiences in the competition and give words of encouragement and praise to one another. “I have so much respect for you, yada yada.” But as soon as they both get in the boardroom, the male starts viciously attacking everything the female has done and desperately tries to prove to Trump why it would be stupid to hire her into the organization. There’s a pause, and Trump looks over at the girl. He asks, “Do you respect him?”
“Very much, yes.”
I couldn’t believe she said that. Here this guy won’t stop being a dickhead and she’s simply keeping her cool and being the adult. In my head, I just kept saying to myself, “If the guy gets this job, I do not belong in the business world. If THAT is what it takes to be successful out there, it’s not for me.”
The guy just came off as a backstabber to me. He was very nice and professional on the job, but once it came down to his own success, he was lashing out at whatever he could get his hands on to try and land the job. Trump even had to cut him off at one point. All I could do was admire the girl for keeping her cool. And wouldn’t you know it, Trump ended up hiring the guy. But before the show ended, he asked the winner one final question: “Would you hire her as well?”
The two candidates had chosen different projects. They would not be competing anymore. They could both come out winners.
Without hesitation, the male replied: “This show is called ‘The Apprentice.’ One. Not ‘The ApprenticeS.’ There should be only one winner.”
And that was it. He would be the only one hired. Everyone booed. She could’ve easily gotten the job as well, but her opponent’s ego had gotten in the way.
The TV turned off and the Caddie Master turned around to face me.
“So you want to go out tonight?”
Friday, December 16, 2005
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Is this career—being a Caddie Master—really a plausible selection for me? Is there something else I should be doing with myself? Do I have the ability to manage people? Could I ever handle the business-world? Important questions, and unfortunately, I haven’t really had the time lately to discover any answers.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
I think out of all the things I've learned as a Caddie Master, there is one that disappoints me the most: caddies bitch and moan about everything. Now I'm sure in other occupations you have colleagues who spend a good part of their day complaining about something or other. But I think caddies are the worst. And I think the reason is simple: they are never gauranteed money. The best analogy I can come up with is a scene from the movie "Cinderella Man." Crowe's character is trying to make some money working down by the docks, and he has to fight to get close enough to the fence to get picked for work. It's every man for himself. The life of a caddie is very similar. So as a Caddie Master, part of your job is to juggle the loops available for the day in one hand and juggle the caddies' names in the other. If you're able to keep 70% of the caddies happy by the end of the day, you're doing a decent job.
The reason it is so hard to keep everyone happy is because there are so many acceptable theories about how to assign work, and every caddie prefers a different method.
One way is the "first come, first serve" method. Well, of course it sounds good on paper. The hungriest, hardest working guys get out FIRST while the lazy bums fight over the scraps. But oh wait. You forgot to take into consideration one immutable truth: 90% of the caddies ARE lazy bums. So what ends up happening is you have 3 or 4 guys who show up at 6:00-6:30 every morning with the rest getting in around 8-10. Those first 3 or 4 guys get out every day while the lazy caddies sit around, sometimes all day long, leaving the course at the end of the day with no money to show for it. Apparently this system isn't fair. Most of the caddies say that we need to "spread the wealth."
Another method is to look over the caddie sheets and see who has been working and who hasn't. Then you simply prioritize the guys who HAVEN'T worked and try to get them out first. Occasionally this method will work, but for the most part, it only benefits the uber crack-addict caddies who sit around for an hour and then decide to leave because nothing is happening. And of course, right after they leave four or five foursomes show up, all requesting caddies, and as a Caddie Master you're forced to crap your pants and throw on a bib yourself to pick up the slack. But as long as everyone is working hard, this method does work under slow working conditions (nobody is showing up to play).
Another method is to combine the two. This is the approach I use. I work with the requests first, pairing up the players with whoever they want, and then I go on a first come, first serve basis. Occasionally I'll immediately put a caddie out on the grass who hasn't worked in a while, but that is only under special circumstances. I figure this way, caddies will WANT to do a great job, because if they do, they'll be requested and not have to show up at the ass-crack every morning just HOPING for work. They'll know who they have and when they're supposed to arrive. Simple.
But like I said, despite my best efforts, people still complain. And it's almost always about money. Well, I shouldn't say that. It's also about childish stuff: "Hey Tom, Billy didn't tend the flag enough today! He was a lazy bastard and had me running for the pins! ALL DAY TOM!"
Or, "Hey Tom, remember how you yelled at me for riding on the back of the carts when I should've been running and getting players' their yardages BEFORE they got to the ball? Well Johnny was riding on the carts all day long! Yeah! All day! And if you go out there now he'll STILL be riding. You need to yell at him like you yelled at me or else I'll crap my pants and throw myself to the red ants! That's right! The ANTS that are RED!"
You know, kids stuff. This is my first real attempt at managing people, and I have to say, trying to find that balance between keeping people happy and establishing a certain level of authority is tough. It's really hard to be loved and feared at the same time.
But enough about that. I need to get on Mapquest and try to find a library or something nearby so I can post a little more frequently. Surely Floridians read. They need to distract themselves SOMEHOW from the smell of garbage and old people. I mean how much methane does a state really need to have? How can anyone feel safe SMOKING around here?
Posted by Tom Collins at 8:39 PM
Saturday, November 19, 2005
“So I go to this jazz concert last night, right? And I’m drinkin’, I’m in a good mood, dressed nice, ya know? And the show ends and I still feel like lookin’ at the girls, so I start walkin’ to a bar. It’s raining and pitch black outside, but I’m feelin’ good, ya know? I’m in high spirits. So I round the corner and come upon what I think is come kind of puddle. Well it’s dark. But I just assume it’s a normal puddle. Like maybe an inch or so deep or some shit. I mean, it hasn’t been raining THAT hard yet. So I take a step, and I fall right through. All of sudden I’m in 5 feet of water and I’m swimmin’ like a dog tryin’ to find a way out. My fuckin’ head went under man. It went under that nasty-ass water. So I finally crawl out, and I look ahead and see that there’s a lot of construction going on in front of me. They fuckin’ forgot to mark that shit off! I could’ve broken my neck! And I lost my car keys man! $30 to replace those freakin’ things. Thank God I have a spare set. But ain’t that a bitch? If they were workin’ at all that night and dropped a brick in there, that would’ve been the end man. My friends in New York would be drinkin’ their beers bein’ like, ‘Awww man. Mikey never had a chance. Freakin’ brick got him.’ But I gotta go back for those keys man. I think I’m going to get a bucket and drain all that water out.”
“You said it was 5 feet of water?”
“That could take a while. Get a rake or put on some dirty clothes and go in after your keys man. Don’t spend all day dumpin’ water out.”
“Yeah yeah yeah. That’s what I should do man. That’s right. But I can’t go in that water man. It’s not clean. It’s all muddy.”
“That sucks man. But it’s a good story.”
“Yeah man. Isn’t that a bitch?”
That was the story that started off my day. Just thought I’d share.
I’ve been trying to post for a few days now, but a new situation has presented itself: there is one computer in the house, and the other user is the Caddie Master. Yes, I’m living with him. So my recent attempts to post have been unsuccessful.
“Tom, why has the recent history of visited sites been deleted?”
Because I don’t want you to know that I’ve spent the entire summer writing about you and the rest of my caddie experiences for all the world to see.
“Oh. Well carry on then.”
So now that he has decided to retire for the evening, I can give you guys a little update.
First off, I just wanted to say I feel a little disappointed in myself after reading over my last post. I guess it really didn't take that much to send me into a philosophical tailspin. Bad days happen, and after talking about the member in question with a few of the staff guys, I felt a lot better about my abilities.
“Dude. She’s a bitch. She’s just arrogant is all.”
I also had a little time to relax this past weekend. I flew back to Northern Virginia for the premiere of an independent film one of my friends’ finished producing. It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned anything about it, but I helped him work on it a little bit earlier this summer and so it was pretty interesting to see myself on the big screen. It was weird having girls come up to ME at the after-party and introducing themselves. Usually I’m the one doing all the legwork.
“Hey. You were like…that zombie guy, right?”
My character had been in purgatory for quite awhile. So I guess with the make-up I looked a little weird. But whatever. Zombie it is. Hellllloooooo ladies.
Of course I was an idiot and drank my face off. Guess it was kinda hard not to. I was surrounded by close friends who I hadn’t seen in over a year and who I may never see again. Although, aside from my own personal health, I was really only pissed at myself for one reason: a girl. I was playing my cards right, and then I had to go ahead and lose control. I think she was still interested, even after all of my stupid jokes and loveable beer breath, but I just couldn’t go through with it. I mean I was tanked. How many SOBER ladies would like to fool around with a drunken idiot?
Damn. I know, I know.
“You’re a pussy.”
But anyway, after all that and getting in around 2 am, I had to be the Caddie Master and arrive on the tee at 6:30 sharp. Whoa boy. And after a Full Throttle and a war cry, I was ready.
I had an awesome start to my morning. As part of my job, I try to “fit in” with the outside staff while working as a Caddie Master by pulling bags and setting up the driving range. Well I needed to grab a bag and bring up another cart, so I’m thinking: hey, let’s kill two birds with one stone.
So I grab the bag from the rack, throw it in the passenger seat of the cart and drive up towards the practice area with both hands on the wheel. Both. Please notice that I do NOT have a hand on the bag in the passenger seat.
When I reach the top of the hill, the bag slides off of the seat and out onto the pavement. But instead of simply falling out of the cart, the bottom of the bag gets wedged underneath the drink holders and the clubs are DRAGGED across the pavement.
I immediately do two things: one, I take my eyes off of the road and stare at the sparks flying off of the irons. That takes about two seconds. Secondly, I realize I’m a dumbass for CONTINUING to drive while the clubs are being dragged and slam on the breaks. A loud screech is heard for miles as I smash into the front left wheel of another cart.
I look up from the wheel to see the pro, one of the assistant pro’s and two or three members staring at me. The assistant pro was the first to speak.
“Damn. Did you see the sparks coming off of those irons?”
I’m supposed to be professional as I approach the members when I ask if they’ll be needing the services of a caddie, not crash a cart in front of them and ask if they’ve ever seen a Caddie Master create a fireworks display with a set of irons. I mean I’m no expert, but I think that might be a little unprofessional.
“Are you the Caddie Master?”
“Oh no. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.”
On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, I work from 6:30-2:30 as the Caddie Master, and then from 2:30-6 as an outside staff-member. I work open to close. I was so drained by the time I clocked out. When I was driving back home I couldn’t even change the radio station when Ace of Base started playing. It was one of the most depressing moments of my life.
But to recap, things are better, but there are still a lot of things that need to be worked out in the caddie yard. I’ll be sure to let you guys know.
Posted by Tom Collins at 9:29 AM
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Every caddie knows the score. No matter how hard you work, no matter how hard you try to please, there will be loops that do not go well. Now I'm not talking about caddying for assholes, slow players or bad tippers. I'm talking about the caddie. Sometimes you're an "A" caddie, and sometimes you're a "C" caddie. You have no choice but to hit a wall at some point. It is inevitable. Why oh why did this have to happen to me NOW.
I just moved to Florida about a week ago. I was promoted to be the Assistant Caddie Master at this new course. This new account is a very exclusive club with some of the nicest members I've ever encountered. In addition, the administrative staff has been nothing but supportive and courteous to me since I arrived. And my first few loops were great. I was energetic, eager to learn the course, and was able to hold conversations with the members without breaking a sweat.
Well, yesterday I broke a sweat.
I was one of two caddies working with a group of women. One of the bags' I was carrying just happened to belong to the wife of a founding member. She had requested me from one of my previous loops. But there was something wrong. No matter what I did or how hard I tried, I couldn't seem to get my energy up. I felt like I was on cruise control the whole round. I would try running with both bags for 150 yards, I would jump up and down with them on my shoulders (nobody except for the other caddie saw me do this...I imagine I would've looked like an idiot), I would stretch, I would try being as up-beat and polite as possible, trying to fall back on some of my sales training that taught me to use my actions and gestures as a way to entice the mind to follow. So if I'm tired and depressed but I start acting jovial and enthusiastic, soon I will be happy rather than depressed. At least that was the theory. And it didn't work. Nothing did.
On the second hole I completely misread a putt for one of my players, and so on the third hole the other caddie (who had been caddying at this course for awhile) took the lead and started reading everybody's putts. At first I was a little annoyed, but then after hearing one of my players request a read from HIM rather than ME, I decided it was for the best. I mean hey, I want my players to get the right reads.
This went on for the rest of the round. Sure, I would occasionally offer a read, and I was even right a few times. But during the round I couldn't help but feel like the other caddie was losing respect for me. I started to feel like I was on one of my first training loops, with a senior caddie making sure I wasn't screwing anything up. I also noticed for some reason that I couldn't seem to project my voice. It was like I was stuck being the shy kid for a day. I hated that. I was so desperate to get out of that mindset, that I even tried to start little conversations with the woman who requested me, saying stupid things like, "So where are you from? What brought you down here? Oh I love Boston. Quincy Markets all the way."
It was horrible. I've never felt so undeserving of tip money at the end of the round. It wasn't much, but I didn't feel like I deserved any of it. I knew the loop had gone sour. But I took solace in the fact that hey, every caddie will have a bad day.
Well I learned this morning that yes, every caddie will have a bad day, but NO, that no longer applies to me. Now, I am an Assistant Caddie Master. I need to be setting an example and showing my strength.
Today is the first round of the Ladies' Member-Guest. I arrived right on time feeling as prepared as ever to avenge my debacle from yesterday. I had breakfast in hand, my special Peak Vision sunglasses on my hat, and I was sipping a Full Throttle energy drink. If my past experiences were any indication, that Full Throttle would kick my ass into gear and my problems would be over.
Well, my boss is in town. He's been here since last week, sleeping on my couch and going to the course everyday to make sure the caddie program goes off without a hitch. I was wetting a towel getting ready for my hole assignment when he walks down into the caddie yard and motions for me to follow him. He takes me into the Caddie Master's office and shuts the door.
"What's this I hear about you not being able to read greens?"
"Yeah. Yesterday was--"
"I walk in this morning and I hear from the Director that these women went out yesterday and were annoyed that they had an untrained caddie working for them."
"No, just be quiet for a minute. You're the Assistant Caddie Master. You've BEEN trained. Read the fucking greens. I know you're trying to do the noble thing by letting a senior caddie read the greens, but you're showing nothing but weakness. You need to be strong. Read the fucking greens."
And then he walked back outside and left me to think. I felt like absolute crap. Ever since I started working for him, I have never been reprimanded. He never had to. There were never any complaints from any of the members I've looped for. And NOW that I'm helping to manage a caddie program, a position I thought I would fill nicely, I just happen to have a bad day around a highly critical member and an experienced caddie (who's probably wondering why the hell he should listen to a dumbass caddie like me) and all of my credibility goes out the window. I'm sure I made my boss look horrible. The caddie I worked with has probably even talked to a few of the other caddies and dragged my name through the mud by now.
About 5 minutes later, the Caddie Master, a kid my age who I've become pretty good friends with, pulls me aside.
"The boss thinks you should take today off. Is that cool?"
"Yeah...I mean, whatever I can do to help you guys out. I told you it was a bad loop yesterday. I guess I just didn't realize HOW bad. I'm sorry man."
"Just go home and get some rest. I'll talk to you later tonight."
Jesus. I'm being sent home. My first truly bad loop since I started in March and they're sending me home to sleep it off and think about what I've done. Man, talk about a hole I've gotten myself into. That quote from "Batman Begins" keeps running through my head.
"Son, why do we fall? So we learn how to pick ourselves back up."
I need to think about this for a little while. I think one of my problems right now is that I'm looking at this experience through the eyes of a caddie and not a MANAGER. My whole life, in almost every job I've ever had, I've been an equal with my co-workers. I've been a manager once before, and to be honest, I don't really think I did a good job. I always wanted to be everyone's friend. Not sure how I can change my mindset, because I hate feeling like I'm superior to anyone else. Then again, I really REALLY hate being stepped on. I hate being taken advantage of. I don't know. Maybe I can use that frustration and anger to be a better manager.
Anyway, thanks for reading this far. I'm always trying to shorten these posts up, but I always seem to have a lot on my mind. I'll let you guys know how tomorrow goes.
Posted by Tom Collins at 12:52 PM
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
I tried my best. I avoided her calls and I felt strong and resolute in my decision to rest and relax.
But the little tweaker used a friends’ cell phone and I didn’t think before I answered one of her final attempts. There was no conversation. She simply said, “Hey, I’m on my way over there right now. See you soon.”
This girl is insane. I have no idea what I’ve been doing or saying that would give her the impression that I actually wanted to hang out.
An hour later, she rings the doorbell. She’s wearing a jean-skirt that’s so short she’s using both hands to hold it down far enough so as not to look “slutty.”
“The traffic was fucking terrible. I know you’re probably tired, but you better make tonight worth my while for having to deal with that shit.”
Just then, an amazing fact struck me: this was the first time I had seen her sober. She actually sounded witty and interesting. Normally she’s so high and drunk that her tirades seem to drone on regardless of what face I make or how I respond. But tonight she was picking up on all of my sarcasm and throwing it right back in my face. Could I actually go through with this?
“So what do you want to do tonight? Just sit around not having fun again?”
“Actually no. Let’s go out to a bar. There’s one close-by that looks like it might be worthwhile.”
Now, what I failed to realize was that I really needed to focus on keeping her as SOBER as possible for as LONG as possible. Otherwise, I’d be right back at square one: another night dealing with the drunken little tweaker again.
For the first hour or so, I was actually having a good time at the bar. People were coming over and buying us shots because we looked like a “cute couple.” She even took the initiative and kissed me.
“I swore to myself I would do that tonight. Because I knew you were sure as hell not going to.”
Ouch. But well played my little ho-bag.
As usual, she dominated the conversation. At this point I had become quite complacent and completely forgotten that I had to talk at SOME point just to keep her interest. But at that point, it didn’t matter anymore. She was already talking to some other guy and told me she’d “find her own ride” back to my place.
“Just leave the door open for me.”
And so it came to pass, that at 2:46 am she came bursting through my bedroom door and started taking off her clothes. She grabbed my clock and screamed, “It’s 2:46 in the morning and you’ve got a topless girl getting into bed with you. Can you handle that shit?!”
I guess so.
And for an hour, I really did try to handle that shit. I tried to sleep. But she started to toss and turn, and after being kneed in the stomach for the third time I decided it was time to sleep on the couch.
So I’ve just come back to this file, and from here up is all I had typed. It’s been a little while since it happened, so rather than try to recount everything I think I’ll just give you the highlights and let you guys know what I’m doing right now.
Needless to say, that night nothing happened. I’m sorry. I know I probably should’ve done something with her, but I guess those highly intoxicated obnoxious girls just don’t “do it” for me anymore. Maybe they never “did it for me.” But the following night was the real kicker.
So I’m out at this bar trying to enjoy my last few hours with my friends before I leave for Florida, and I get a phone call from her. Now, you have to remember that this girl has monopolized my time for 4 freakin’ days, which means that at this point, I don’t even have the OPTION of hanging out with girl number two. We were supposed to hang out, but because of my erratic schedule with the little tweaker we could never finalize anything and ended up NEVER hanging out. So I was pretty psyched about that. So after all of the innuendos, the talk about drugs and drinking, the time away from my friends and all of the SLEEP I was missing, I snapped.
“Hey, so what are you doing tonight? I’m pretty low on gas, so I don’t really think I want to drive anywhere. You want to come here?”
“No. Look, I don’t know if we’re ever going to get to hang out again…but if we do, there will be no watching of movies, dinner, or watching television. We’re just going to have sex. That’s it.”
“So that’s how it is?”
“Yeah. That’s how it is.”
“So can I come over tonight?”
Jesus. What have I gotten myself into?
And about 6 hours later, I was heading to Florida. And yes, I left out that last part on purpose because I feel it would be wrong of me to alter the content of this site THAT MUCH in one posting. But I am in Florida now, and I can’t wait to tell you guys about it. I just need to grab some sleep tonight because tomorrow will be my first day as a Caddie Master at this new account. So I have to be on my toes. I’ll hit you guys up again soon. Take care everyone.
Posted by Tom Collins at 6:44 PM
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
I can't tell you how many times I've brought up this site and just stared at the monitor wondering if anything noteworthy will pop up. Because at this point, I'm simply managing another caddie program until the 31st and the members at the course don't even TAKE caddies, so my position has become that of a glorified starter. Not a bad gig if you want to get a lot of reading done. But as far as excitement goes, I always feel like I'm at a loss for something to post.
So I thought today I'd deviate just a bit. This is not caddie related. But Shanks posted a comment recently that really hit the nail on the head. Females. No, I’m not up to anything criminal these days, but I am trying to spice things up at night by finally going out on the town with some of my caddie friends and I feel like some of these stories should start coming out. I may not be caddying right now, but I’m still participating in caddy-like extracurriculars. Why the hell NOT post something.
Last Thursday I was dead tired and I was in bed by . At , I turned over just in time to see my phone light up and start vibrating. Crap. That's right. I had promised to hit the town with another caddie this weekend. Guess tonight's the night.
So I throw on some clothes and head out, expecting nothing special to happen. I'd drink some beers, drink some water, wait till I was sober, drive home, and wake up at the ass-crack to go back to doing nothing all day at this other course.
But this particular night would prove to be anything but ordinary.
On our way to the bars, my friend got a phone call from his sister. She had just gotten into a car accident. She wasn't driving, but apparently both her and the girl driving had had a lot to drink. They blew through a red light, smashed into a Saturn and flipped their Wrangler upside-down. The crash site was only a block away from the bar where we were all supposed to meet.
After seeing that Wrangler upside-down in the middle of the street and seeing the driver being steadied and fitted for a neck brace, I was in no mood to have a good time. I was just concerned. But the driver was surprisingly normal and calm, telling all of us to "Go and drink your faces off. Don't worry about me. Don't even visit me at the hospital. I'll be fine."
She even gave us the thumbs-up.
My friends’ sister wasn't wearing her seatbelt, ended up in the backseat and had some of the drivers' blood on her dress. She also held an ice-pack over her knee. Yet despite her condition and the incredible array of lights and sounds surrounding the scene, she seemed euphoric.
"I'm alive I'm alive I'm alive. I never thought it would feel so good to say that. I feel so good right now."
For some reason my friend felt sorry for ME in having to wait through this before we hit the bar. "Don't worry man. We'll head in in a second. And my sister will be fine. She just needs a few shots and she'll be golden."
Is anybody else other than me feeling incredibly concerned right now?
Just then, a girl walked over from across the street. Her hair was so blonde it was almost white and her tan was a little obscene. There's no way somebody needs to be that tan. It's like she had just been to a tanning salon that day where some inexperienced rookie cranked up the juice a little too high and zapped her for 20 minutes on the “Middle of the Fucking Sun” setting.
"I saw the whole accident. I was on the phone across the street talking to a friend. Is everyone okay? You may not feel anything now, but the doctors will tell you that most of the pain will come 2-3 days later. I just had a car accident recently. I know how you guys feel."
She was quite calm for someone who had just witnessed the apocalypse on wheels. I would find out later that she loves drugs.
So I think I asked this blonde girl what the hell happened. Maybe twice. And then left with my caddie friend and his sister to see what was going on inside this bar.
A few hours go by. I dance, I drink—all of one beer—and I happen to run into this extremely tan blonde on the dance floor. She’s in the middle of dancing with some guy, and when she notices me she shakes her head and shouts out, “White-boys really can’t dance.”
Well of course I took offense. I had to try and prove her wrong. So I make my best attempt at dancing alongside her for a moment. I feel like an idiot.
“Well…maybe you can dance a little. But only slightly.”
The song ends, she breaks away from the guy and pulls me aside to a quiet corner.
“Will you give me a call when you get home tonight? I mean…Will you just let me know if those girls are alright? I really want to make sure they’re alright. And when you call, make sure you leave your number.”
All logical processes in my brain stopped after that last statement. It was doing fine for a second there. Sure, call her and let her know things are fine. I guess she’s still just concerned. And sure, I’ll just…leave…my…number. What?
She gave me her number and I left the bar.
In thinking about it now, I can’t believe I called her. I’m leaving for
The next day, she called me four times. Twice during work, and twice after . Part of me was excited at the prospect of ANY girl calling me, and part of me was really really pissed off. Now I’m not really sure how these “booty calls” are supposed to work, but I always imagined they would emerge as casual endeavors where both parties end up meeting seamlessly with no headache being imparted on either participant. I guess I was wrong.
I predictably go out the following night and buy enough food to make the apartment look habitable and finish off the shopping trip with a box of condoms. Hey, you never know. I might actually be able to smother my conscience for a few hours. Around she arrives with a bottle of wine and the words “man I’m so glad I could blaze before I got here.”
Yeah, I am too.
At first, I was pleasantly surprised. Apparently she had graduated from high school a year early and instead of going straight to college she took the next year to read all of the books she had always wanted to, including writing a personal autobiography that one of her teachers paid her to write. She loves poetry, music, and taking physics and chemistry classes even though she’s studying to be a personal trainer. Basically, it sounded like she had a lot of things going on under the surface. I was intrigued.
Then she ended up drinking 8 beers and three massive glasses of wine.
She talked constantly, occasionally getting in a couple words as she inhaled. And honestly, it was nice. Normally the male needs to take the initiative and start tossing out topics to get the conversation going, but with this girl I needed only to sit back and listen. Sure I was a little annoyed when I actually thought of something interesting to contribute and she would simply interrupt me and keep going on her merry way, saying a few minutes later, “Oh I’m sorry. Were you going to say something?”
I think I learned more about cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, marijuana, meth, crack and the effects cigarettes have on people’s lungs than all of my health classes in high school and college put together. Apparently she’s even done lines of coke with a few celebrities.
Now, being more or less a straight-shooter myself, I was half amazed and half disturbed by these stories. Apparently she had even been pregnant for a while before she miscarried on account of “stress.”
Obviously I was rethinking the whole “one night stand” with this one. We don’t need little cracked-out Jam Boy’s running around. Lord no.
In an effort to behave like a 5th grader and cut through some of the sexual tension / innuendoes I decided to tease her at one point. I can’t really remember what I did. I may have tickled her or poked her or something. Either way, this immediately transformed this incredibly innocent lass into a world-class boxer (a south paw I believe). She actually started throwing punches. I blocked most of them, but I wasn’t really trying that hard because I thought she was just playing around.
Then she connected.
A hard right-cross to the face. For a second I thought my nose was bleeding. ALLLLLLRIGHTY THEN. Fun’s over princess. I spun her around and put her in a bear hug until she stopped squirming and said that she was okay. I held on a little longer, more for my own sake to count to ten and think about puppies or cotton candy or something even remotely resembling a happy thought.
I’m not gonna lie. The rest of the night was a little awkward, and she ended up passing out on the couch while I slept in my bed upstairs.
The following morning I wake up early and head to work before she wakes up. It’s pouring rain, windy, and the high for the day was 45. The head pro decides to close the course. So I’m happy. The previous night was very tiring and very awkward. A day of rest sounded phenomenal.
*By the way, as I’m writing this she is calling my cell phone for the second time in a span of 5 minutes and I am choosing, yet again, not to answer.*
So I’m heading back to the apartment and guess who calls. And I, being the dumbass, tell her that I’m on my way back. I think I was just expecting she had somewhere else to be and had already left my apartment. Nope. She was just waking up.
“So what do you want to do today? Go on some adventures?”
Now remember it’s freakin’ freezing outside. And raining. Don’t forget the rain.
Much to my surprise, aside from losing 3,000 calories and a gonad from shivering, I had a good time. We went to a state park where she used to work and visited a man-made lake nearby with mom-and-pop shops and hiking trails. I mean, the conversation never deviated from designer drugs, but I suppose it was just nice to go to these typical “date areas” again with a girl. And despite the topics discussed, she was pretty funny.
We came back, ordered Chinese and relaxed until she had to leave to go pick somebody up. Supposedly her license is suspended thanks to a DUI, but I guess that’s more of a guideline than a rule.
Before she leaves she forgets a few choice things in my living room, signifying that oh yes, she will be back later tonight. This of course means that the cycle will begin again. Get beer, she drinks a lot, makes sexual innuendoes and I end up not really feeling like using any of those condoms. Not sure what’s wrong with me. Maybe there are just some areas in this world men were not meant to penetrate.
So she ended up spending the night again, this time I notice she’s getting really annoyed that I’m not trying to take advantage of her. I offer her my bed this time, saying I’ll take the couch. But she protests, saying that there was plenty of room for both of us in the bed. Not wanting to make her feel unattractive, I obliged her and squeezed into the smallest bed on earth. It’s a single that’s too short for me as it is, and now we’re throwing two awkward bodies along with some good ol’ sexual tension in the mix.
She made it perfectly clear earlier in the night—amidst talk of what I would name my children (yeah, I know…WOW)—that she will not stand for men blatantly burping and farting around her.
Yeah, we probably shouldn’t see each other anymore.
So, while trying to squeeze in next to her I’m forced to contort my body in these very unnatural “Exorcism of Emily Rose” positions WHILE holding in farts. Yeah, remember the Chinese? That ended up being a bad idea.
The result was terrible. I wake up a few times during the night to leave the room and try to blow SOMETHING out, but find that the twisting and bending of my abdominals while trying to fit into the smallest bed in the world have fused the gas and lactic acid around my stomach, making it extremely painful to lean backwards or forwards. But, as long as I stood perfectly erect and pressed down on my stomach like a Medic trying to apply pressure to a torn artery, I would be perfectly comfortable. Thank God for that.
So after a good night’s rest, I left for work and proceeded to fall asleep on the floor of the Starter’s shack. And YES the pro was happy. But now I’m home. There’s a note on my bed from her thanking me and saying I need to “make myself available” for her tonight. Umm, no. I’m leaving for
Plus, I haven’t even told you guys about the “other girl.” That same night with the car accident, I drove my caddie friend back to his apartment and met his roommate. She’s clean, intelligent, funny and a Hooters girl. Not sure how I pulled that one off. I definitely wasn’t smooth about getting her number, but she wants to hang out with me tomorrow night. And I would certainly like to “make myself available” for that. So, it’s been fun, but I think it’s time to say goodbye to this first little tweaker.
To be continued…
Posted by Tom Collins at 7:10 PM
Sunday, October 02, 2005
So it happened again today. I was caddying for the man. The myth. The legend. He’s important Goddamnit and he doesn’t care who he has to fire or piss off in order to make that fact perfectly clear. The Chairman. I believe I’ve only caddied for him one other time, and I think I was still quite new to the trade because I can remember him lecturing me on how I was supposed to caddie for lefties. He is most definitely one of the worst players at this course to loop for, because he’s cheap and nothing you do ever makes him happy. He will always find something to complain about. Because he’s a board member. And I suppose board members are supposed to be very critical people, simply because they’re important. And everyone else should obey them. So I knew as soon as I heard who I was caddying for how difficult and annoying today was going to be. I should’ve just stayed in bed.
To be honest, there was nothing really that special about the first 6 holes. I was working a little harder, making sure I catered to his needs as much as possible and we seemed to be getting along splendidly. He was playing with two younger kids. At first I thought they were related to him, but after I realized they weren’t, they were really of no importance to me. Well, no. That’s not entirely true. The young man playing with The Chairman hit some of the longest drives I have ever seen. Two or three of them were over 400 yards. The rest of his game was a little dicey, but I tell ya. He sure could rip a ball.
Anyway, the 7th hole is where it all began. And I guess before I explain what happened, I should try to explain one of the ways I approach a forecaddying loop. You see, I always seem to be running somewhere when I’m forecaddying, and when I realized how much time I actually had between the last players’ tee shot and when the carts actually arrived at their respective drives, I came up with a little system. After the last player tees off, I run out to the furthest drive, get the yardage left to the front of the green and the flagstick, and work my way back to the shortest tee shot. That way, by the time I get to the shortest drive, I’m getting the yardage right as the cart pulls up. Now life is grand. I’ve already written down everyone’s yardage, so nobody has to wait. They can just grab a club and hit when they get to their ball, because they already know how far they have to hit it. Many of the other caddies work the opposite way, and many times I see players waiting by their ball for a yardage. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this method, but I figure with my method, nobody really has to wait and the player’s are watching me hustle on every hole. They can’t HELP but tip me well after the round is over.
Now, I understand there are a few holes in my method. It doesn’t always work. Obviously you aren’t going to have 4 players hitting their drives in the fairway on EVERY HOLE. Some of them skank it from time to time, and they may even “lose” a ball in a “hazard.” This of course screws up my routine a bit, but most of the time if I hustle I can still make it back in time to help out the guy in trouble.
Well, on the 7th hole, the kid hits the ball 368. The Chairman did not. His ball took a NASCAR turn right into the woods and buried itself in the rough. Now, I DID see exactly where his ball stopped. There was no reason to panic. And, for a split second, I almost didn’t run out to this kid’s ball to measure because I had a feeling I wouldn’t get back to The Chairman in time. But I just decided to measure this gargantuan drive instead.
So I’m running my ass off to get back to The Chairman’s ball, and I’m about 50 yards away when his cart pulls up. He gets out, stares me down, grabs an iron and whacks the ball out about 150 yards in the fairway. Now, I hadn’t seen his lie close up, but I knew that was a pretty amazing shot to pull off from where he was. So I went over to congratulate him.
“Great shot. You managed to keep it under those—“
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Why do you insist on going to a player in the fairway first when there’s a guy in trouble way back here?”
Insist? Has this happened often between us? I think this is the inaugural occurrence.
“I’m sorry, I—“
“That’s a terrible thing to do. You’d better stop it.”
“I’m sorry. I work my way back from the furthest tee shot so by the time I get back to the player with honors, I have everyone’s yardage ready. I saw where your ball was, and I’m sorry I wasn’t back there in time. It won’t happen again. I’m just blown away by how far this kid hits the ball. I wasn’t thinking.”
And that was it for awhile. I went on my merry way and worked my ass off. Then, on 15, I saw where the two kids hit their drives, but I missed The Chairman’s tee shot. Sometimes that late-afternoon sunlight can be a little tricky to negotiate. So, I turned my palms to the sky and shrugged my shoulders towards the tee box, signifying that “I have no freakin’ clue where you’re ball ended up,” and I ran down the fairway and into the right rough to get the other two yardages.
Again, I’m on my way back towards his cart, where The Chairman has already found his ball and is in the middle of taking practice swings. So I move to the other side of the fairway to get out of the way, he hits his shot, gets in his cart and starts to drive over towards me.
“There you go again. What did I tell you before? Help the guy in trouble first. Finding a player’s ball in the fairway is easy. You can save that for later.”
“I’m sorry. I tried to signal to the tee that—“
“Just don’t let it happen again.”
Alrighty then. I WOULD’VE come to you first, but I had no clue where you’re ball was. How am I supposed to help you if I didn’t even see your tee shot? I need to wait for you to give me some idea of where it is. Then I can help you find it. Why wait for you to come to me when I have 5 minutes to run and get everyone’s yardage while you’re trying to fit you’re massive gluteus in the seat?
Then came 16. This is a par 3, which means that I usually get the yardage, tell the players and then run next to the green so that when they’re done hitting their shots, I can fix any and all ball-marks on the greens, clean the balls, read the putts or whatever else until the players arrive at the green. And wouldn’t you know it, it happened again. I didn’t see where the Chairman’s ball went. I didn’t even hear it hit the ground so I had a basic IDEA of where the ball was. So I fixed the other two ball-marks on the green, cleaned the balls, and started to patch up a few more ball marks as I was waiting for them to come down to the green. Well I guess I got a little carried away repairing the green because The Chairman was already walking towards the right rough just short of the putting surface to look for his ball. I followed him down and helped him look, found his ball and turned to run back up towards the green when he stopped me. He looked pissed.
“Tom, come here.”
“Now listen to me. Really listen. Because I’m not goin’ to fuckin’ tell you again. You help the guy in trouble FIRST. You got that? Am I getting through to you?”
“Yes, it’s just—“
“No, I don’t care. If you’re going to do your job, do it right. Period.”
At this point, I’d had it. I hate being treated like an idiot. I know this job by now, and I work hard. Every player who has ever worked with me—other than this guy—has enjoyed the experience. I’m a human being, just like you. No more, no less. Stop making me feel like an earthworm. So I was firm right back at him.
“Listen to me for a second. I didn’t see your tee shot. How can I ‘help’ you when I don’t even know where to start looking? Well I can’t. So I’m sorry you think I forgot about you, but there’s nothing I can do.”
“Well wait a second. That’s all you had to say. If you didn’t see my shot, just tell me. And that’s cool. It wouldn’t have bothered me.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t say it right away. But it’s an embarrassment for a caddie to admit to losing a player’s ball.”
“Don’t worry about it. The truth only hurts for a second.”
And that was it. The last couple of holes were fine, and by the end he complimented me on a good job. Wow. I guess I’m more confused than anything else about the whole situation. But at least he tipped me. I’ve never come into the 18th hole wondering if the player or player’s I’m caddying for are going to stiff me.
I don’t know, what do you guys think? Is my method really stupid? Should he have said all those things to me? Or is he just an asshole. I wonder.
Anyway. Thanks for sticking with the post. I know it was a long one. Take care everyone.
Posted by Tom Collins at 1:57 AM
Sunday, September 18, 2005
For some reason my Peak Vision sunglasses have been buried in my golf bag for about three weeks and I keep forgetting to bring them in with me to work. Well, call it inspiration, or call it intense wind and dirt flying in my face, but I decided to give them another try.
And by "another try" I mean "once again." "Another try" makes it sound like I didn't like them, which is just about as far from the truth as you can get. Honestly, the reason I stopped wearing them for a while was because I hated having to take them off every time the sunlight disappeared and the overcast sky was the only thing you could see above the horizon. For some strange reason I believed that the sunglasses ceased to work when this happened. I thought they needed sun to work correctly. Yes, I am that stupid.
Random thought, but does pollen come out this time of year? I thought it was always JUST in the spring. I don’t know. Who knows? Pollen is the only thing I can come up with, because my eyes have been so irritated lately. This is of course sucks gonads, because that means the recovery from my Lasik surgery CONTINUES to crawl along at an unbearable pace. I heard from somebody recently that it took 8 MONTHS for his eyes to fully recover. I hope I'm not an "exception to the rule" and am still dealing with all of this a year from now.
So I come home every night and literally drown my eyeballs in preservative-free drops (supposedly less irritating), trying to convince my eyes NOT to turn red and itch. But they never listen. And to top it all off, I use this suspicious-looking grease that I'm supposed to apply to my lower-lids before I fall asleep to help with the whole "lubrication process." I'm not really sure it works, because the next morning I look like hell and can't seem to go out in public without these 30-lbs bags underneath my eyes. Other caddies are starting to notice and will ask me things like, “What the hell happened to you last night? Did you go out and get shit-faced? What was her name? Are you sick? Are you stoned?”
“Well then what the hell is wrong with you?”
“Caddying during the day irritates my eyes and due to the healing process from the surgery, I can’t help but look fucked up the next day.”
“Oh. Well in that case, REALLY get shit-faced and REALLY come to work stoned. You can always just tell them you’re eyes are just irritated from the surgery.”
Yeah. I’ll get right on that.
But anyway, I was on the 9th green and was about to take off my Peak Vision sunglasses when I decided to experiment with them a bit. Several large clouds were sweeping through the course and the bright sun of the first 8 holes was all but extinct. It just looked grey outside. The other caddie was tending the flag and helping one of the other players with a read, so I decided now would be as good a time as any. I put on the sunglasses and started glancing around the putting surface. Spike marks and other imperfections stuck out like sore thumbs and the green looked somewhat texture-ized. The light and dark shades of green stood out like squares on a checkerboard.
Then I took them off. I was astounded at what I saw. Everything looked flat and flawless. No imperfections. No grains stood out. I noticed the various “noses” (areas of obvious break) around the green, but nothing else caught my attention. It was like I lost all sense of depth perception.
So I quickly put the sunglasses back on and kept them on for the rest of the day. And the amazing thing, at least from a caddies’ perspective, was that I was still able to see the breaks on the greens. Clearly. The guys I was caddying for? Yeah, they couldn’t. So that definitely helped my tip and gave me a little more confidence out there. Kinda felt like a God at a few points.
While some of you may have already known that you could wear sunglasses like these under dimly-lit circumstances and come out on top, I sure as hell didn’t, and I tell you, discovering this wonderful trait on my own was such a great experience. It inspired me to actually FOCUS on the greens again. I had all but given up on trying to figure them out. I think with the sun gone I caught the course with its pants down. Without sunlight, there are no shadows or disruptive glares on the putting surface to confuse your read. It was wonderful.
Posted by Tom Collins at 1:50 AM
Sunday, September 11, 2005
This morning came too early. True, I’m used to waking up around 6 or these days, but ? Today I would continue my training as a Caddie Master. I think. I think that was the initial goal. There’s only one problem: there’s only one caddie left at this course. And I had to pick him up.
Basically, I felt more like a big brother than a Caddie Master today.
Which I guess is alright. But when you walk into the pro shop and pick up a copy of the tee-sheet and the thing is freakin’ packed, you’re feeling more like a Starter than a Caddie Master. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I mean, it’s a fairly laid-back position and I certainly needed the break after all the work I’ve been doing lately.
And now that I think about it, being a Starter today was just about the only thing I would’ve accepted anyway, because if you’ve only got one caddie to pimp, you’re not doing much as a Caddie Master. And that would’ve pushed me over the edge by about . Then again, being a Starter does get a little old after a while. You start losing faith in the human race.
Case and point: The driving range is right next to the first tee. I mean it’s right there. You can’t miss it. You know what else you can’t miss? Clocks. Clocks are everywhere too. So, logically, you would think that people coming to PLAY THE COURSE would at least glance over at the clocks once in a while to see if their SCHEDULED TEE TIME is coming up. But no. It seems that somewhere between the clubhouse and the 1st tee players enter another dimension. Space and time have no meaning. Their swings have no meaning. As a Starter, my words have no meaning.
The tough thing is, every player in the foursome should have already teed off by the time their “scheduled tee time” arrives. That is the essence of “Starter-dom.” That way, you’re either always on pace with the tee-sheet or you’re ahead of schedule and could potentially squeeze in another “secret” tee time if someone so desires.
But nobody on the driving range seemed to give a shit. Well, it’s either that or they just expect that I’ll come down and get them. Which I think was the case today. And I have to say, for such an easy job, it was a lot of work. Especially for someone who doesn’t really KNOW anybody there.
So now it’s a game. I peruse the bags that line the driving range, wait for a player to hold their finish so I can quickly check out the name on the bag and look at the tee sheet to see if the name I saw resembles anything at all. Occasionally I’d get caught and the player would stare me down as if to ask, “What do you want from me and why are you touching my bag?”
“I’m sorry sir. When are you teeing off today?”
“Well, it’s . Don’t mean to rush you (*cough* BULLSHIT *cough*), but you should be heading up to the tee now.”
“Do I have time to putt?”
“Because hundreds of squirrels will taunt you if you do.”
“Oh. Well I can handle that. I’ll be up in about 10 minutes.”
And so it went. First I’d be behind schedule. So I was a human cattle driver, corralling people up to the first tee to knock some sense into them. Then there would be a short break in between tee times which would put me AHEAD of schedule, which was great, but now when I went to the range to get people up to the first tee, they would all be upset because they were going BEFORE their time.
“No! It’s not my time yet! Don’t make me go! I didn’t even get to hit my driver!”
Who am I? Death or something? But whatever. I ate a massive lunch and had trouble moving after that. Then the job was easy again.
“You see kids? You tried your best, and you failed miserably. The lesson here is: never try.”
Ahh Homer Simpson. You were ahead of your time.
Now back to my stint as a Caddie Master. There were three possible loops today. The caddie took the one he wanted, and that was it. My job was done. It was pretty pathetic, actually. I understand there are certain challenges that present themselves while you’re performing the role of “Caddie Master,” but almost all of them are averted when caddies are absent. Then you just look bad. What kind of a Caddie “Master” are you? Why couldn’t you “master” those little bastards? But I’m still training. I hope. I’d like to think I could handle myself if I actually had caddies to work with. Guess we’ll just have to see.
Posted by Tom Collins at 3:32 AM
Friday, September 02, 2005
Alright. So I’m back in the saddle. Back to the full-time schedule. The Grind.
And man does it hurt.
It’s amazing how hard it is to carry two bags for 36 holes after a week-and-a-half off. I would’ve thought that after all of the hard work I’ve done, day in and day out, that I would be in good enough shape to handle just about anything that was thrown at me. Guess not.
And my eyes are doing well. I guess my only concern nowadays is that my eyes aren’t healing up the way they should. Apparently I should be DONE with all the drops and be pretty much back to normal by now. My doctor says not to worry, as long as I “take it easy” and use lots of drops. But I mean come on. It’s windy out there. There’s all kinds of crap flying into my eyes. One of the caddies I work with suggested wearing those wrap-around basketball goggles while I caddie to block out pretty much EVERYTHING. While not such a bad idea, I wonder how that would look. I have these swim-goggle looking things sitting on my dresser that were supposed to be used after my surgery for sleeping. And I did use them. I mean, I always managed to rip them off midway through the night and throw them across the room, but I used them. Maybe I’ll bring them in tomorrow, just to see how they go over with the rest of the caddies. Maybe I could get away with caddying in them. I’m sure it would be hilarious. Well, that and my eyes would finally be protected. I’ll have to think about it.
So let’s see. The last two days. Well, today was just your average day. Well, wait. I guess there were two things worth noting. First off, I was a dumbass again and decided not to lighten up the bags I was carrying. And secondly, I was guilty of “trying to be jolly” when I was really in no mood to try and entertain. Well, the guys were all humorless-voids anyway, but I was still stupid for trying to act like today was a normal day.
One more thing I noticed: when I’m really tired and sore from the day before, I get very “upset” when I’m carrying for “beginners” the following day. Because I’m struggling enough as it is to keep up, and then these guys are all over the place and I appear as if I’m a bad caddie because I can’t get over to my players’ in time with their clubs.
When in reality, one of the players’ is on one side of the hole, the other is on the other side, and they’re consistently hitting their balls in offsetting patterns. One will hit it a long way, and the other will whiff it four times so I have to hang by the whiffer and see if he needs another club before I can get over to the other player. And then when I get over to Mr. Longballs, he whiffs it into the hazard and argues with me about where to drop while the other player is standing next to his ball wondering why the hell I can’t be there giving him a yardage.
And at one point today, I just wanted to throw the bags down, drop to my knees and beg for mercy. It was emotional. When you’re a dumbass like me and you forget to change out two really heavy bags, by the 14th hole you can feel your shoulders start to separate from your neck and it takes every ounce of your strength to keep the bags on your shoulders. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to be able to do 36 tomorrow. And I really don’t have any way around it. There aren’t enough caddies as it is, so even IF every caddie pulls a double, there are still two or three groups that are waiting to go out (the Superintendents have been making some major changes to the course so no carts are allowed). That means the only way a player can go out on the course is if they take a caddie. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a GREAT rule, and I know it definitely made me some money this summer. But right now, I wish some of those members would carry their own bags. It’s about time they realized what somebody might actually have to carry out there. Just as my boss pointed out before, it’s possible for some of these members to go through life without ever having carried their own bag. Hence, they have no idea how far they’ve stuck their dick up your ass already. I can only hope these bags tomorrow have wings attached to them. Either that or the players had better be scratch golfers. I’m not so sure I can last if they aren’t.
Wow I am WHINING right now. I had forgotten what it was like to write when I’m tired. Moving along.
As I mentioned before, yesterday I pulled a double. Now, the second round was fairly uneventful. I was caddying for the doctor who performed my Lasik surgery, and so really all I had to do was pretend to laugh at his jokes and tell his son that the Ferrari shirt that he had on was “cool.” I mean, don’t get me wrong. I like the cars, but I’ve never seen somebody wear a shirt that had the Ferrari logo on it before. Seems a little Nascar-ish.
The round that made the most impact on me was my first loop in the morning. I was carrying one bag, and it was one of the most challenging rounds I’ve had to date. Why was it so challenging? The guy was extremely fast, he was a good stick so I actually had to be dead on with my yardages and he demanded the best service I had to offer.
“Fix that mark.”
“How far is it to that bunker?”
“Well, to the opening it’s about—“
“No, I didn’t ask how far it was to the opening. How far is it to the bunker?”
“You need to learn to speak up. Say that again?”
“Where do you see this putt going?”
“Aim two balls left.”
“You think this is going right? I don’t believe you. Really LOOK at the nose on the left. It doesn’t come into play as much as you’d think.”
And then he’d make the putt. This went on for 7 holes. After the 7th, as we were walking over to the tee, he stops me.
“Now I want you to go up to the halfway house and get me a water. While you’re up there, I want you to get yourself a water and anything else you’d like.
And while we’re walking down the 8th fairway, he started to warm up. Not very much, but just enough to show me that he really meant well. He just didn’t know how to show it. Or something like that.
“You’ll have to forgive me for not being friendlier with you. I just like to play fast and I have a meeting to get to later today. I want to make sure we make good time. And one more thing: if you’re ever feeling tired, thirsty, whatever. Don’t feel embarrassed to tell me. The way I see it, the caddie is the most important thing out here. I want to make sure you’re taken care of.”
You see, that’s the kind of thing I can’t get enough of out here. Tough-as-nails businessmen who know exactly what they want AND care about the caddies’ welfare. I mean sure, tough businessmen are a dime-a-dozen around here. So are members who really care about the caddies. But it’s extremely rare to run into a member who puts it all together.
I responded honestly: “I really appreciate that. But to be honest, I also really appreciate you pushing me a little today. Call me a Sadist, but I just really enjoy working hard and being challenged out here. It’s easy to fall into a rhythm and slack off. Many of the other caddies enjoy that. But I don’t. So trust me, I’m fine right now. This is great.”
And now that I look over what I had said to him, two things hit me. Firstly, I’m wondering if I used “Sadist” in the right context. Not really sure if I did. And I only care because I was talking to a successful businessman and I’ve heard they all have HUGE vocabularies. Secondly, I shouldn’t make any generalizations about my brothers in arms. Who knows, they may like a hard days’ work as much as I do.
But he seemed to enjoy my statement and it showed the rest of the round. He was asking for reads, my opinion on shot selection and even asked where I went to school. Maybe not a big thing to some people, but coming from this guy, I felt privileged.
I’m also wondering how much I really “enjoy a hard days’ work” when I’m sitting here bitching and moaning about how awful I feel right now. Hmmm.
On 11, he made another request.
“I feel my blood pressure going down. I need to raise it a bit. So do you. So here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to take a couple clubs from you, and you’re going back to the halfway house to get two bags’ of chips, one for me and one for you. You’re also going to get me a lemon-lime Gatorade and get yourself one as well. I’ll meet you on the 12th fairway.”
Again, an incredibly nice gesture, but my round just got a little more complex. I already have three waters in my bib, and now he wants two bags’ of chips and two Gatorades? Where does he think I’m going to put all that stuff?
But it all got done, and I was blown away by the tip. Incredible for one bag. I really hope I get that guy again soon. The money is nice, but I’m starting to feel that unless I can be challenged once in a while as a caddie, I will lose interest in it entirely. I can remember how excited I was learning how to caddie and finally graduate to carrying two bags. But once you get used to caddying, much of it becomes second nature to you. So nothing really surprises you anymore. I needed that last loop to get me focused and excited about caddying again. Take care everyone.
Posted by Tom Collins at 3:06 AM
Saturday, August 27, 2005
I'd just like to say, first off, that I haven't been able to work for the last week and a half because the course I NORMALLY work at is closed for renovations and this other course I'm helping out at as an Assistant Caddie-Master has been closed all this week for aerification.
So basically, I've been living the life Peter Gibbons always dreamed of. I do nothing all day.
And it's a wonderful thing. I've needed the break. But I feel bad, because I don't really have anything to post on a day-to-day basis. Starting next Tuesday, however, I go back to a full-time schedule. So I hope everyone's ready for the old me. Because I can't wait to start writing again.
Anyway, I found this post sitting on my desktop today and decided to finish it up. It took place a few days after my two up/two down loop.
I remember sitting in the caddie room talking to my boss one afternoon after most of the other caddies had already packed it up and gone home for the day. We were sharing stories and I had mentioned that I could not even FATHOM seeing this job as a "job." I was just having too much fun. I mean yeah, I bitch, I moan, and I know it seems obvious both to my body and to my readers that I am most definitely "working," but I was always so excited to get into work and have some fun. So I shared this with my boss.
He paused. It was a long, wistful pause.
"Yeah. I remember those days. But they'll end. I'd say I was like that for a good 3-5 years until I changed my mind. I was running up the first fairway one day and I thought to myself, 'Hey, this is WORK man.' And that's when it started to get harder to come into work every day."
I knew he was right, but I never thought I would see that day so soon. And to tell you the truth, I'm really not sure what it was recently that made me start to see all this as work.
I think part of it had to do with the fact that my boss even TOLD me that I don't HAVE to work at this other account if I didn't want to (my regular course is closed for some renovations). But this other Caddie Master keeps calling me and putting me on these guilt trips, and with me being me, I can't say no, and so I'm busting my ass again when I should probably be taking it easy. That pisses me off. It's times like these where I wish I had a steadier job, because I don't actually make any money unless I caddie. I can't just sit in a chair all day and get paid (now I'm not saying office people don't work, but you definitely aren't carrying any heavy objects over 5-7 miles unless you're helping a buddy move a desk across town or something). So yeah, I was pissed because after that "two up/two down" loop I was never able to find time to recuperate. I was right back out there the next day. The next three or four mornings I was even having a little trouble walking. Needless to say, things were looking grim for ol' JB.
And then an awesome loop came out of nowhere. And then another. The kind of loops that make you glad you're a caddie. You're paid well, you actually have some meaningful conversations with your players, and you don't feel like you want to die afterwards. They seemed like they really cared about where my life is headed. They offered suggestions from life experiences and even offered to hook me up with a place to say for a while out west.
So the positive stuff was good. I was able to enjoy myself out there. That’s the way it SHOULD be.
I think the only other thing left to ponder, at least for now, is about my performance as a caddie. I’m comfortable with just about everything there is to know out there. Except for one: reading greens. I’m not saying that I’m hopeless at it, but I think it’s fair to say that I have a bit of a phobia. My eyes are still adjusting to the Lasik surgery, and so there are days where I can’t exactly see “well.” So green reading (and finding the ball in the first place) is a little on the “challenging” side these days. But I’ve been wearing my Peak Vision sunglasses, which definitely help. I guess in the end it all comes down to confidence. After my eyes completely adjust, I think I’ll be set.
And trust me. All those things I said I was going to do once I had my surgery? I’ve been doing it. I’m so happy I was able to get the surgery done. But for now, I need to take it easy. I went into my last eye appointment and the doctor could tell, even in the dim light, that I’ve been partying a little too hard. So now I have to put this freakin’ GREASE in my eyes to keep them extra lubricated at night.
I never realized I was such a deviant. Did you?
Posted by Tom Collins at 1:33 AM
Friday, August 19, 2005
So I'm walking into my apartment tonight looking like an 80 year-old man about to collapse from a stroke, arthritis, and some strange brain disorder. Yeah, I feel like my brain has been "stretched." And yeah. I KNOW nobody believes me.
So what the hell happened to me?
Well, I'll tell you. Two up/Two down "happened" to me.
Translation: Yesterday I carried two bags AND forecaddied for two people in a cart. So basically I looked like an American Gladiator with two bags over my shoulders running like Forrest Gump. Yeah, you heard me. American-flag-skin-tight-shorts and all the fixin's baby. I was an animal.
You're probably wondering: How in the world are you supposed to carry two bags, take care of those two players AND forecaddie for two lazy bastards in a cart for 18 holes? You got me. I just ran like a crack-addict on speed and hoped I ended up in the right place at the right time.
And the worst part? Yeah, one of the bags I'm carrying belongs to a metro-sexual. So he's constantly getting this and that out of his bag. Making sure he looks okay. Calling his friends. I sat on the 6th tee for 5 minutes as the cart rolled away like the last ferry out of HADES as this douchebag rifled through his pockets just to find a cigar CUTTER.
For a SECOND, I was completely okay with this. I mean hey, he's a rich guy, why not take a moment to enjoy a cigar as your playing golf on this beautiful day? But after watching the two guys on the cart get a MASSIVE head start on me and seeing the other player look back from 50 yards away, you can imagine my dismay when I see the guy finally find a PLASTIC CUTTER. I know it's stupid, because of course the majority of Americans would either bite off one end of the cigar with their teeth or pull out a plastic cutter of their own, but this guy had a professional cigar CASE with his name embroidered on it. That cutter better be made of GOLD if we're going to wait this long.
It reminds me of being stuck in a completely unnecessary traffic jam (the kind where you're just driving like a normal person down the road and all of a sudden three lanes of cars slow down and come to a complete stop) where after 15 minutes of moving 3.567 inches you're screaming at the top of your lungs: "Somebody better be fucking DEAD up there!"
Which of course is a great thing to say. I suppose karma is coming back to me in a big way with this metro-sexual.
I was caddying for the president of the club, the head professional, one of the board members, and one of their freaky little friends (Mr. Metro-sexual). So I'm not really sure how I would be caddying for "normal people" under these circumstances, but for these people, yeah, I'm definitely kicking it up a few notches.
Now, the head professional was a MUTANT off the tee. He's 6'6'' and I swear his LEGS are taller than I am. The guy is huge. So with all the leverage he gets for being tall, it's no surprise that he bombs it well over 330 yards off of the tee. And guess what. HE'S one of the player's in the cart. Great.
So while I'm killing myself trying to keep up and get everyone's yardage, there's no way in hell I can EVER help out the head pro until he's on the green. Fortunately, he was cool with me by the 16th hole. I think he just took pity on me. He started asking where I graduated from, how my golf game was looking, whatever. I was surprised I was even CLOSE to being coherent what with all of my major motor functions starting to shut down and my face starting to turn as red as a "cooked lobster" (this is what the Caddie Master said to me after I came in).
A lot of times you'll hear runners' say that after a while, running is all mental.
Yeah, okay, whatever.
I didn't believe that until today. Because running as fast as you can with two bags on your shoulders gets old and painful after a while. For me, holes 12-17 were a little tricky. I think that's where I required a little more mental finesse than HERCULEAN BEASTLINESS. That's probably why I feel like my brain is "stretched" right now. And 18? That was a VICTORY LAP compared to the rest of the round.
So yeah. I feel like an 80 year-old man right now. And it hurts.
Posted by Tom Collins at 1:59 AM
Monday, August 08, 2005
Man. There’s so much to talk about. I just got home and all I want to do right now is bitch and moan. So in other words, I’m just dying to get to the keyboard and write a little ditty for all my friends out there.
So what’s been happening with you guys?
Hmm. Wow. Well that’s just great. Me? Oh, well I caddied for a complete dickhead on Wednesday. Wait. Maybe that’s a little mean. By “dickhead” I mean “couldn’t please a $4.75 hooker with a $1 million dollar set of gem-plated Victoria Secret panties.” Yeah. That’s a little more “P.C.”
So there was this member-guest on Wednesday at this other golf course and the Caddie Master over there really needed some help, so me and some of the other go-to Mod-Squad boys showed up ready to pimp out the joint and show this world what caddying was all about.
And then the assignments came out.
I was paired with the biggest asshole this side of the
“Good luck with that one.”
“Additional generic sympathetic caddie-comment Tom.”
They’d pat me on the shoulder and offer words of advice, but I had no choice but to die a little inside. I mean how am I supposed to relate to this guy? I have NOT rolled around in fecal matter and I could get an AMAZING amount of use out of a $1 million dollar set of gem-plated Victoria Secret panties (I’ll let you do with that comment what you will). How in the world was I to get along with this human TURD of a man? What could we connect on?
The answer? Nothing.
When I first met him he didn’t even open his mouth.
“Hello there. I’m Tom. I’ll be taking care of you today.”
Look caddie up and down, frown and drop half a deuce in your pants, and walk over to tell a dirty joke to your partner. Yeah. I’d say that initial introduction went over well.
His partner was too busy being mortally offended that he was being FORCED to take a caddie, so any MEANINGFUL conversation with him was thrown right out the window from the get-go.
“Just so you know, I’m USED to carrying my own bags. I really don’t need you.”
You know what? That’s good sir. Too bad you’re TAKING A FREAKIN’ CADDIE TODAY. TOUGH TITTIES.
So I’m working with two players who would rather carry their own bags and complain about me behind my back than pay for my services. Well, no. I’m sure they’d rather complain about me TO MY FACE. You know, I’m tempted to ask people like that what exactly happened to them in their life that turned their souls into writhing, puss-spewing sewers of human emotion. I mean seriously. If you’re filthy rich and have absolutely nothing to worry about for the rest of your life, what is there to complain about? If taking the time to FIND something to complain about whets your proverbial palate, then I guess go for it. But there has GOT to be more to life than complaining all the time. Right?
You’re probably sitting there wondering, “Hey, why were these guys assholes again? You haven’t really shown any supporting evidence.” Well it’s funny you should ask. I was just wondering the same thing. I mean, it HAS been since Wednesday. EONS have come and gone since then. But let’s see if I can remember a few of the reasons why.
Firstly, the member I was working with was one of those players who checked and DOUBLE checked his opponents’ score after every hole.
“You got a 5 there? Are you sure? One off the tee, two in the bunker, three out of the rough…and then what?”
“I two putted.”
“Right. Wait. You sure?”
“Did you ground your club in the bunker? Because that’s a penalty.”
“No you didn’t or NO you don’t think that’s a penalty? Because I’ll tell you something, it IS a penalty. And you would be wise to brush up on your USGA rulebook knowledge before you play in such a serious event EVER again.”
“Why don’t you just impale yourself with the fucking flagstick?”
“Will you help? I hate my life.”
I would also be looking back from the fairway as the foursome was teeing off and of COURSE my player would be the one to step away from his ball and gesture to the rest of the foursome to move “somewhere else” because apparently the players were “in his line of sight.” Come on. If you’re THAT picky about where people stand, I think you’re just LOOKING for something to blame your bad shot on. But hey, that’s just my opinion. What do I know?
Then there was the infamous “found club” incident on the 8th green. One of the other foursome’s had forgotten a wedge in the rough just off of the putting surface and one of my anal-retentive players (although who wants to have ANYTHING leaking out of their anus) happened to see the mystery club and INSISTED that I pick it up and deal with it. Well now. I’m carrying two bags. We’re playing in a tournament. I’m not going to put this new club into one of my player’s bags and risk a penalty. Because Lord knows after all of the interrogation and harassment thus far, the other two players have got to be DYING to call some kind of penalty on my boys. So I asked the other two players if THEY would like to help me out by carrying the club in the cart until after the 9th hole where they could drop it off in the clubhouse and be done with it.
Well no. THEY didn’t want to take care of the club either, because THEY were afraid of MY players calling a penalty on THEM for holding an extra club. I tell ya, there is NO love lost between these boys. And while they were having this little debate on the 9th tee-box I’m waiting by the cart to receive the final verdict. Well of course this means that I’m falling behind in my caddie duties because it’s too late to get in front of them and into a forecaddie position (strike a pose). So NOW I have to double-time it just to get out in front of my players and avoid any MORE criticism.
By the way: did you know that pigs have 30-minute orgasms? Just thought I’d throw that out there.
Because if MY players knew this, they may look into trying to make at least ONE MAMMAL on the planet happy.
And don’t read into that comment too much. I’m not really trying to insinuate ANYTHING. Well, no. I suppose I am. And I’m sorry. That’s an insult to pigs. They don’t even WEAR million-dollar pairs of gem-plated Victoria Secret panties. So I guess my boys have NO chance of getting lucky.
Would “raping” pigs be an option? Holy crap. Did I just go there? I hope nobody from the EPA or some group of over-protective farmer’s stumble across this website. I mean I’m only trying to help my players. Old-heartless-DICKFACES need lovin’ too ya know.
So anyway, the two “cool” guys playing in this little hoot-nanny finally agree to take the club for ONE hole in their cart (by the way, the club is not even TOUCHING their bags). And then I found $20. Oh yeah. Now THAT story just got a whole hell of lot more interesting.
I also appreciated the random dumping my player decided to undertake during his round. Every time he picked up a Gatorade, a candy bar, a Margarita in a Styrofoam cup, whatever. As soon as he finished one of these items, he’d walk with it for an undetermined amount of time until he felt good and ready to litter. Because let’s face it, you really DO have to be in the mood to litter. I might as well have been holding a pooper-scooper. He’d walk right by garbage cans, pretend to be oblivious and then throw the items on the ground just to test me. I mean I have no proof, but what ELSE could he have been doing that for? His crappy HEALTH?
Now, the round wasn’t ALL bad. By the 18th hole the other two players’ wanted me to chug a beer with them on the tee-box. Yeah. Like THAT will ever happen. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to do it, but the minute that sweet sweet nectar touched my lips I’d be sitting at this computer searching for another job instead of talking to YOU good people. So no thanks. But if you’re still interested in buying me a few beers, let’s talk after the round is over. No, really. I’m serious.
Oh, I almost forgot the biggest kicker of all. The Caddie Master had mentioned to me before the round began that yes, all of the caddies “dislike” the player I’d be caddying for, but the boss believed that it was only because the other caddies weren’t doing a good enough job. He believed that a decent caddie would be compensated “appropriately.” And oh my LORD was he right. I received a remarkable rose-scented tip for carrying two bags. Totally blew me away. I mean, I could sense by the 15th or 16th hole I had earned their respect, but I didn’t think I’d be walking away with money to spare. So for all of my bitching and moaning, I would certainly go through that again. And oh yeah. I would DEFINITELY make the same comments about the pigs. Because let’s face it, if you’re capable of enduring a 30-minute orgasm (as uncomfortable as that might be), you could withstand an infinite amount of insults and jokes at your expense. It’s kind of like guys who can afford to buy a Ferrari. That small penis thing? Probably true. Do they care? No. They have a FERRARI.
Posted by Tom Collins at 4:04 PM