Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Sunglasses and Chinese Whores

Hey guys. Been awhile. I tried to post something last night, but I was so tired that I actually dozed off in my chair with my hands on the keyboard. And I’m glad my hands were still on the “home-row” because typed some REALLY crazy things. I’ll be sure to place a few quotes in here somewhere just to give you an idea of what I'm like after my bedtime.

As some of you may know, I went home last weekend to play with a few friends in a member-guest. I guess the long and short of it is that we won. I won't bore you with the details, because honestly, I’m having trouble remembering what exactly happened anyway. See, our group consumed alcohol. I think “gallons” would be a good word to use. The whole weekend was more or less a blur that lasted 72 hours. Yes, some talking and golf DID in fact take place, but for the most part, yeah. We pretty much just drank, and it was beautiful.

And that was a nice vacation from the golf, drinking and poker that I've been INUNDATED with since I started working as a caddie. I mean there's only so much of the same I can handle here people. Gosh. I mean, what do you think I did with myself on Sunday night when I got back in the area? Played poker and had a few beers. I'm tellin' ya. I'm a workaholic.

But to be honest, I was really excited to work on Monday because I acquired a pair of sunglasses recently that are designed to help handicapped individuals such as myself read greens like a pro. Although, I have to wonder if simply HAVING these sunglasses constitutes any kind of disbarment from the caddie brotherhood. Because caddies are supposed to be awesome at reading greens anyway. We don't need no stinking sunglasses.

But I do. I am Stevie Wonder's evil twin brother Thomas "No-Wonder" Collins. One of the members I caddied for recently seemed to agree.

"Hello sir and how are you today?"

"Hey! Stevie Wonder!"


And, despite my late night of drinking and losing money, I still arrived at the ass-crack, ready and raring to go. I tell ya, I am a TROOPER man.

As I walked by the putting green, I stopped to see if there were any noticeable differences between looking at a green with my naked eyes and using these special x-ray glasses. So I looked at the practice green without the sunglasses on. Yep, it's green, and it has a few slopes here and there. Not a lot to it.

Then I put on the sunglasses. Wow. I saw everything. Every imperfection, slope, shadow, your mom, poa annua seedlings, some more of your mom, and small clumps of pollen. The grains were easy to read and I could imagine how the break could very well appear to me like one of those 3D-stare-until-you-see-it holograms. So I was PUMPED to get out on a loop.

So I walked into the caddie room.

After about an hour, I walked out. No work for me this morning. The Caddie Master told me to come back around 2:30 and he'd "work me" then. I think my absence this weekend moved me back a few notches in the pecking order. I definitely lost my place in line. Almost all of the loops were already assigned to other caddies today.

So now I’m the underdog. I like that. Game 4 of the World Series, and I’m down 3 games to the Yankees. Time to be the freakin’ Red Sox.

Now in order to WEAR these sunglasses, that meant I’d have to ditch the glasses and throw in my contacts. Happy happy joy joy. I hope the members don’t think I’m hot-boxing in my car or anything when they see that my eyes are BLOODSHOT.

By the way: hot-boxing? That's the right term, isn't it? Or is it clam-bake? Ahh pot lingo.

To minimize the redness, I decided to take out my contacts during the break I had from about 8-1. And may I say this again: what a great job I have. I mean who takes a break from 8-1 these days besides drug-dealers? Nobody. In taking the contacts out, I noticed a little discomfort after only two hours of wear. And these are SUPPOSED to be the contacts that you can wear for 30 days and nights STRAIGHT without inadvertently worshipping ZEUS or something. I used to be able to wear my contacts all the time, but now, for some strange reason, my eyes are rejecting the material. My eyes refuse to water themselves anymore. I have to keep popping in the movie “Rudy” every time I want to wet my eyes. Well, either that or “Kazaam.” Shaq’s acting in that movie was just so damn beautiful. So I went home and slept for a while, had a great lunch (something I hardly ever get to do these days), popped in the contacts again and left for work a little early to beat the traffic.

I didn’t have to wait very long once I got back. I was given a forecaddying job for a twosome on a cart. Sweet. Now I can get ahead of my players and read the greens before they get there. And with these new sunglasses, today should be a blast.

And the players were really cool. One was an older member who lived by two of Lee Trevino’s axioms: talk as much as possible and play wicked fast. It sounds mean, but to get ahead of this guy I’d have to stop listening to him and just run ahead. He’d start trailing off and then a ball would wiz by me straight up the fairway. No practice swing and he barely missed a beat when he was talking. The other player had a great swing and pumped his fist in the air every time I threw up my arms to signify a fairway hit. He played some great golf and was fired up about it. Fun to watch.

But now onto the most important aspect of the day: reading the greens. Now it’s going to sound pretty ridiculous, but I was actually having some trouble focusing on the reads today because I was just so CONFLICTED inside. I would look at a putt and immediately see the break. Okay, good so far. But then I would think to myself: self, you read that putt wicked fast. You’re probably just going on old reads and are not really taking the time you need to verify the read with these new sunglasses of yours. So I’d look at the putt again and get all frustrated because I would think that I needed to see something else, but the fact of the matter was, the sunglasses simply expedited the process of reading the greens. It really only took me a few seconds to look at a putt and determine the perfect line. I guess I was just panicking because normally I would pine over a line (and yes, that rhymed because I’m the MAN) and never really be sure if I was right or not. Now I KNEW.

After four or five greens of PERFECT reads and the ensuing compliments that followed, it finally started to sink in. I am a green-reading machine now.

Random insert from my “free-writing exercise” last night:

“I had to take the worst shit today. I was running down the 7th no…it started earlier. I would be running and all of a sudden I would cramp up in my lower abdomen and I would almost jackknife I was so tweaked. I could barely walk. I probably looked …no, I DID look like an old man trying to walk down the sidewalk in a hailstorm. Exactly like that. Oh my god I was in so much pain…it’s like I wanted to giv myself a c-section and let out the gasses contained withinin… When I could finally get to a bathroom, I ran in, locked the door 3 times tjust to make sure no dumbass was going to try and subject themselves to the p demon child that was trying to force itself out of my backside. Noboy wants to smell that. I whip down my pants, forgetting that my ass is soaked with sweat from working thus far, and I sit down quickly, like a MAJOR dumblass, and slip on the seat. My hand slams against the wall like that redheaded chick in Titanic when she’ shaving sex. .the guy in the other stall must’ve thought I was having sex or Something moderately intesting in there. So I try to sit down again, this time holding the two handicap parallel bars that I just KNOW old fogeys are trying to train on after they shit. That worked, and I was able to exercise some demons. All that kept running through my mind was a story of another caddie at this club who just COULDN”T hold it any longer and popped a huge squat behind one of he holes one day. I’ve done that one before…dickheads.”

Not sure what that last “dickheads” part was all about, but I wrote that last night with my eyes closed because my eyes were still so irritated from wearing contacts. Well, that and I was REALLY freakin’ tired. I decided to leave all of the spelling and grammatical errors in there to try and add a hint of authenticity to my little midnight rant.

In fact, now that I think about it, why not add another:

“I should probably get some sleep…I feel like a weight is continually trying to push down on me…GO to sleep …Man I’m tired. I hear that drunk again ownstairs.. everone on the fourth floor odesn’t liked to be searched. Caterpillar has gotto b a safe brand…nobody’s died yet I think…and that’s amaing. …goodnight.”

That makes PERFECT sense. Way to be. So you see, I really am trying to post every night, but once my eyes start to close, I’m done. And it’s a good thing too. Could you imagine bringing up this site everyday and reading that crap? Well, MAYBE it would be interesting to read. Not sure.

So as far as Monday was concerned, I went home, came back after eating lunch, made some incredible reads on the greens, took a major dump BECAUSE of that great lunch, and ended up getting a decent tip by the end.

Now I don’t normally include links in my entries because I’m incredibly lazy and I really don’t want to clutter up the text with interactive crap. I’m always going for a nice rhythm and flow with my writing and I don’t want your reading to be interrupted. But I would like to make an exception to the rule today and include a link to these sunglasses just in case there are more of you out there with my handicap (AKA: green-reading deficiencies). They were made by a company named Peak Vision Sports.

Whew. So that was yesterday. Now for today.

Today was pretty cool because I arrived around 7:45 (a little later than normal) and was immediately given a loop. I mean IMMEDIATELY. As soon as I walked in the door the Caddie Master told me to “suit up.” Sweet.

And the kicker was, I’d be caddying for Mr. Nice-Guy. One bag with a REGULAR? I’ll take it man.

And I haven’t seen Mr. Nice-Guy for a few weeks, so it was fun to shake his hand and get pumped to go out on a loop. I knew it would be an easy loop too because he was a great stick and a fast player. Plus he told me he wanted to skip around today because he wasn’t sure how many holes he’d get in before he had to go. So one bag for less than 18 holes? Even better.

So everything was going great. We had a lot of things to talk about, and he was educating me on poa annua, a "black sheep" breed of grass that invades greens and gives Greenskeepers a real run for their money in the long term. For those who don’t know (and don’t worry, I used to be in that group), bent greens are a mix of a variety of grasses to insure longevity and character. The only problem with mixing breeds of grass is that you will eventually be invaded by poa annua. The problem is that little seedlings form at the top of poa annua grass and that will cause little bumps and inconsistencies on the greens. So after a while, putts will cease to be rolling true and people will start to become annoyed. Well, I guess if you're used to playing Muni-tracks all your life it won't be such a big deal. But if you're a member at a prestigious course like this, poa annua is completely unacceptable. Apparently they have not yet developed a way to kill all of the poa annua on the greens without killing the rest of the grass as well. So what does my course do? At certain times of the year, the Greenskeeper will send out 40-50 guys to pick the poa annua out of the greens blade by blade. BLADE BY BLADE. That’s incredible. That’s a story you’d expect to hear coming out of a course like Augusta. I was just floored.

In addition, the club decided to install one of those fancy sub-air pumps underneath the 8th green just to experiment with it and see if it would be a good idea to install one of these systems on ALL of their greens.

We stopped and talked with one of the grounds-crew members who was working on it at the time.

Mr. Nice-Guy: “So do you like this new system?”


Maintenance Guy: “Well, yeah.”

Mr. Nice-Guy: “You hesitated there. Not very useful?”

Maintenance Guy: “Well, it’s very useful. But it’s been a little stressful so far in learning how to customize it for our needs. If I’m not careful, I could very easily dry out the green too much and start killing some of the grass. But I've learned a pretty cool trick lately. I turn on the system during the coolest part of the night to suck in the cool air, store it, and then pump it back up into the green during the hottest part of the day to try and regulate the temperature. I just got off the phone with a guy at Augusta, and they’re actually re-doing their sub-air systems because they want to install copper pipes under the greens as well.”

Mr. Nice-Guy: “Why?”

Maintenance Guy: “Well, that way they can pump either hot or cold water into the pipes to make it even easier to regulate temperature.”

You know, I’m really glad Augusta is now able to control their greens EVEN MORE. Those things were never very challenging anyway. I know it’s all for the sake of keeping the greens as fresh and true as possible, which I’m all for, but I’m starting to see an evolution here. I bet someday they’ll come up with a grain-control system that works with electromagnetic forces so the course can change the break on greens if they want to. I think that’s the only logical “next step.”

Needless to say, I learned a lot today. It was turning out to be a great round. He even asked me to caddie for him this weekend in the Member-Member. And then “it” happened.

We were on 15, and as I’m walking up to take the pin out so he could putt, he blurts out, “You know, you guys should really do a better job fixing ball marks on the greens. I think I’ve repaired 3 or 4 on this green already.”


“And when I say ‘you guys’ I really mean ‘everyone.’ We all need to start doing it.”

That hurt. He made it sound like I hadn’t fixed a ball mark all day. I really had. I’d fixed 3 or 4 on every green we played. There might have been one or two I missed because he was playing fast and all I really had time for was to run up, grab the pin, and then run off to the next hole. He wasn't playing very well, so I can understand where the frustration might come from, but it was the first time I felt like a servant around him. It was just like that one scene in “Pretty Woman” where Richard Gere’s character offers Julia Roberts’ character all that shit to be at his beckon-call.

Gere: “Now, I have NEVER treated you like a prostitute.”


Roberts: “You just did.”


And yes. Knowing the lines from that movie STILL qualifies me as a heterosexual. I just never fully appreciated those lines until now.

Family Guy: “Fine white devil! You can whip me all you want but you’ll never break my spirit!”

Sorry. That quote just seemed appropriate.

So it got a wee bit awkward. I think he realized what he must’ve sounded like because he was kind of quiet and afraid to look at me the rest of the round. The tip was normal, but I definitely left him feeling like a Chinese whore. Used and underpaid.

Take it easy all.


Eric B said...

did you go to metaphor class? because you are a metaphor GOD....
Dan Jenkins, minus the dandruff...

Anonymous said...

I used to use the extended wear contacts about 10 years ago, but I can't anymore. I have the same reaction to the current 30 day contacts that you do, and now I use disposable contacts. You ought to give them a try.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I was just wondering which model of those sunglasses you bought, and how comfortable you feel they are. I was thinking about ordering a pair, but I would have to do it online, which never makes me feel comfortable with something like sunglasses. Also, if you were able to try more than one pair out, let us know what you did and didn't like about them. Thanks!

BuffaloGolfer.Com said...

Yo, Ho.

It's poa annua, not anna. Anna is a girl's name, or the way southern folk say "annua." You should try grading tests when you are falling asleep. Drool, random marker lines, and incoherence bond like men on a road trip.


Jam Boy said...

Thanks buffalogolfer. I could've sworn the guy said "annua" but when I did a search online "poa anna" actually came up. Weird. I guess you really can't trust everything you read online. But I'll change that asap.

And as far as the sunglasses, I ordered a "classic" pair, which seems to be treating me just fine at the moment. I have a thin face and was concerned that the sunglasses were going to stick off the front of my face like dental "head-gear," but they ended up fitting me quite nicely. They are very comfortable and despite what they may look like online, they aren't very bulky. To be honest, before I put in an order I sent in a message explaining some of my concerns (because I too had to order online), whether it be my thin face, quality of materials, whatever. So I would encourage you to do the same. They responded to my inquiry pretty quickly, and were able to help me decide that the "classic" pair would really be a good fit for my needs.

And I may have to switch to disposable contacts. Well, either that or getting laser surgery. And right now I'm leaning towards saving up and getting the surgery.

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