Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Training Day

So I’ve been feeling pretty tired and intellectually feeble the last couple of days, and after some careful thought and asking a few of my friends, I think I’ve figured out my problem. I need to eat more for lunch.

My usual routine is to wake up as early as I can, stuff my face with some cereal, English muffins/ raisin bread / or bagels and I’m out the door. I bring an energy bar and a piece of fruit with me to consume at some point during the loop, but that’s all I usually eat until dinner time. And don’t get me wrong, when I finally get to eat, I EAT. Horses on STEROIDS are the only mammals capable of keeping up with me. But all things considered, I think I need to up my caloric intake throughout the day. I figure that way I won’t feel so fatigued when I get home, and that means more time and energy to sit and write and bitch and moan and whatever else I want to do on this site at night. So I have THAT figured out. Now I just need to see how I can implement this new "habit."

You know, some of the senior caddies have been telling me that I can get WHATEVER the hell I want at the halfway house (just after the 7th hole). This includes sandwiches. Occasionally I’ll have a player get me a hot dog (they insisted), but for the most part, I guess I’m just too shy to ask for anything edible. It’s always Gatorade. Blue. I don’t fuck around man. I don’t get any of those other colors. Like red? Why would you WILLINGLY walk around looking like you’ve put on lipstick?


Why am I so shy out there? I don’t know. Being humble WAS part of the training. But the thing is, I don’t consider myself a shy person. I’m sure many of you reading this know PROSTITUTES that are WAY more modest and quiet than I am. But sometimes I just want to bite the shit out of some real food. I mean what can I say? I like sandwiches, and I like feeling full. So it’s settled. The next time I hit that halfway house, I’m going to BITCH-SLAP those highly-attractive sandwich girls until they give me some FOOD. Well, maybe not bitch-slap. Perhaps a noodle-whipping would suffice.

Oh, and a random comment: remember “Half-Baked” (The pot-smoking caddie who’s cousin left him for Florida with the aid of yours truly)? Yeah, he and two of the other crack-addicts who occasionally moonlight as caddies all decided to go swimming in "the lake." A lake that borders the course. A lake that ALSO happens to be THE source of drinking water for an entire CITY. So swimming is forbidden. Obviously. To be honest, I can’t see WHY. I’m sure the townspeople would APPRECIATE the addition of caddie-sweat and bong resin to their drinking water.

“Oh wow honey. This drinking water has a delectable nose. What is that wonderful aftertaste? Crack or Heroin?”

So anyway, some guy saw them swimming, politely asked them to get out and one of them flew off the handle and bitched the guy out, citing that “this is a free country.” So the guy called the cops and alerted the EPA, and now these caddies are going to be suspended, fined and possibly brought to court under a federal SUBPOENA for deciding to take a dip in the forbidden waters. So I probably won’t be seeing that kid for awhile. What a shame. GOSH. I mean, just when I FINALLY solved the mystery, he’s suspended. I finally figured out where all of the caddies were getting their crack. And for some reason that was fascinating to me. But now it’s over. Game over man. Game over.

But I digress. Again. Which is fine, because I wanted to throw in the following sentence anyway: Donkey-dick’s love trees, rocks and ho-bags? And no, I’m not really sure what that means. But yes, it needed to be said, and yes, it IS a question I’d like to have answered.

Wow. I’ll be honest with you guys. I was just staring at my desk for 5 minutes without moving or thinking about ANYTHING. This means that it happened again today. I didn’t eat enough. Damn. So I’m not sure how far into this I’m going to get, but trust me, I am going to make it a point to stop somewhere on my way to work tomorrow and grab a CRAPLOAD of food to eat all freakin’ day. There’s no WAY I’m going hungry tomorrow too.

So I started my training today. And by “training” I mean “doing nothing for 5 hours,” which I never MIND doing, but on an empty stomach, you just want to die. It was hot today too, which of course was AWESOME. So now I’m hot, sweaty (perhaps “slimy” is a better term) and hungry. I have no energy. I was working as a Starter for most of the day, which meant that I only got up when I had to. This was pretty pathetic, because as a Starter, you’re supposed to spend the majority of your time STANDING. But I just couldn’t. I just kept sitting on that magical bench hoping my stomach wouldn’t start to eat itself and give me an ulcer or something. Because I know that can happen. And I still don’t have health insurance right now (yes, I’m a genius), so if something happens where I need prescription drugs, I would probably fart so loud you’d think Whitney Houston was lodged somewhere in my bowels. I just don’t know what I would do.

Before I left for my training, I met my boss at a coffee shop to have a little “talk” before he sent me on my way. It was really quite enjoyable. Here’s a guy I’ve wanted to say SO much to in the last 3 months but haven’t had the chance because he’s always busy, or driving to another course to sell his caddie program, or selling his house, or MOVING, or whatever. You know. Useless crap. But he’s just one of those guys who could probably do anything he wanted to with his life and he chose to start a high-end caddie program. He also doesn’t take shit from anyone, and he always tells it exactly how it is. So having him sit across from me trying to get to know ME was a rare privilege.

Oh yeah, and one more thing: Before I left the course for the coffee shop this morning two of my caddie-friends saw me pulling OUT of the parking lot at 9:20 am and were probably wondering what the hell was going on. They stopped and rolled down their window to ask, but I just blew by them. I mean I WAVED, don’t get me wrong. But what would I say to those guys? I don’t want them to think differently about me just because the boss is giving me this opportunity. That’s probably the old Tom talking here, but I just KNOW how the caddies felt about this other kid who was given this new account. They all think he’s a jackass. And true, maybe he is a little bit, but I don’t want the other caddies to start hating me because of my new status. I guess I’ll just have to see how tomorrow goes. Because I’m sure after I just blew by those two guys they probably let EVERYONE know that I just LEFT without a word. Whoa boy.

So the talk with the boss was great. No need to get into all of the specifics (because he’s not really sure WHERE I would be going yet) but things are looking up: he wants me to train, work as an official Assistant Caddie Master for a while at a course down in Florida, and then in a year’s time, he wants to get me my own account to run. Which I think is pretty awesome. Although the way he said, “get you your own account,” almost made me a little uncomfortable. Because I would really like to HELP him land an account. I don’t just want it handed to me. I never like it when things are handed to me. All of this great news at once seems surreal enough, but then you throw in a free Caddie Program to run and I just start feeling like I didn’t earn that opportunity. Yes, I mean, I guess I will. I don’t know. Some of you know might know what I’m trying to get at. It just doesn’t sit right with me. But the best part is that he’s actually going to fly me down to Florida to meet up with another Caddie Master to see if he could put me at this new account he’s opening up as an Assistant. So in a couple of weeks me and him are FLYING down TOGETHER to meet up with this guy. I asked him to repeat it because I thought I heard him wrong. You’re flying ME down? Why? I’ve never had somebody FLY me anywhere before. But he is. So yeah. Needless to say, it was a great meeting. And then he sent me over to this new account to start my training.

I felt like Luke Skywalker did when he decided to embark on his quest to become a Jedi. Except in MY version, there will be better dialogue and NO CGI for the prequels.

So after I arrived at the course, I walked into the Caddyshack and pretty much just stared at the Caddie Master for 15 minutes. He really didn’t have anything to say. Here I am, ready and rarin’ to go, and he just keeps repeating, “You know, I just don’t know what to tell you.”

Well, how about starting with, “Welcome Tom, today you’ll be doing BLANK for me.” All you have to do is fill in the blank. Come on now. I know you want to.

And for about 3 hours, he couldn’t. I had to fish out random questions from the inner recesses of my bowels (being careful not to violate Whitney Houston in the process) just to pass the time. I mean, I know this guy is new, but there’s got to be SOMETHING to talk about. I mean how hard can it be? Walk me through a normal day for you, and simply elaborate during the parts which you feel are the “most important” in helping me to understand how to be a Caddie Master. End of story.

But no. The staring contest continued. After about an hour, he finally decides to put me up on the first tee with a clipboard and a radio in my hand. Yeah. That will teach me stuff.

And yes, a few groups did come up to tee off. I greeted the players, joked around with some of them briefly, and sent them on their way.

“Perfect. That’s all you have to do.”

That’s it?

“Well, there’s not a whole lot involved with being a Starter. I could probably teach a monkey how to do it.”

Well that’s encouraging. So now I’m an idiot. A “cerebral moron” if you will.

“We’ll get you out here on Sunday when it’s busier so you can get some real experience.”

Sounds good. Because this is KILLING me right now. I need to be handling more than this. This is like putting a porn star in a room with just ONE guy. I mean come ON. They’re trained to handle more. Bring it.

And it did get a little busier, but for the most part, it was a pretty dead. The real fun came when he asked me to come out around 4 to help train two new caddies. So wait. Now I get to PLAY this course for free with a caddie carrying my bag and I get to TELL him how he should do his job? That is AWESOME.

I remember reading online somewhere that “most” players don’t see the need for caddies. They feel “stupid” having somebody carry their clubs and rake their bunkers for them. And for a while, I agreed with those statements. But now I have to disagree. I only played 9 holes today, but I tell you: It was marvelous. This kid didn’t even know ANYTHING about golf and I still loved it. My caddie finally started catching on after 3 or 4 holes and I have to say, it was fantastic. I never had to think about a yardage, worry about picking stuff up, or excusing myself when I farted. Now I had somebody there helping me DENY that I had ever farted in the first place. Just wonderful. And all I had to focus on was PLAYING. I didn’t have to worry about anything else. I had never played the course before, and I started out with four pars. Then a bogey. Then a birdie. Then two bogeys, and then a par. Two over on the front nine. And I had NEVER PLAYED THE COURSE BEFORE. I’m telling you, it was because I had a caddie. It helped me to focus. I was simply given a yardage, handed a club, and hit the ball. No thinking required. Which as you know, certainly helps on the golf course. I mean look at Tiger Woods. I mean SURE he went to Stanford. But he is a RETARD and look at how good he is.

I’m going to wrap this up because I really AM trying to type up shorter posts these days. I just can’t seem to help myself for some reason. So we played 9 holes, and as we were walking in I came to the realization that I truly enjoyed training that caddie. Everything about it: establishing authority, teaching, shooting the shit, encouraging them to work harder, whatever. It was all gravy. My only concern is that I’ve only been caddying for 3 months. Placing me into a Caddie Master position too soon could take away some of my street cred because I would definitely be nervous about telling a few of the caddies with 5 or 6 years of experience how to do their jobs. But if I must I must. I just can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.


billw said...

Tom: can I call you Tom...you need to jump on the Dan Jenkins trail, I'm re reading Dead Solid Perfect and his latest book and this blog could be the crib notes for them...excellent and to the point, I was a looper at an exclusive club myself in my youth and you've hit the ball on the clubface ...look forward to your future posts and good luck as CaddieMan

Ron Mon said...

I cannot agree with the first post. No way is JB a young Dan Jenkins. Turk Pipkin is/was a young Dan Jenkins; it's a Texas thing. What JB is, is a young Rick Reilly. Re-read "Missing Links," then tell me you don't hear authorial echos in JB's musings.

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