Sunday, May 29, 2005

How Am I AWAKE Right Now

Ever seen that movie Pi? That's exactly how I feel right now.

4:34 am. Press return.

I'm feeling a little cooky. I don't want to make this a habit, but I was asleep by 7 pm last night and woke up around 4 am this morning. Pretty nuts. Hey, that's 9 hours. Plenty of sleep. Time to freakin' get up and write.

I've been trying to update the site for a couple of days now, but lately I've been so exhausted that I can't seem to do anything but sleep when I get home. I mean hey, I love to write, but we're talking about REST here. And after my last few loops, you'd understand.

So what the hell have I been up to?

Well on Friday I was caddying for two women. Don't stare at asses. Don't stare at asses. Hey Tom?

What?

Don't stare at asses.

It was a foursome and the boss made SURE that I was the one who would be carrying for the two ladies. I guess I'm just putting out that respectable "vibe" these days. Or maybe the boss thinks I'm gay.

No. Nope. It's definitely the vibe.

After taking off the ol' hat and introducing myself to everyone, I heard that one of the guys in the foursome works at a ski shop. Being a former ski-bum myself, I inquired as to what he's been up to the past few years. You know: where did you hit your "sickest" line?

I mentioned that I was out in Tahoe for about 6 months before I broke my collarbone and had to head back early. I hit a tree. I learned very quickly that trees don't really move out of your way. They just kinda sit there like rocks. Before I hit the tree (and I can still remember exactly which one it was), I saw it coming and half expected to break the damn thing in half. I mean hey, I was really cookin'. But no. It decided to break ME in half. Well, maybe not in HALF. But as anyone who has ever broken their collarbone will tell you: it freakin' hurts.

So where was I? Oh yeah. So as soon as I mentioned Tahoe the guy starts rattling off some of the local resorts: Heavenly, Northstar, Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, etc etc. Upon hearing that I had only been to a few of these resorts during my stay, he added: "Man, you really didn't get anything out of that trip. What a waste."

Well that was a dickhead thing to say.

There is so much more to Tahoe than skiing. Let's see: I was working 3 jobs. I was partying. I was scaling mountains. I was working out 4 days a week. I was gambling in Reno. I was drinking some great local brews. I was getting my car unstuck for the umpteenth time because another storm brought in 4 FEET. I was going to concerts. I was given a nickname and dubbed "a local" by the time I left. I drove across the country with two-weeks worth of clothes in my car to a place I had never been before. I knew no one. I left 6 months later. You do the math. I most definitely accomplished some things. So dude, don't say my trip was a "waste." The time YOU spent out there was a VACATION. Freakin' tourist. Or as any ski bum would call you: GAPER.

So, needless to say, I didn't necessarily like this guy from the start. The rest of the group was alright, but the round definitely started off on a bad note.

Another problem I ran into, which was of course totally my fault, was that I was way too courteous. I mean yeah, that can be a good thing. But I was taking it to the "nth" degree. I was saying thank you every time they handed me one of their clubs. And because the ladies were taking a lot of swings, the thank-yous started coming out of my ass. I couldn't seem to stop. I bet I sounded like a broken record after a while. Man it was annoying.

And I don't think either of the women hit a shot over 150 yards all day long. I mean the reds aren't AS long as the other tees, but you're still looking at about 6100 yards. So let's figure this out: if their average shot carried about 50 yards, at 6100 you're looking at 122 strokes. Each. Not counting putting. I mean sure, they DID pick up their ball a few times to help speed up play, but it was pretty bad.

On the 11th hole one of the ladies was putting for PAR. But instead of putting out to see if she could've made it, she simply picked up. PICKED UP? What are you doing woman! The planets had to align themselves just so you'd get it on the green! Freakin' putt that out!

And I wasn't the only one who was a little upset with her decision. The rest of the group had a little intervention for her as we walked off of the green.

"Why did you pick that ball up? That was for par."

"Really? I didn't know what I was putting for."

"Honey, this was a par-3."

"Really?"

Pause.

"Sweetie, you're a goof."

But you could tell that this woman really didn't care. Today was a walk in the park for her. She was defying Mark Twain's famous quote with every step.

And back to this courteous thing. It was so hard to keep looking away from these women when they were about to hit. Not because I was staring at their asses or anything (and believe me, they were nice), but because I knew that the other two guys in the group (the husband and the boyfriend of the other girl) would be watching me to make SURE I was behaving.

To be honest, when a player is about to hit, I'm normally focusing on an area AROUND the ball. That's the best method I've found for figuring out exactly where the ball will end up after somebody makes contact. Because sure you can just watch where it goes, but you can get a better sense of how well the ball was struck by looking at the impact zone and listening. I don't know. I'm going off on a tangent so I'll stop. But basically, it would make my job more difficult if I was just staring at boobs all day. Because I'd lose focus and forget to plan ahead. But these two other guys don't know that. I have to make sure I'm looking up the fairway as much as possible so they don't get pissed off. And yes, I SUPPOSE I also wanted the two ladies to feel comfortable around me so they don't have to worry about somebody staring at them. But it was amazing to me how hard it was to keep my eyes off of them. Old habits die hard I guess.

There were a few times in the round when I wanted to call out to everyone, "Hey look! Look how respectful I am! I'm not staring at their asses!"

But I didn't. And now that I think about it, my actions probably served pretty well as a decoy for the other caddie. Because while the two other guys were watching me to make sure I was behaving, the other caddie could stare at these ladies as long as he wanted. Bastard.

But without question the highlight of the day came on 14.

The two women had just hit their 12th or 13th shots into this par-5 and the group was actually getting a little closer to the green.

About 100 yards out, the fairway is roped off to encourage carts to find a different way to get to the green. These shin-high ropes will be forever known as "caddie snares" in my book.

So here I am, carrying two bags and staring down this rope. I can see it coming. At this point, it's 10 feet away. I'm thinking to myself: self, be careful about stepping over. Make sure to give yourself plenty of clearance.

One foot is now out of harms way.

I mean, I was taking my time. One foot over? I rock. I am so good.

But I let it get to my head. As soon as that first foot cleared, I was already thinking about the green. Look at how brown it is from all of the sand they've been dumping on it. It looks like crap. But what a wonderful place to set these bags down.

Just as I'm lifting up my other foot, one of the bags catch on the rope and I fall flat on my face.

Have you ever heard somebody fall over with two golf bags on their shoulders? Well it's loud. Clubs clink together and a sack of potatoes hits the ground.

WUMP.

Getting up wasn't that easy either. My left foot was still snagged on the rope (don't ask me how) and I couldn't seem to get it unstuck. So I fell over again trying to get up. I'm sure the other people in the group thought they were watching the nature channel or something. I bet it was a lot like watching a seal move from water to dry ground. Yeah. A fat-ass seal.

So I finally get up, and nobody's laughing. What the hell.

So FINE. I'll start laughing. I mean come on, that's hysterical. After working so hard all day, I get taken down HARD by a freakin rope. One of my players finally spoke up.

"I guess the maintenance guys put these ropes out here to make sure the caddies are paying attention."

What? I WAS paying attention. Didn't you hear all of that internal monologue I was just spouting off about making sure to clear the rope? Crap. So now, in addition to looking like a jackass, they all think that I'm stoned or something for not seeing the rope. Great.

And I guess I should correct one thing before moving on. One person did laugh--briefly--after I fell. The other caddie. I mean he HAD to.

"Dude, I'm so glad you didn't fall when my guy was hitting."

Well wouldn't THAT have been a gem.

But the rest of the round was great. And the tip was awesome. I guess OVERTLY averting my eyes all day paid off.

Then there was Saturday.

There were a crapload of caddies that decided to smoke some rock before work again. So when I came in a 7 am there were already 15 guys ahead of me. Where are they getting their crack?

And it was tough for a few hours. Sitting around, doing nothing. The worst part about having 15 guys in front of you is that there's nowhere to sit when you come in. That's really all caddying is. If you get a loop that's just a bonus. The main point of caddying is just to sit around and gamble all day. You just need to get in early enough to get a chair.

Some of the caddies were joking around about picketing outside because NOBODY was playing today. The tee sheet was bullshit. From 7:30-12 there were names and plus-signs all over it. I think only 5 groups had gone out in 3 hours. It was pathetic. So of course the caddies were getting riled up about it. When I finally heard my name a couple of caddies jumped up and blocked the door yelling, "No! Don't let Tom out!"

I was lucky. Getting out before all of those guys ahead of me? Priceless.

So I hopped in the cart with the boss and caught a ride over to the range to meet my foursome. Today was a forecaddying job. Piece of cake.

But then I heard who I would be caddying for. Now, I haven't caddied for him before, but I've heard stories. I was in the caddie room recently when a new-hire called and the boss was answering some questions. Somebody brought up this player's name saying, "Hey, this new kid could caddie for him. That could be his first loop." And everyone laughed. Upon hearing the laughter, the kid on the other end probably asked what everyone was laughing about. The boss simply replied: "Some of the caddies want to put you out on a terrible loop. But don't worry. I wouldn't do that to you."

Well, today the boss WAS "doing" it to me. And I know that sounds bad, but what can I say. I was definitely getting fucked. Today I would meet the man behind the myth: Mr. Reputation.

Now when I first met him, I have to say I wasn't impressed. He didn't look very intimidating. He just looked like an old guy. To be honest, I was more worried about the overall make-up of the group. Three of the four were members, which meant I really had to focus today or they would KNOW I was screwing something up. They all seemed nice enough though.

And for 13 holes, the round went very well. Sure they were a little finicky, but I was able to adapt pretty quickly so there weren't any problems.

On number 6, one of the players hit a crappy drive but hit an incredible 3wd that avoided both of the greenside bunkers and rolled up onto the apron. After getting the yardage for Mr. Reputation, I ran over to this player as he was walking up to his ball to congratulate him.

"Sir, that was a great shot."

"Yep."

"It's rare for me to see somebody avoid both of these bunkers--"

"Yep."

"--and roll it up the slope from back there."

"Yep."

Okay, so maybe I should shut up now.

Yep.

So I just kept my mouth shut and double-timed it to make sure they had nothing to bitch about. And like I said, for 13 holes I was golden.

But then came 14. This post seems to be all about 14.

A foursome was in front of us playing a scramble. Not sure why they were doing this. They all looked like they were pretty new to the game (that's a PC term for "hackers"), so maybe they were playing a scramble to speed up play.

Well, by 14 they were slugs. All of them. Fat-ass slugs. Our group caught up to them on 10, and from then on, the pace of play had progressively gotten worse. So on 14 they waved us through. And that's when all hell broke loose.

I mean, it happens to all of us at some point. A group tells you to play through, and you instantly feel rushed. It may even take you a few holes to settle back into a rhythm. For some reason, playing through a group can be one of the most stressful events known to man. It's right up there with watching the water in a flushed toilet go "up" instead of "down."

So every player in my foursome forgot how to play golf. Not only did they forget how to play golf, but they went blind. Well, blind and perhaps a little afflicted by Tourette's.

So you have players who were normally walking off every hole with a bogey or better skanking shots into the bunkers, skulling shots into the water, and cursing everything that moved. Mr. Reputation was the first to break down.

I was over raking a bunker when Mr. Reputation skanked his second shot into the right rough. Of course I didn't see his shot. How could I possibly see his shot when I was just watching two OTHER guys hit?

Well, apparently HE didn't see his shot either. Not sure how that worked out.

So he's driving up the fairway like a madman looking for his ball. He finds a ball in the fairway and jumps out of the cart with a club.

"That's not my ball! FUCK!"

"CRAPBAG! Who's is it?"

"I don't FUCKING know!"

One of the guys in the other group yells out: "That's mine!"

"SHIT! Where's my ball? Tom! Where's that FUCKING FUCK SHIT FUCK FUCK BALL??"

"I--"

"TITSASSCOCKFACEDOUCHEHOMELESSGUY!"

"I didn't get to see your shot. I was raking a bunker."

"SHIT!"

And on and on it went. Finally we found Mr. Reputation's ball. He quickly hit it and raced up to the green to get off of this God-forsaken hole. Balls were going everywhere. All of my guys were going back and forth, hitting their balls and then forgetting where they went, and this foursome that was letting us play through somehow kept getting in the way. I didn't understand it. They're letting us play through, yet they're driving up and parking their carts AHEAD of us? So much stress. Why can't we all just get along?

By the middle of 15 the Tourettes had worn off and my guys were finally starting to relax a bit. But man that was crazy. I was pitching a perfect game until that hole. But I just couldn't keep up with everyone. They were all hitting at the same time. It was every man for himself.

After 18 I realized exactly WHY nobody wanted to take Mr. Reputation. In addition to his high-maintenance, demanding personality, he was also very cheap. It was one of the lowest tips I've ever received. And I busted my ass out there. My boss came out to ask me how it went.

"Were you able to squeeze $80 out of that one?"

"Nope."

"Ahh."

"But--"

"Yeah yeah. I know."

I wanted to say that I was really just glad that he got me out when he did. But I think he understood that. He just felt bad about the tip. But if the boss continues his pattern, my next loop should be pretty lucrative.

The time is now 6 am. Time to grab a quick bite to eat and head over to the course. Today is going to be a long day. Work, dinner with friends, poker till late, and then I get back home. Hope to post again soon.

5 comments:

David Burton said...

After reading your comments about the women golfers, I thought you might get a laugh form this.

http://www.mjongolf.com/archives/2005/05/18/golf-terminology/

Jam Boy said...

Thanks for the link. That's hilarious. The women I've seen aren't quite that bad. But close.

golfing-girls said...

You any good at golf? come and play with me tomorrow! get a tee time here golf times and i'll see you on the first hold ;-)

mandy

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