Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Right Thing To Do

I was told to come in this morning around 8 am. There was a rather large group that was SUPPOSED to be teeing off around 9 and I was one of the caddies' selected to help out. Well in reality, that's not exactly what happened. As it turns out, there weren't enough players showing up this morning to warrant a large list of caddies. For some reason people around these parts are terrified of golfing under an overcast sky. Last week the temperature was almost unbearable with the humidity and EVERYONE wanted to play. Now the weather is PERFECT, (around 75) but because of the overcast sky people crap their pants and then call in to cancel their respective tee times. I just don't get it.

So I ended up waiting around for 5 hours. To be honest, I’m glad this happened because lately the boss has been frustrated with caddies’ who are unable to be patient and sit around for a few hours before they’re assigned a loop. Depending on how a caddie handles the wait, my boss can easily see who deserves to work and who doesn't. So “riding the couch” has become a staple for rookie caddies for most of the first week. Aside from the gambling, that's just about the only form of hazing somebody might have to endure.

So I appreciated sitting around for a while today because I hadn't done that in so long and there's NO WAY I should be considered a senior caddie yet. So I figure I need to put in some more couch time to make myself feel like I DO in fact deserve some more loops.

But after 5 hours, the Caddie Master decided to let me go for the day. He said he'll be sure to "put me out on one of the only loops first thing in the morning." So I got that goin' for me. Which is nice.

So I'm walking out to my car to go run some errands when another caddie comes over to me and asks to use my phone. Okay, no problem.

After making a couple of phone calls, he hands the phone back to me and asks for a ride back home to grab his stuff. Apparently he only lived about 5-10 miles away from the course. Okay, that's not really a problem either.

But in the car, I start to hear a little bit more of his story.

This kid (and I use the term loosely because he WAS married) started working as a caddie under my boss's corporate name down at one of the accounts in Florida. After working there all winter and seeing just how easy it was to make a buck or two, he decides to move up to Virginia with his cousin (already a senior caddie at the company) to live during the summer months to CONTINUE caddying year-round. I guess that’s when the trouble started. First off, this kid is pretty dumb. Many of the members and almost all of the caddies thought he was a little retarded after his first week (I have some stories I haven't included in this blog yet that I will have to share at some point). Secondly, it turns out his cousin is quite a fan of the weed and will decide not to come into work for weeks at a time. This is a serious problem because our young friend doesn't have a car. So I guess he has no choice but to get REALLY blazed with his cousin and just sit around and wonder just how many brain cells he might have left. One more doobie and he could count them on his HANDS. Fire it up boys.

Maybe it was the pot or MAYBE this kid truly didn't want to feel stuck anymore, but he had made up his mind and wanted to leave for home. This means Florida. And until I came along, he really didn't have a chance in hell of getting there. His cousin wouldn't take him to get a ticket. The other caddies SAID they would, but nothing ever came of it and they ended up just ignoring the situation.

“I can’t thank you enough man. Somebody up there must be lookin’ out for me today.”

Not a problem. But help me out here “pard.” Why can’t you take a plane?

“You need an ID to ride on a plane.”

“Why don’t you have an ID?”

"Well, I left it down in Florida."

You’ve been living in a DIFFERENT STATE for over two months and you still don’t have an ID? How can you function?

But at that moment, it didn’t matter. He just wanted to grab all of his shit, throw it into a suitcase, and get a one-way ticket on a bus back to Florida. Back where things made sense to him.

So now he was in my car and we were on our way over to his crappy house to grab all of his stuff and leave before his cousin came back home (And yes, that sounds weird. It makes me feel like I’m a white-trash hick from Bumblefuck, Georgia). This kid was so excited over the idea of his cousin coming home and having NO idea where he was.

Bill Lumburgh moment: “Yeeeeeaaaahhhhh. I’m going to have to go ahead and… DISAGREE with you there. Yeah.”

We finally arrived at the house. It was in the middle of nowhere. He lived in the basement, and I tell you, I have never seen such a crappy place to live. It's like something out of “Silence of the Lambs.” You walk in the front door, and you're immediately in the living room, where there are 3 items of furniture. A small couch, an end table, and a chair. The television is propped up on speakers and Xbox games, and there is nothing on the walls, floor, or ceiling. This house is BARE. He moved straight ahead into a bedroom that had only one thing in it. A bed. It was a large room, but all it had was a box-spring, a mattress, and a pillow. No sheets. That was it. The bed was angled towards the door and it freaked me out when he turned on the light because it looked like the bed was trying to sneak up on you to slit your throat. Outside of his room and to the right was the dining room/kitchen area. There was a stove, a sink, some cabinets, and a fridge. Dirty dishes lined the inside of the sink, and all of the cabinets had NOTHING in them. There was a ketchup bottle and a jar of mayonnaise in the fridge. That was it. Why were those dishes dirty? There's no food ANYWHERE. Then I saw the most amazing thing. Sitting alone on the dining room table was a well-maintained spice rack. It had every flavor you could possibly think of. And most of them were completely full. Why the hell would somebody have all of these spices and no food to put them on? It was probably stolen. That was my only guess. Next to the kitchen were three doors. One was a bathroom, which was actually RAISED above the kitchen floor so you had to step up INTO it to use the freakin' toilet (weirdest thing ever). The second door was the laundry room, which looked like something out of a horror movie. It was dark and quiet. Cobwebs lined the ceiling and there was a small window that faced a single tree outside. I was waiting for somebody to jump out from behind the tree and come charging at me with a knife. And behind door number three was a bedroom. I didn't look because I didn't want to. Who KNOWS what was behind that door. I don't WANT to know.

"You ready to roll man?"


So we jump back into the car and head to the DMV to see if he can get an ID and actually buy a PLANE ticket to help expedite the trip a wee bit.

He bought me lunch, so I was sitting in the car eating my cheeseburger when it hit me: should I call his cousin and let him know what's going on? I mean, I don't have his number but I bet I could at least get a message to him on the course. The little "tiff" these two are having with each other is none of my business, but I feel bad because I'm sure this guy would be freakin' out wondering where his cousin was. But hey, this kid was suffering up here. He didn't know anybody, nobody was helping him, and he couldn't even get to work to make any money because his cousin was smoking pot and doing nothing with himself. I would want to leave too. So I'll honor this kid's wishes if he wants me to. I will not tell anyone what happened unless asked.

He came back out royally pissed because he needed 3 forms of ID instead of 2 to get a driver's license. So it looks like we were headed for a Greyhound bus stop.

But he definitely probed me for a while about letting him use my ID to buy a plane ticket.

"Dude, I could just flip the ID to you after I get through the gate. It HAS to work. I mean people get into bars with fakes, right? You know what I'm sayin'?"

Of course I do. You want me to risk getting a cavity search just because you THINK you could pass for me while trying to go through AIRPORT security. Getting past a fat guy at the door to a bar is a LOT easier than trying to get past a fat guy with a Homeland Security enema and a GUN. Now I want to help you get home man, but I am NOT going to screw with those guys. Sorry.

So we finally get to the bus station, and he's off. He offered to give me a place to stay for awhile if I ever decide to work down in Florida, so I guess that’s a good thing. I just felt so bad for the kid.

So maybe this wasn’t the most profitable of days, but I definitely felt like I helped somebody out. It felt good. It was just the change of pace I’ve been looking for to shake up my schedule a little bit. I feel a little more focused now.


Bryan said...

Chances are, if he lived in a hell hole, he probably doesn't have a computer to see the story you wrote about him :)

Why people waste their lives away smoking pot and doing NOTHING is beyond me.

Bummer he was caught in the middle. The moral part of me says, "tell the cousin/brother", the other part of me says the guy won't care.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about it. If "Half-Baked" ever wants to know what happened to his weed partner, he can check at the golf course. But the paranoia will probably keep him from checking.

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