Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Playing It Safe

So I carried some pretty massive bags on Friday. I knew I would be sore. Probably tired, too. So I decided to play it safe after the round was over. I got together with some friends and played poker all night. Oh yeah. Almost forgot. I drank some great beer too. I mean hey, while we're playing it safe, why not add in a quality lager or two?

And I kicked some ass. Regardless of how many beers they fed me, I was unshakeable. Somehow, after all of the trash talk, bluffs, and dirty jokes, I came out smelling like a rose: I made $12. Heh. Alright. I said my goodbyes and after drinking glass after glass after glass of water for about an hour, I peed my brains out and was finally able to drive home.

The time: 4 am.

Yes, it's true. I COULD'VE hit the sack and been running on a few hours of sleep before I rolled into work, but I remembered that only babies and small dogs quit THAT easily after a night of drinking and gambling. So I decided to be a man. I was going to go home and make myself some freakin' BREAKFAST. Then, I was going to take a SHOWER. And then, much to the surprise of EVERYONE, I was going to go to work.

I was feeling pretty beat (yet quite manly) so I made sure on the way in that I stopped to grab another energy drink. That "Full Throttle" from the other day knew JUST how I liked it. I was so excited to buy it when I walked into the 7-Eleven. I felt like a Manatee on angel-dust. Those fuckers are HAPPY. Made me want to scream at the cashier as she rang up my drink: "FULL THROTTLE BITCHES!" But I didn't. Probably should've too. That would've been EXTRA manly.

I pulled into the parking lot at 6:15 am. SOMEHOW another caddie got in before I did. I mean number 2 on the list isn't that bad on a Saturday, but I WAS a little pissed that I was up ALL night, pulled into work WICKED early, and STILL didn't get the #1 spot. But whatever. That really wasn't important right now. Because at that moment, I had to take a HUGE dump. We're talking photo finish here. Even if I GOT to the toilet in time, I still may be in trouble as I got my pants down.

I was delighted to find out that I had arrived SO early that the freakin' caddie room wasn't even OPEN yet. Crap. No, I didn't mean that. Think of bunnies and little cuddly puppies and other little creatures one would never associate with pieces of--Ha. Nope. Not gonna do it. I wish I was allowed in the clubhouse. There's a novel idea. Then maybe I could SHIT. But no, I'm not allowed. So yeah, let me just stand HERE and talk to the first guy to arrive. Yeah. That's EXACTLY what I want to do.

After about 10 minutes, one of my legs started to go numb and I began to shake uncontrollably. You KNOW it's serious when you start to shake. Sweat's running down my neck and Pee-Wee Herman jumps in front of me and starts dancing to "Tequila." I don't know WHAT the hell is going on. I just felt like hitting somebody. Well, either that or TAKING A DUMP. Is this caddie even talking anymore? I mean, what does this caddie have to say that's so freakin' interesting anyway?

"I picked up my cat last night from the vet's office. Fortunately, they got rid of all the cancer."

Oh yeah? Well I don't care about your FUCKING FUZZBALL of a pet. I HAVE TO TAKE A SHIT.

Great, my Tourette's are acting up again.

Finally, about 20 years later, somebody came to open up the cart barn. I almost started CRYING I was so happy.

Ahem. So anyway, after all THAT was over with, I sat down on the couch and fell asleep for about an hour. Life is good.

I woke up to an attractive woman placing a huge SHEET of banana bread on the desk. Life is really good. Too much sugar though. I realize caddies can act immature most of the time, but we really ARE past the age of 10. Not sure why somebody would put brown sugar on top. But she did, and I could only handle one piece. Some of the other caddies LOVED the sugar and had like 4 pieces. It was like crack to them. The whole sheet was destroyed in about 15 minutes.

Well now that I had my sugar, I was a little wired. So I had a crazy idea: I need to gamble with my boss. I don't really think he trusts anyone until he's won some money off of them. Plus I've been playing cards all night, so my desire to gamble is quite legendary. So really, I'd be killing two birds with one stone. That's all that is.

So I whip out $2. Oh yeah. High-roller here.

"Hey boss. We're playing one hand of 5-card stud for $2."

"Sure." No hesitation whatsoever.

Some of the caddies wake up. Is the rook really going one-on-one against the boss?

The hand is dealt, and I've got ace-king-queen in my hand. He had nothing. So I was up $2.

"You want to go again?" I couldn't resist.

"YEAH. But we're not playing any of this 5-card stud bullshit."

"What do you want to play?"

"7-card stud."

Oh like that's soooo much better. But okay. I'll play your game.

I'm dealt a full house. Kings over 7's. He's got 3 pairs. I'm up $4. At this point, he's getting a little flustered and we've started to attract 10-15 onlookers.

"Well I have to freakin' win something. Why don't we just draw a card from the deck? You draw first."


"And if you pick up a freakin' ace, you can forget about loopin' today."

I picked up a 6. He laughed, and picked up a 5.

"FUCK! We're going again. This is BULLSHIT!"

And after 5 more games, I was up to $16. He was baffled. I was baffled. Even your MOM was baffled. It was great. With every game, cheers would roar out from the caddie room. My luck seemed never-ending. But by the 9th or 10th hand, my profit was down to $14 and the boss finally had to work.

He didn't say anything to me for a while after that. I was wondering what the hell he was thinking. Was he pissed? Itching for more? Impressed?

Well I'll tell you what he was thinking. Revenge. Getting even. He was setting me up on the worst possible loop today. A predictable move, but I was a little nervous now because I hadn't been to bed yet and I knew I would have to be alert to make ANY kind of impression on these players.

So I chugged my "Full Throttle," let out a war cry and went out to the first tee.

To be honest, I've been thinking about asking my boss about some more training lately because I've been seriously considering making my job as a caddie a little more permanent. I just love this job. And he's been a caddie for over 20 years. If there was anyone who could grill me on technique and give me some new pointers, it was him. So I approached him before I went to my players.

"Hey boss. I've been meaning to ask you this for awhile. I was wondering if you could take me out for some more training. I need some pointers. I'll even put some of my winnings from today towards it if--"

"Don't try to give your fucking winnings to me. Those are yours. If I won money from you, you better believe I'd be in your face asking for it. Plus I train for free. Get out there. You're on the tee."

And so I was off. Not exactly the epic "talk" I wanted to have, but I'll take it.

Today I would be carrying one bag and forecaddying for a guy in a cart. Sounds simple, but I've caddied for these guys before. They're little bitches. Maybe not as needy as the inaugural "little bitch" everyone read about, but these two are definitely up there. For instance: you know why this guy is riding in a cart? Because the rates went up recently for caddies and he doesn't always feel like forking over the dough. So he's taking a cart to try and AVOID using a caddie. But I am so onto his game. Tough shit sir. I'm going to caddie for you ANYWAY to see how much I can extract from that tight little fist of yours. I'm sure your ass is retaining quite a bit of liquid these days, too. Just let it go, sir.

I'm not sure if everyone remembers, but there was a player I talked about a while back that complained to the Caddie Master about a caddie screwing up ONE yardage. I was also working in a group with that caddie one day, and while this player was on the tee, he was telling all of his friends to make sure they double-checked their yardages because the caddie "doesn't know what the hell is going on." Or something to that effect. So yeah, that guy who complained to the boss? Well that was the bag I was carrying. And I had gotten along fine with him before, but then again, I hadn't caddied for him after an intense night of gambling and drinking.

The first 4 or 5 holes were really rough. Every time I'd run over to help the guy in the cart, he'd either say he was fine or run away from me. Like bunkers? I'd run over to rake it for him and he'd hold up a hand and say he would take care of it. Okay, that's fine if it happens 2 or 3 times in a round, because some players are just trying to be friendly. But all the time? Come on. What's the point of having a caddie--oh OKAY. I GET it. I see what you're doing you sneaky bastard. You're trying to get out of paying me after the round is over with. Well like I said before, I'm not letting your wrinkly-old-ass off the hook that easily. Oh, is your ball on the green? BAM. I just marked and cleaned it for you. Those clubs you threw on the ground way out of the way so you were sure I wouldn't touch them and your Dad never said he loved you until you moved out when you were 18 and your sister ended up stripping in Vegas because she thought her connection would get her a spot in a movie someday and those stocks you had in Yahoo tanked with the dot-com crash all helped to make you the worthless sack of shit you are today. But I just grabbed those clubs and cleaned them for you. How do you like that, little man?

I wanted to do more, but he was in that cart and he was FLYING ahead of everyone. It was hard as hell to give him yardages because he was beating ME to his ball most of the time. But what can I say, I tried my best.

I thought the other guy was going to kill me within the first 6 holes because he kept hitting everything short and you could tell he really thought it was my fault. Now, I know I'm still struggling on the greens, but I feel like I make up for my lack of skill on the greens with some INCREDIBLE enthusiasm (which I'm sure is quite apparent on this site) and some killer yardages. I take pride in my yardages. I double check them off of different sprinkler heads if I have time. They are close to perfect.

"You said 146, right?"

"Yes sir."

"I hit my 145 club and ended up short."

And then he'd shoot me a quick stare to let me know he was watching me. What an asshole. There are so many reasons why you left the ball short. For starters, every time you hit the ball it sounds like you're catching it a little on the thin side. Is it possible that you actually needed to hit the club SQUARELY to get it to the green this time? I mean call me crazy, but I think club manufacturers have the MIDDLE of the clubface in mind when they design clubs. Or maybe it was just a bad swing. That's been known to happen in golf, sir.

But the 6th hole was when all of his anger and frustration finally came out in the open. No more of this passive-aggressive talking behind my back sissy stuff.

He had a blind shot over a bunker. Before he had arrived at his ball, I had picked out a tree above the flag that would be a perfect aiming point to try and take advantage of the slope in the green. There are three greenside bunkers on this hole, two of which are located on the front right and front left of the green. A small patch of fairway runs up between them. The tree I had picked for him to aim at was directly above this patch of fairway.

"Sir, it's 147 front and 168 to the flag."

"Where are we going here?"

Well now. I'm glad you asked.

"Do you see that tree with the lighter shade of green? That's a great line."

"Okay. Here we go."

He didn't even look over the bunker to see if I was right. Maybe I WAS getting on his good side.

His shot was hit thin (again) but it was on the line I had chosen for him. It landed on that patch of fairway and rolled up onto the front edge of the green.

"Ooo. You're a little short."

"Well I should've been fine. I mean, YOU aimed me."

With that, he turned and walked up the fairway.

Well excuse me princess. I'm sorry you're not 2 feet away. Maybe SOMEBODY needs to learn how to hit the ball a little higher on the clubface. You put the ball on the EXACT line I had chosen for you. And what happened? You ended up just where you needed to be. Isn't managing your mishits a big part of this game? Or do I just hug my crack-rock when I watch the golf channel. I don't really know.

So in an effort to quell any desires he might have about complaining to the boss about me (even though I know my boss would understand), I tried to humor him for the rest of the round. I tried to find out what he thought was funny, and then repeat it over and over and over again.

And nothing seemed to be working until 9. He rolled in a long birdie putt and as soon as it went in the hole, I made a sound: BAAdooomPPSHhhhh. It's that sound "they" used to make on the drum set after a joke was told. And he laughed hysterically. In thinking about it, I have no idea where I was going with that joke. It makes no sense to me at all. It's not like the putt was funny or anything. It's not like he made a wisecrack to one of his playing partners after he knocked it in. I don't know. I guess that was just his humor: anything that doesn't make sense. Okay, I can work with that. It's a mix of Dadaism and Russian Deconstructivism. You see? I'm on the right path already.

But I was a little bummed after a while because none of my jokes seemed to be working on him.

He would be walking down the fairway and I would yell out: "Cheese doodles!"

And he didn't laugh.

"Your wife's a whore!"

Nope. Guess that didn't work either.

So by the end of the round, my players' couldn't wait to get away and neither could I. At least the bag was light. Although, I suppose anything would seem lighter after lifting those two black-holes from the other day. Those were DENSE.


shanks said...

JB, this was one of your very best articles to date. Amazing how an impending shit can focus your thoughts. And I had visions of Brian Doyle-Murray when reading of your gambling session with the caddie-master. Personally, I think a caddie who's good AND funny is worthy of mucho dinero. Especially if I the golfer were having a rough day. Might as well enjoy myself some kind of way. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I can just picture you throughout the entire night and day -- good writing -- keep it up

richard said...

great blog! Thought I'd share that I've posted a pretty comprehensive list of golf blogs including yours at golfSLO.com.

Anonymous said...

"Help me if you can I'm feeling down" - I also think I must be lost.

I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw him on the golf course yesterday. Now this is strange because usually I see him in the supermarket.

Honest really, last time I saw him there he was right in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender".

He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a shiny, new lcd tv to go with that blue suede sofa of yours.

But Elvis said I, In the Ghetto nobody has a lcd tv .

Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger.

Then I'm gonna go home, put ma dancin' suit on, munch me some uppers and freak out to that maaaaaaaaad surfing scene in Apocalypse Now on ma lcd tv .

How cool is that boy?

And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . .

"You give me love and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on "

Strange day or what? :-)

used-callaway-girl said...

Can U help me with my backswing? :-)


get a tee time here
golf course tee times see you on the first hold ;-)


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