Yes, Tim Henry is just one man. And to be honest, I'm really not even sure what his real name is. But here's his story.
November 23rd, 1967. It was a cold and awful morning. Believe me, the wind was REALLY blowing. Shit was flying everywhere. The only conceivable location? Cleveland, Ohio. Who was being conceived? Tim Henry.
Mr. Henry was bitching out one of his maids because she hadn't screwed up anything on the job in her first six months of work.
"You're human, aren't you? Make a mistake you worthless wench!"
Mr. Henry also had a HUGE mole on the side of his face. So he was pissed about that, too. But midway through the conversation, he realizes that he hasn't had sex in 12 years. A fastidious man at heart, Mr. Henry decided when he was 11 that he really WAS better off without being anybody's friend. He soon became a Gazillionaire. But after many years of becoming really freakin' old, he realized that he wanted to raise a bastard son to continue his legacy. So now this maid was a target.
It took a little convincing, but $11.267 million dollars later the maid agreed to give birth to his bastard son.
After the maid confirmed that she was indeed pregnant, Mr. Henry sued her for negligence (he felt that she should've insisted on using a condom). The lawyers kicked some major ass because they all agreed with Mr. Henry: he should've never been allowed to try his hand at procreation. So Mr. Henry won back $11 million.
Having lost exactly $267,000 in Vegas, the maid was now at Mr. Henry's doorstep begging for a place to stay. He finally agreed, realizing that his bastard son would be better off living in the same house so that it was all but a certainty that his son would grow up to be a bastard.
But the maid was plotting her revenge. During the pregnancy, she smoked crack, weed, and cigarettes. In addition, she tried blow, smack, and some kind of horse tranquilizer. She also liked to down a few cocktails before hitting the sack. Where did she get all of this stuff? Well that's a different story. But trust me, she was doing EVERYTHING. She would even eat some of the grass on the lawn trying to turn the child into a cow.
Nine months later, something flew out of the maid SIDEWAYS and landed in a crib. The bastard son was born at last.
Mr. Henry was so overjoyed that he slapped the maid instead of the baby. A perfectly acceptable decision at the time, but he would soon realize his mistake: the baby's reflexes would never fully develop. And neither would a lot of other things, because the maid and the rest of the house staff ended up raising the boy.
Tragically, the father had a stroke soon after he realized that his son was slightly retarded and lacked any real motivation for anything.
But Mr. Henry had never gotten around to changing his will. Everything was still being given to Tim. Without any reliable motor skills or motivation, the court realized that Tim would become a lump of crap if he was ever left without supervision.
So the maid and the rest of the house staff raised him. The only problem? They did everything for him. He never learned to do anything on his own.
At the age of 18 he was still working on the fourth grade. Thoroughly impressed with the boy’s progress, the board of directors at Mr. Henry's old company--The Cleveland Steamers--soon appointed him CEO.
And so it came to pass, that after years of falling asleep in board meetings, movie theatres and sexual acts, Tim Henry awoke on the morning of May 29th, 2005 dressed in golf attire.
“Why am I in golf clothes?” He said as he stared off into space.
Somehow, today was different. Normally he would wake up for no reason and stare at the woman next to him, trying to remember who she was. It was only after he took his morning BM that it would finally make sense to him: oh yeah. That’s my wife. We’ve like…done stuff together.
Usually he would spend the next 20 minutes trying to remember her name, but today he was unable to focus for some reason. Was it because he just farted? He couldn’t be sure. But he was definitely feeling a little more “dead-pan” than usual today. A stream of drool starts to move over his left cheek. Suddenly he snaps to.
“Well I’m wearing clothes. Why not drive my car?” He said to the coffee maker.
And so he drove. And then he drove some more. He wasn’t exactly sure WHERE he was going, but he definitely had a feeling that he’d be SOMEWHERE soon.
And before he knew it, he WAS.
“How did I end up at this golf course?” He said with Keanu-esque precision.
“Sir? May I park your car for you?”
“You’re playing golf today.”
“They’ve been expecting you.”
After staring at a squirrel on a tree for awhile, a man in a cart came by and picked him up. He was escorted to the first tee, and three men who he’s never met before knew his name and had most definitely met him before. Weird.
Then I came into the picture. After introducing myself, I realized he must either be on drugs or slightly retarded, and formulated this little story in my mind. So at least now everyone’s on the same page.
As I mentioned in the last post, my loop yesterday sucked big hairy balls, and I was curious as to my assignment for today. Because, as I said, if the pattern were to continue, today would be quite profitable.
Well it was. I got in a little late this morning, and I was half-expecting to sit around and watch Ace Ventura for the 10th time. But they ended up putting me out on a loop in no time. Turns out one of the guys I’d be looping for was a regular for one of the big-wig senior caddies. That could only mean one thing. Lots of cold hard cash. Because these senior caddies only loop for their regulars these days. And their regulars pay top dollar to keep them coming back.
So I was pretty floored when I heard the news. All of the caddies in the office were talking about it before I was called.
“Who's going out with Mr. Rich today?”
“That’s a great loop. I heart beer.”
“Tom, get ready.”
I was really kind of nervous when I heard the news, because if this player is used to a SENIOR caddie, he’s GOT to be a little peeved that a rookie is working for him. MAN I need to learn how to read these greens.
But overall, today was a great loop. I got to see Tim Henry, a guy who had no idea what was going on, start to figure stuff out by the 12th. I was getting along with Mr. Rich. I mean, I even learned the other caddie’s “slave name.”
I heard about this little “problem” on the second hole.
“Dude, this guy I’m caddying for? He thinks my name is ‘Gyles.’”
“Yeah. I mean, I feel my name is pretty easy to begin with. It’s not like I make it hard for them. But he keeps calling me Gyles. It happened at this other course I used to work at too. I guess it’s just my ‘slave name.’”
For 9 holes, I thought he was bullshitting me. But then on 10, his player turned to him and said, “So Gyles, what do you see on this putt?”
The caddie just stared at me and shook his head. It was hilarious. I mean, Gyles? That’s not even a REAL name outside of England. And even there I think it was only used in medieval times to name Knights. Sir Gyles rings a bell for some reason. But I knew how this caddie felt. A few weeks ago those two older guys called me “Tom” the whole round even though…that…IS my real name. Well, I just thought it was funny.
I think the only other memorable thing from that round was this father-son team the other caddie was taking care of. The father had a HUGE wooden pole jammed up his ass the whole round. His posture was RIDICULOUSLY rigid. And I think he liked it because he stuck his ass out quite a bit. A little excessive in my book. I mean, I’m all for good posture. But we’re not shooting porn here. Tuck that butt in a little, Sir.
Now the butt I can deal with, but the father was also SO commanding over his son that I wanted to say something after a while. He would tell his son how hard to swing, where to aim, what club to hit, and how far to hang his ass out.
“Don’t stop looking provocative until you can balance a glass of Riesling on your ass. That’s the real key to good golf swing. I mean look at Leadbetter’s ass. That’s WAY out there. His ass is GREAT.”
Dude, you’re MY age. Start thinking for yourself.
But the kid was on fire. His dad would dial in every shot for him, and 80-90% of the time, the kid would execute. He was hitting his 8-iron about 170, and he knew absolutely NOTHING about golf. Made me sick.
“Son, I told you to hit that putt softly. What the hell are you doing? Focus, okay?”
“No no no. You need to make sure when you putt that your practice stroke matches your real stroke. It’s a necessity. Now drink the glass of Riesling that’s currently resting on my left butt-cheek. I want to save the one on my right for later.”
“Yes dad! I hope to be able to balance two glasses of Riesling on my ass someday!”
“Well if you would LISTEN to me, you would.”
“Yes dad! Sorry dad!”
Ugh. It was bad. But the boss took care of me. I made some good money off of that loop. But of course, if the pattern WERE to continue, my next loop should suck some serious balls. So we’ll see. Take it easy everyone.
Monday, May 30, 2005
Yes, Tim Henry is just one man. And to be honest, I'm really not even sure what his real name is. But here's his story.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
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?
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."
"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.
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."
"It's rare for me to see somebody avoid both of these bunkers--"
"--and roll it up the slope from back there."
Okay, so maybe I should shut up now.
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 didn't get to see your shot. I was raking a bunker."
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?"
"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.
Posted by Tom Collins at 8:14 AM
Friday, May 27, 2005
Now I definitely want to talk about some caddie-type stuff that went on today, but first I need talk about this movie I saw recently. "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith." Quite a mouthful. Now I'm pretty confident that NONE of you have heard of it. It's a relatively unknown independent film series that started before I was born and will probably still be going on LONG after I die.
To start, I think I should preface this little rant by saying that I DID enjoy the original Star War's movies (Episodes IV, V, VI). I wouldn't consider myself to be OBSESSED with them, but I DID watch them a whole bunch of times and even had some dialogue committed to memory. I think it's fair to say that any NORMAL American male between the ages of 18-50 could say the same.
So okay, I was a fan. Now let's be honest, the first two prequels were far from amazing. They did have some good scenes, yes, but for the most part they bombed. But I mean hey, after the original series the standards were set so high that I don't think Lucas could've impressed an audience even AFTER insisting that every onlooker give themselves CGI-enemas before they sat down.
I was having some trouble figuring out what I really didn't like about this third movie and it finally hit me: it all comes down to the writing. A script is where it all starts. If the script sucks, I don't care how many special effects or sex scenes you have (but please, try these things and send me the videos), you're still just putting "whipped cream on shit." That's why movies like "Sideways" blew critics out of the water. A movie that had some substance WITHOUT special effects? What a concept!
Now I'm not saying that "Sideways" was flawless. I liked it, yes (although I still can't understand why people term it a "comedy"...I mean the movie's about a guy trying to get over a two-year depression), but it still had some very predictable scenes and dialogue.
As far as the writing, Lucas's scripts for Episodes IV, V and VI were all full of things to appreciate: complex characters, rich dialogue, inner conflicts, etc etc. Now I suppose you could make an argument for the prequels, saying they're actually "written well," but then I would ask you to explain some of the dialogue:
Master Kenobi: "The Sith Lord is evil!"
Anakin: "From my perspective, the Jedi are evil!"
FROM MY PERSPECTIVE?
Now I could understand the flow of this dialogue--MAYBE--if this came up in a University debate or something. But here are two guys fighting over a sea of LAVA. I think just saying "The Jedi are evil" would've sufficed. I mean come on. Anakin, we KNOW it's from your perspective. Why formalize your argument while fighting over an active VOLCANO?
Use the force/backspace-key George Lucas.
Count Dooku: "I've been looking forward to this."
Anakin: "As have I. My powers have doubled since we last met."
WE MUST KUNG-FU FIGHT!
I mean come ON. You can't take someone seriously when they start talking about their powers "doubling." How can Anakin quantify his skill? And how could a skill level off around 200%? That would be like Tiger Woods saying to the cameras: "My skills have doubled since The Masters."
In Episode III, Lucas really enjoyed setting up his audience for a fight scene. But his love for elaborate fight scenes didn't start in Episode III. As another example, take this quote from Episode II.
Count Dooku: "It is obvious this contest cannot be decided by our knowledge of the force, but by our skills with a lightsaber."
NOW ME MUST KUNG-FU FIGHT YODA-MAN!
I don't know. I'm going to stop this rant about Star Wars because I don't feel like I have the background or expertise to accurately pontificate...oh who am I kidding. I just don't care anymore. But I think you know where I'm going with this. Lucas likes to point out the obvious in his new movies. I mean call me old-fashioned, but I actually like to THINK a little bit when I go to the movies. I don't need EVERYTHING explained to me. I mean that's just insulting.
So caddying. That's what this site is about. So let's get to it.
Today was slow. The course has been closed the last couple of days to allow for the all-important "aerification" to take place. So predictably, on the first day that the course was open, NOBODY wanted to play. Let's face it: these members are used to playing on SICK greens (that's ski-bum slang for "wicked awesome"). They aren't about to come and play a course that looks like crap.
Sand was everywhere. Some of the fairways should've been equipped with rakes. I know. YES. This has to be done. Little holes need to be poked into this course. Little dirt-turds need to line the tee-boxes and the greens need to be BROWN.
A necessary evil. But thanks to this "necessity," nobody came to play today. I sat around in the caddie room from 8-12. Then I was given the signal to grab some lunch. Got back around 12:30. By 1:30, I farted several times, which felt good. People were playing cards. The 1997 Master's tape was in the VCR. Somebody challenged me to a putting contest on the concrete.
And then I was called to action. I was teamed up with the crack-head wonder again. We'd be carrying two bags a-piece, and we had some course-owners to work with today.
One of the guys I caddied for was a "board member" for a nearby course, and the other was its General Manager. And yes, I learned this information on 17. I never really "talked" to these guys for most of the round. And believe me, it wasn't a conscious choice.
It was an unconscious one.
Sorry, I had to say that.
But to give you a little more background on me, I'm pretty much blind. I wasn't born that way. I just sort of evolved into the squinting, contact wearing freak I am today by staring at the microwave as a child. Little did I know that someday those waves would give me "special" powers: they would give me the power to be "special." I would have the worst pair of eyes EVER. Yes, I also got into web design when I was 13 so I was in front of a computer screen at an early age (don't think I remember HALF of the stuff I learned back then), but I bet those microwaves had the biggest influence. I was fascinated by those damn things.
When I finally had my first eye-exam I started spouting off NUMBERS to the doctor.
"Tom, just relax now. They're all letters."
"Well then just give me glasses! Can't you see I need help! Butt-hole!"
Snickers put out a great commercial a while back where all of these referee's are getting eye-exams and the one ref in the chair starts by saying, "Umm F, B... Large cow..."
"No, they're just letters, okay?"
"B, E... Small cow?"
Now I'm not sure what my eyesight is in 20/20 terms. But I can tell you it's -8.00 for my left contact and something over -6.00 for my right contact. Yeah. It's way bad. All those with good eyesight make me sick. MAN I need to get laser surgery.
So I guess to prevent making a long story even longer, I haven't been wearing my contacts because I scratched one of my eyes pretty bad a while back and I'm letting my eyes heal before I put my contacts back in.
Well, my eyes are NOT better.
I found that out on the 3rd hole when the wind started picking up. All kinds of crap started blowing into my eyes. My left eye instantly went bloodshot. Then my eyes started spasming and trying to close, and for some reason my LEFT contact thought it would be a good idea to do the electric slide on my eyeball. Now I could still see out of my right eye, but with all of this stuff going on in my left eye I was just DISTRACTED.
On the fourth tee, one of my players took a nice divot. I mean really nice. It was one of those divots people take home to manicure so they can practice their putting. Dirt, sand, and pieces of your mom flew everywhere. And by "everywhere" I mean my LEFT eye.
"Oh my God. It's just not fair."
"What's not fair Tom?"
I completely forgot where I was for three holes because my contacts were moving around so much that I honestly FORGOT WHERE I WAS.
I still can't believe the guys' I ended up caddying for didn't say anything to me when I started moving my head around like Stevie Wonder. It was a combination of looking around to see something and cringing at the wind every time it got into my left eye again. I Probably looked more like a crack-addict than Stevie Wonder. Or maybe I AM a crack addict. That could be true too.
I'm also pretty amazed that I was somehow able to caddie for a while without any depth-perception. But I'd find shortcuts. Players would throw their balls' to me on the greens to be cleaned and I'd look away, pretending that I didn't see them throw the ball to begin with. Oh, how slick am I. Now I don't have to catch them.
Fortunately (or unfortunately), by the 9th hole my left contact started to fuse to my eyeball. So no more electric slide. Now it was more like a bear hugging a tree.
And speaking of bears, what's the Spanish word for "bear"? That was a crossword question today and nobody seemed to know it. Wow that was random.
But now that I think about it, so is this quote from Family Guy.
"Awkward moment? I'll give you an awkward moment: One time during sex I accidentally called Lois 'Frank.' Your move Sherlock."
Man what a great show.
So I'm twitching, blinking uncontrollably, and I feel like the foursome is moving slower than a fly stuck in syrup. And after that comment I probably belong on the Beverly Hillbillies or something. But first I need to finish. I'm almost there. I can taste it.
The other caddie was slow again. I felt bad, itched my eye, talked to these guys about visiting the course they currently own/run, and before you knew it, 6 hours later, we were on 15. Man these guys were slow. But I did envy them a bit. I mean, they WERE just taking their time. Every shot was a new mystery just waiting to be unravelled. And I definitely enjoyed the tip I received. So all in all, my left eye will be crying itself to sleep tonight, but at least I got some work today. Most of the other caddies were sent home.
Posted by Tom Collins at 1:38 AM
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
On Sunday, I made sure to come in at 7 am. I knew there would still be some people in front of me but at least there wouldn't be as many. Wait. Now I KNOW that crack I put in my milk this morning definitely jumpstarted my day, but I think it left something to be desired in the assumption department. Because I was definitely wrong. There were a crapload of people in front of me this morning. I was the 11th name on the list.
On this particular morning, however, the regular caddie-master was out of town and had somebody filling in for him. And for some reason, this fill-in really liked me. Not sure why. I certainly didn't offer him any of that crack. I had been selfish and just kept it all for myself.
So he hooked me up. He had me caddying in a member-member match. That meant there would be two caddies, and I would only have to carry ONE bag. Sweet.
But then I realized that BECAUSE it was a match and BECAUSE there were two caddies, the other caddie would NOT be reading any putts for me. I was on my own. So that sucked a little. But at the same time, I was really excited to be able to focus all of my energies on ONE player and help him win a match. I think today was the first day this season that I truly felt like I was on tour. I mean giving a player advice in a MATCH? It doesn't get any better than that.
First tee. Our opponent tees it up and hits a bullet down the center of the fairway. Alright, alright. We're not phased in the least little man.
Then MY player tees it up. A noble Englishman with an even-keeled personality and the wit of Oscar Wilde. I almost yelled out "You DA MAN!" when he teed off. I was so pumped. I'm ready to kick the shit out of the other team. Let's do it Mr. English. Yeah, that's right. Take your practice swing. You're awesome. Pretend our opponents' head is the ball and smash it.
Hold up. Better idea. Let's hook the tee-shot into the woods instead. No, really. I like that plan.
So maybe the first few holes didn't work out the way we would've liked. We were 2 down after 5. My caddying was flawless, of course. We weren't saying that much to each other, but I could tell he wanted me to say something to him soon because it looked like he was already losing some steam. My green reading had been dead-on thus far, but after he missed a 6-footer on the 5th to go 2 down he finally decided to let me in.
"We're two down partner. We need to do something here."
As I walked up the next fairway, I started thinking about what I might say to him. How could I get this guy to start playing better? Both of these player's were decent. At this point there were only mental hurdles that needed to be taken care of. So I took a step back and looked at the match as a whole. How was it playing out? Well, our opponent could make some good scores, but he was all over the place. He hasn't hit a fairway since the first hole and he's been hitting it into a lot of bunkers lately. My player, on the other hand, was fairly consistent. He was hitting all of the fairways and was at least getting it up NEAR the greens in regulation. He could putt too. So I started to formulate a pep talk for my man when he arrived at his tee-ball.
"So what do we have here Tom?"
"147 front, 159 pin."
Pause. I could sense this was the moment I had been waiting for.
"Mr. English, I've been thinking--"
"When I was growing up I was always a consistent player. I never had a lot of really low rounds, but I never had a lot of high ones, either. Whenever I played in matches, I would drive my opponents crazy because I would be hitting every fairway and a lot of greens. I would just play my own game and they ended up making all of the mistakes."
"Well, I only bring this up because you strike me as a pretty consistent player. Our opponent is not. He's not hitting any fairways today. I mean look at him now. He's in another bunker. Yes, we're two down right now--"
I love how quickly the caddie-player relationship turns into "we" under competitive circumstances. I almost feel like I'm the one hitting the shots.
"--but I say we kill him with consistency. I think it will break him in the long run."
"Alright, alright. Let's try it out."
And after he rolled in a 5-footer (after a STELLAR read on my part I might add), we had won the hole and were now only 1 down. MAN I love this.
On the 7th my player sliced it off the tee and left himself with a challenging punch-shot through the trees to get it back onto the fairway. So okay. Maybe he missed it when I mentioned the word "consistency."
"Sorry pard. I know you wanted me to hit the fairway."
You know what? That’s alright Mr. English.
And he hit a great punch-shot to bail us out. I mean sure, he ended up flubbing his third shot. But hey, we were on the green in four. The only problem was the other player. Our opponent was sitting pretty just off the green pin-high in the second cut. He was lying two.
Or was he?
Out of nowhere, he pulls a T.C. Chen and hits the ball twice with one swing. Now he was lying four, and his ball was still in the second cut.
My man ends up winning the 7th.
"Well I didn't know it was my birthday today."
Good. My man's gettin' in the opponents’ head a little.
That double-chip must've short-circuited a few synapses in our opponents' noggin' because he forgot how to play golf for a few holes. We ended up winning 8, 9, and 10.
We almost won 11 too to go 4-up, but Mr. English pulled his putt. But all was well. We were happy and I was talking trash to the other caddie.
“I’m tellin’ you Tom, all my player has to do is hit a fairway. You just watch. I just gave him a magic tee.”
“Yeah. I told him on the tee (12th) that the tee I gave him was magical.”
You sonofabitch. Magic tees are illegal. Take it away from him before it’s too late.
But it WAS too late. Before I could say “chili-cheese fries” my opponents’ tee ball went straight down the middle of the fairway an flew a good 30 yards by ours.
Shit. Stupid magical tees.
Everything started falling apart. They won 12, 13, 14 and 15. On 14 my man looked to me again for help.
“You need to talk to me again. I think we’re in trouble.”
No shit Sherlock.
“I think I fell asleep for a few holes there. I can’t seem to wake myself up.”
FINE. GEEZ. Have some CRACK. All I wanted was to have my own stash for the freakin’ milk in the morning to wake my ass up. But here. You take it. Take all of it Mrs. Poppins. Wanker.
In the midst of that minor seizure I was just reminded of a random experience I had while working out west at a ski resort. I was working in a rental shop and some tourists from England waltzed in (because let’s face it, they don’t amble, jog or mosey) to rent some equipment. While I was sizing them up, one of them noticed that my shop puts names on all of their skis so that people don’t get confused out on the slope. All of these English-types started laughing at the idea of naming a pair of ski’s “WANKER” and they asked me if I knew what they were talking about. I had a vague idea.
I wanted to say something like: “Oh yeah. Doesn’t that mean something close to ‘fuck-tard’?” But I just decided to keep my mouth shut and see what THEY had to say instead.
“It’s someone who ‘tosses off.’"
To quote from Family Guy: “Listen freak, not all of us watch Fraiser, okay?”
I mean, I know what this English-person was referring to NOW, but at the time I was like: YOU’RE FROM ENGLAND. SPEAK ENGLISH. WANKER.
Okay. Glad I got THAT story off of my chest.
So back to this little match. We find our heroin’s sitting on a bench behind the 16th tee wondering where the hell our 3 shot lead went. Now we’re 1 down? What the hell.
“Well, I’m glad they’re going first.”
That was the best I could come up with.
But out of nowhere, my man woke up. Mr. English hit a perfect shot that ended up about 15 feet from the hole. All of a sudden we’re looking at birdie and a chance at bringing this match back to even going into 17.
Predictably, our opponent gets up and down and taps in for his par. Now it’s up to team "AWESOME" to bring this match to its knees.
Unfortunately, this putt was not an easy read. There was a little ridge running down the right hand side of the ball-hole line (sorry, I must resort to Dave Pelz to accurately describe this one), making me think the ball was going to be forced to go a little left the whole way. But, on the other hand, there is a lake behind the green, which of course will make the ball break a little bit TOWARDS the water and move right. So now you’ve got three options, all of which have a case. One, you could aim the putt a little right of the hole and count on that ridge to kick it back to the left. Two, you could aim a little to the left and hope that the ball does indeed follow that “always breaks towards the water” rule. Or three, you could take a shot of whiskey and say fuck it, let’s just aim right at it and let whatever happens happens.
Being new to the game of caddying, I had to fall back on previous experiences and just go with my instincts. My “infallible, astoundingly God-like” instincts that have only failed me about 86 times in my entire life.
So I chose to have my player aim a couple balls right of the hole. I mean hey, that was the first line that I noticed. You gotta trust your first instincts, right?
“You sure Tom? I think I see it moving left-to-right here.”
“Well it could, but I see this ridge on the right and I’m thinking that’s going to play a bigger role in the overall break of this putt.”
Sound, logical reasoning. Good job Ace.
So where do you think it broke? Right. It broke right. About a foot before the hole, the ridge flattened out and the ball broke towards the lake.
Mr. English gracefully walked up and tapped his ball into the hole. I was peeing my pants. Here we have this great opportunity to square-up the match and I talk him OUT OF his first reaction to the line of the putt.
I hung my head and stared at the ground for a few moments. When I looked up Mr. English was standing there with an out-stretched arm to hand me his putter. He was grinding his teeth.
“Here you go.”
Now don't get me wrong, I was still very optimistic. But I mean come on, I had to be a little REALISTIC too. I needed to panic for a second. One down with two holes to go. Whew. We could be eliminated from this match on the next hole. Where the hell is that damn inhaler when you need it?
Both players hit their tee shots in the fairway. Our opponent hit his second into one of the greenside bunkers and left himself with an impossible up and down. My player skanked his first shot about 20 yards and then hit his third just off the front of the green.
Then the impossible happened.
Our opponents' bunker shot was fairly horrible, flying about 30 feet past the pin. He had quite a lot of terrain left to negotiate. A huge undulation between his ball and the hole and a rather large side-hill to contend with.
Nope. It was no problem for him. He was able to stop the ball right on top of the side-hill, let it trickle down the dip in the green, and let it curve gracefully into the cup for par.
Now my player had a 15 footer from off of the green to stay in the match. And he missed it. Game. Set. Match.
The two players played the 18th out of courtesy, but I would’ve rather walked straight in. I felt so horrible. Man. Now it’s true, I have been trying to learn these greens. And I have had some trouble with remembering certain breaks, but MAN. I will NEVER forget that putt as long as I live. I’m sure that’s how caddies on tour keep track of all of the breaks on the all of the greens they see. It’s pure heartbreak. I’m sure there are situations on the greens that we as spectators (or if it’s the Masters, “patrons”) don’t get to hear about, and I’m sure many of them involve players or caddies bitching and moaning about the fact that, “Hey, remember this putt? We missed this to lose by a shot two years ago because you thought it was going to break to the right. Well it DOESN'T. You gonna listen to me now smarty-pants?”
I thought for sure that read on 16 had completely screwed me out of a tip. And if he hadn't given me anything at all, I probably would've understood.
But no. For some reason, it ended up being my biggest tip to date for a single bag. Way to be Mr. English. Way to be.
I did end up caddying for 36 holes, but instead of walking you through my second round (which would be boring because there wasn’t a whole hell of a lot that happened), I thought I’d share something special with you.
Now perhaps this information is a little more “behind the scenes” than you bargained for when you first started reading stuff on this site, but I thought I’d include it anyway.
It’s called “Caddie-Ass.”
"Caddie-Ass" is a phenomenon by which your ass cheeks undergo an intense state of fusion that will do any number of things to a man: some cry, some walk off of loops to seek medical assistance, and some men’s testicles are sucked into this massive chafing vortex without mercy.
In the afternoon the caddie I was working with alerted me to this condition and when he started talking about your balls getting severely pinched I started laughing. I couldn’t help myself. The faces he was making seemed more like awe and curiosity than pain and suffering. But he quickly corrected me.
“Dude, why are you laughing? It’s not funny. Wait till you get it. That’s when you’ll really know you’re a caddie.”
Oh boy. Sign me up.
Posted by Tom Collins at 3:55 AM
Sunday, May 22, 2005
I think it's safe to say that every caddie had the same reaction when they came in this morning. You walked in, looked at the stand-by board and said: "Holy crap-bag."
Well maybe not crap-bag. Maybe it was just "poop."
Irregardless, the board was freakin' packed. I arrived at 7:15 this morning, which on any NORMAL morning would've put me in the top 5. Today, however, I was number 12. Number 12. Maybe instead of drinking coffee in the morning, I should throw a few crack-rocks in my milk. That might give me the impetus I need to get into work with the rest of these yahoo's at 6 am. I mean that's just ridiculous. And by 8 am, the board was completely full. Over 30 caddies were on stand-by. You KNOW it's bad when even the senior caddies are looking at each other going, "Damn. I don't think I'm getting out today."
I guess schools are starting to close for summer and a lot of kids are coming back to work. In addition, my boss has been busy recruiting so you've got 10-15 young kids being led in by their fathers with this "I'm still the man even though my dad is here" expression on their faces. So take those 20-30 returning employees, throw in the recruits, and mix it all together with some irritated senior caddies and you've got yourself a quite an interesting mix of people standing around the cart barn this morning.
If this is how crowded it's going to be all summer, I better start coming in earlier.
And amidst all of the chaos, the boss never flinched. He just went about business as usual. He even started telling some of his old caddie stories to some of us who were standing around in the office. But with his storytelling abilities, just about every caddie close enough to hear was interested and listening.
I was on the couch to start. It felt great just taking in the atmosphere. To my left, several caddies had started up a card game that I still have no idea how to play (1-2 bingo-bongo). Straight ahead caddies were clumped around the doorway bitching about the stand-by board. You could hear the same thing every time another caddie arrived.
"Holy shit man! This is bullshit!"
Then I looked to my right. I saw something that looked a little out of place. A girl in a caddie uniform. A GIRL. She looked like she was 13. That's insane. You can't throw a girl that young into a room of guys like this. Title IX my ass. This job is definitely the one exception to THAT particular rule. That's like throwing a big hunk of meat into a lion pit and calling down, "Now settle down you little bastards. Don't eat it."
The boss seemed to be reading my mind when he came in.
"You are not allowed to sleep with any of these guys. And guys? Stay away."
Pissing on a house-fire would've had the same effect. You could just see all of the guys around her licking their chops and trying to play it cool. The small-talk was painful.
But in a way, it was like her presence was throwing off our whole routine. It's a room full of guys. We're dirty, we probably smell, we fart together, we discuss the inner-workings of sex in graphic detail and we're constantly passing around Playboy's and Maxim's. It's not exactly the friendliest place for a woman.
So at first I was a little scared for this girl, wondering how she would fair against all of these guys. Then after a little while, I started feeling bad for all of us, because we couldn't exactly behave the way we wanted to. My boss started to tell another one of his stories, stopped, looked over at her and yelled, "Earmuffs!" It was funny, yes, but it just wasn't the same with a girl there.
After an hour or so of swinging golf clubs, watching another caddie try to fight my boss and throwing around a plastic plate that worked pretty well as a Frisbee, there was an opening.
Three guys were currently on the tee and my boss was nowhere to be found. In a panic, one of the staff guys runs into the caddie room and asks somebody to get on the tee. A hand went up.
"I SMOKE ROCKS!"
It was one of the addicts that had arrived at the ass-crack. So he was chosen. But there was a foursome on deck, and that meant at least two more caddies needed to be selected. And somehow I was one of their picks. Not sure how that happened. I definitely had 7 or 8 guys ahead of me. But the staff guys didn't seem to care. As long as SOMEBODY in a bib was on the tee, they were happy. So I went out to meet up with my players.
Just as I'm walking out to pick up the bags, I see two more caddies run up over the hill to join me. One is a new recruit going out for his first loop, and the other is this girl.
Hmm. I wonder how this will work out.
My prediction, even before the round started, was that these older guys we'd be caddying for would probably see this young girl as their substitution for Viagra. My guess was that they'd be talking to her all day. And I was pretty much right.
Surprisingly, everything was moving along nicely for the first few holes. My players were playing cart golf, and the other two caddies seemed to know exactly what they were doing. Well, the new recruit was having some trouble figuring out where to stand, but I think that was because he's never really played golf before. He liked standing 30-40 yards in front of a player that was about to hit. Maybe the kid just likes to live dangerously.
Now up until the 4th hole I thought the girl was new to caddying. But after the look she gave me, I thought otherwise. One of my players had just hit his shot and I was lifting up the bags. I heard her behind me.
"What's the number?"
"What number? On the ball he's playing?"
She looked pretty flustered. At first I couldn't understand what her problem was. Trust me little one, he hit the right ball. But then I understood. Shit. She just wanted the YARDAGE from my players' ball to the front of the green because she couldn't find a sprinkler head. Le Grande Geek strikes again.
"Oh man. Sorry! It's 186!"
Well, at least I tried. She just shook her head and continued walking. After that, I felt like a rookie again. She's obviously done this a few times before. But I shook it off. She's carrying one bag for an OLD guy. And she's a CUTE YOUNG girl. She'll be getting a big tip regardless of what happens today.
As for my players, one was friendly and very touchy-feely, and the other rivaled Silent Bob. Well hold on. I just remembered something. Silent Bob DID talk for a little while on the first hole.
When I had introduced myself, for some reason I included my last name, which happens to sound Polish. Somehow this struck a tuning fork in Silent Bob's loins.
"I married a Polack."
That's awesome sir.
"Yep. Married a Polack."
What? You want a cookie or something?
"Back in Michigan there's a whole community near us just filled with Poles."
"They're a very industrious people."
To quote Lewis Black: "Why? Why the FUCK open your mouth?"
I mean, I'm a little Polish, yes. But it's not like I'm from there. I've never even met a Polack. I had no idea how to react.
"Yeah. I guess we're everywhere."
Good one Tom.
And from then on, we really didn't talk to one another. I mean sure, I gave him yardages. But yeah. Not too much to talk about after THAT conversation.
My other player was very very friendly with me. VERY. I read somewhere that people who like to caress any and all things are in fact lonely. Or perverts. Can't remember which it was. But either way I felt bad for the guy. So FINE. Be all touchy feely. See if I care.
I was able to stay away from his hands for a little while by keeping my distance, but he ended up luring me in with a granola bar on the 7th hole. And that was just creepy.
I was surprised that it took me so long to notice, but on the back nine I started seeing a very unique approach the new recruit was using to assist his player with each and every shot. You might refer to it as "negative space."
I first heard this term back in college when I was enrolled in some Theatre classes. "Negative space" is a term used to refer to the space on the stage that you aren't using effectively. The goal of any set designer is to minimize the space needed for a show so that the actors are actually USING all of the playing areas provided. The areas of the stage they don't use are referred to as "negative spaces."
Now normally, when I'm caddying for someone, I give them the yardage, tip their bag up so they have easy access to their clubs, and after they've selected a club I pull the bag back and set it down at 3 o'clock approximately 8-9 feet away. But screw that. This new recruit had me beat. He made sure he was as far back as humanly possible. 20-30 YARDS. No joke. That's almost the difference in driving distance between Tiger and DiMarco at this years' Masters. This guy would hand his player a club and then run about 25 yards away and stop at 3 o'clock. I guess I just don't want to be the one to tell him that he doesn't have to do that. I think I want some of the other guys to see it too.
Now back to Mr. Touchy-feely. Mr. Touchy-feely made a habit out of walking off his own distances and then forgetting what they were. So by 14 I started holding hands and pacing the yardage off with him so I would be prepared for the inevitable: "So wait. How far is it again?"
Don't worry. We're in this together, sir.
After I handed both of my players their putters for the 15th green I decided to get ahead of the group and walk over to get the yardage for the par-3 16th.
By the time I set down my bags and calculated the yardage, the group was already walking up to the tee. So I called out the yardage a few times to make sure everyone heard me. Okay, done and done.
By the time they all stepped up onto the tee, they had all forgotten. The player the girl was caddying for chirps in with, "So coach, what do we have here?"
I quickly reply: "145."
There's a pause.
I turn to see this guy standing there staring at me, as if to say, "Wait a second. You're not my coach. You aren't 13 and you don't have boobs. Something here doesn't add up at all."
The girl quickly repeats: "145."
And then the guy calms down. Her voice has satiated him once again.
Then MY two players turn and ask her to repeat the number.
Oh come ON guys. This isn't a siren's song or anything. She just rattled off a number. Let's focus on your match instead of possible jail time.
And sure enough, at the end of the 18 holes, they were all giving her compliments and then just walking away forgetting about my goodbye handshake. I was tipped, yes, and they did end up saying "good job" to me. But I like that handshake. It more symbolic than a colloquial "job well done, son." But today I guess I'll just have to settle for holding hands with Mr. Touchy-feely on 14. We'll always have that, sir.
Before I go, I guess I should clarify: this girl is 18. No laws are being broken here. She just LOOKS 13. She's a freakin' baby. I'm just wondering how long that hunk of meat will stay untouched in the lion's den.
Posted by Tom Collins at 2:33 AM
Friday, May 20, 2005
Before I begin, I would like to paint a picture for you.
First off, on Wednesday I forecaddied for a threesome. It was one of the most frustrating rounds I think I've had yet. And I'm even counting my first few loops. Why was it so frustrating? Because one of the players is currently undergoing treatment for throat cancer.
Now don't misunderstand me. It wasn't the threesome that was causing the problem. I can say without any exaggeration that these players were by far the nicest I've encountered since I became a caddie.
It was me. And that was the most frustrating part of all. I've been working like a horse lately, and I was out of it. Here you have this guy who is having trouble breathing and currently eats all of his meals through a hole in his neck, and all I want to do is the best damn job possible. And I can't do it. My brain was fried. I'd run up to where they had hit their balls, and then I would space out for a second before I would remember what the hell I was supposed to do next. I was behind on everything.
I couldn't read the greens. To be honest, if the players had done the exact OPPOSITE of what I had suggested, they probably would've made all of their putts.
My yardages were perfect, but I lost a lot of confidence throughout the round because they took all of my yardages LITERALLY. That may sound stupid, but when I tell somebody 148 to the flag with some uphill and I recommend hitting more, I expect people to take my advice. Yet they would still hit their 145-150 clubs and end up short. Same goes for downhill. Yes, I suppose it was their fault, but MAN. I just really wanted to help these guys, and nothing was going right.
By the end of the round, I had had enough. I mean, the member undergoing this treatment couldn't talk, but I had a feeling I knew what he would've said. I sucked. So the first thing I did was go inside and ask my boss for Thursday off, and without hesitation he agreed.
So when I got home yesterday my mind was gone and I'm feeling pretty bummed. But I know I just need to sleep and have a good day of rest to get back into the swing of things. And I was really looking forward to finally being able to set up my new room.
So you can understand my frustration when I get a call today at 12:30 asking if I can come in to work.
You've got to be kidding me.
But again, I'm the rookie. I need to make a good impression. And fortunately, I got about 13 hours of sleep last night, so I was feeling pretty rested.
On the drive over to the course I was starting to feel a little better about my decision. So I want to make a good impression on my boss? Well I'm doing it. Right now. And that made me feel a little better. But I do have a real problem saying no to people. I don't know what it is. I need to work on that.
I think I was more worried about injuring myself than anything else. Like, I never have bad knees. But lately they've started acting up. As have my feet. Those arches ain't what they used to be. I sound like I'm 40 already. I feel a lot like my car must've felt when I looked at it and said, "Alright buddy. You ready for this cross-country trip?"
I wonder what "cough" and "sputter" mean in English.
And just my luck: I'm Forecaddying for a FIVESOME today. Never done that before. Another caddie was in the room when I found out which member I'd be caddying for.
"He's a fucking dickhead."
Well tell me what you really think.
"When I caddied for him, all I wanted to do was punch him in the face."
Alright. Got it.
So I'm working on my day off, under conditions I've never dealt with, and the guy I'm caddying for is a dickhead. Awesome.
But for some reason, against all odds, this afternoon went well. Somehow after the first hole I knew all of their names, I kept telling them I was new yet they still wanted me to help them on the greens, and they ENCOURAGED me to cheat for them. Sweet.
As for their golf games? They were interesting. First of all, the member looked like one of my old boss's, so that was a little weird. Somehow I'm working for you AGAIN? Damn. And his swing would definitely be an hour-long special on Golf Channel Academy. It was like he was going for a Jim Furyk look but was still studying up on it. He would take the club back slowly and deliberately to make it LOOK like a Furyk swing, pause at the top (probably trying to remember what to do next), and then whip the club down on a hard outside-to-in line that would always do one of three things: pull it dead left, pull slice it, or shank it altogether.
The first time I saw him hit a drive I didn't think he was serious. I mean, you tell me. Let's say you've got a swing that sucks balls (hypothetical) and your shots are so inconsistent that you always require your own cart so you're not breaking the rhythm of your playing partners. Wouldn't you conclude that you need to get your hands on a new, more repeatable swing? I'm crazy, right? But I've never seen three consistent shot patterns like that on one player. His swing must've been suffering from a multiple-personality disorder or something.
Two of the other players had some problems with putting. One would stand so far away from the ball that the shaft of the putter was never more than 45 degrees above the ground. The head of his putter almost stuck straight up in the air when he'd set up to the ball.
"Man, I really hit the crap out of that ball. Why didn't it get to the hole?"
Well, hitting the ball on the heel of the putter and topping it wouldn't have any effect. I don't know man. I'm stumped.
The other player had a similar fetish, except he liked hitting the ball on the toe with a little Mayfair flair: he would take the putter back well inside of his aimline and make contact with an inside-out swing. Maybe he was trying to impart some topspin to help the ball dive into the hole. I've heard of some players trying to do that. Until now they were just Roman Myth's to me. But it was impressive. I mean think about that: you set up with the heel of the putter off of the ground. Then you take the putter back well inside of your intended line. Then you somehow make contact on the TOE and get the ball to the hole. Takes years of experience I suppose.
Another guy liked beer. Well, they all did, but this guy especially. He was really enjoying himself, but he was getting so depressed about his golf game.
Heel putter: "Is Beer-guy in one of his 'I don't give a shit moods?'"
Toe putter: "Hey Beer-guy. You know we're playing for money, right?"
Beer-guy: "I don't give a shit."
Heel putter: "Yep."
Beer-guy was one of the biggest advocates for me cheating for them, so I tried to follow his advice and put a smile on his face on the back nine. At this point the fivesome was moving so slowly that my cheating efforts went a little like this: Walk over to Beer-guy's ball, notice it's in the hazard. Pull it out, clean it off, and set it down on some nice rough. Start to walk away. Stop, realize that the laws of physics do not permit the ball to come to rest in that position naturally. Walk back over to the ball. Have a brain-fart. Pick it up and move it down closer to the hazard. Look up to see if they've finished teeing off. Nope. Look back at the ball and notice that my cheating is too apparent. Reach down and put the ball further into the lateral hazard next to some weeds. There. Playable, and no penalty.
I mean, it was like 5 full minutes I had to play with. But I tell you man, I want to make sure that even if I'm caddying for a forensics expert, I want there to be absolutely NO traces of my work. I won't move on until that ball is clean of prints and every blade of grass is ready for inspection. Because the last thing I want is for my players to find out the truth. That would be like finding out that Santa Claus is not real. It would be traumatic for them. And I don't want that.
By the end of the round, it was dark and I was ready to go home. But I did have a great time with those guys. They even gave me a great line to give players when they ask for a read on the greens.
"So where does this ball break?"
I even used that one against them on the last hole.
"Did you hear what this smart-ass caddie just said?"
It was great. Well I better get to bed so I can do SOMETHING useful tomorrow.
Posted by Tom Collins at 2:45 AM
Thursday, May 19, 2005
On Saturday morning I was still a little out of it thanks to the heat from Friday. Somehow I needed to focus because today was supposed to be a bitch. Crazy busy. Caddies were even throwing out the term “triple.” Just the thought of carrying two bags for 54 holes makes me twitch. It’s crazy talk. But the fact of the matter was, there wasn't a single open tee time all day long.
This morning was funny because I don't think I've seen that many people struggling to stay awake. Every caddie was turning away to yawn, and even my boss had apparently had a bit of a rough night (a little too much wine). He looked like a college student trying to stay awake in an 8 am class. Glassy-eyed and a little unkempt. Well, actually, very unkempt. It looked like he had fallen asleep on caulking or something. Either that or he was coming off a bad shoot for a new Mentos commercial. Remember that one where the guy in the suit accidentally sits down on the bench with the wet paint? So, in realistic fashion, the guy continues to roll around on the bench to make it look like his suit was supposed to have white lines all over it. So imagine almost that same look, except my boss just decided to roll around in crap. No straight lines, fresh breath, or a happy expression on his face. Just white crap all over his wrinkled windbreaker. It was hilarious watching caddies with wet towels take turns cleaning him off. It was like watching zookeepers wash an elephant or something. My boss would just stand there staring straight ahead with a clipboard in one hand while caddies would come by and raise one of his arms to clean underneath.
So after a thorough cleaning, we all started to gather outside to see who we'd be assigned to. After shooting the shit for a moment, my boss starts to focus on the tee sheet. As the wheels start to turn, he looks around to see who's with it and who isn't.
"Well, I can tell that Matty here is good to go for 36, Bob is always ready, and Tom...Tom THINKS he can do 36, but he'll come in after 18 and start bitching and moaning about how awful he feels."
Whoa now. That’s a wake-up call. I’m sorry, but it was freakin' hot yesterday and I wasn't prepared for it. Wait a second. Now that I think about it, my boss knew what he was doing. He knew I'd get pissed off and try to redeem myself, and that's exactly what he needed from me today anyway. So of course when he asked, "So Tom, you think you can you sack up a little today and pull a double?" I had to say HELL YES.
I was always a sucker for a guilt-trip.
My first loop was with a familiar caddie, and we'd each be carrying two bags. We also had a trainee following us around today, and yeah, I definitely forgot to talk to him the whole round. Well, maybe not so much "forgot" to talk as it was "didn't see the need to" talk to him. He seemed like a nice kid, but I had a job to do. I was taking care of my players and trying to keep the pace up today. I didn't really feel like I ever had time to talk to this kid. I mean, I felt bad, especially when the other caddie on the 18th turned to me and said, "Dude, we're just about to finish the round. Have you even TALKED to this kid yet?"
Well, yeah. I mean I DID introduce myself.
I think if I had some more experience under my belt I'd feel more comfortable talking to somebody else in the group. But I mean come on. I'm still fresh meat. I need to stay focused or I know I'll screw SOMETHING up. Just like I did the other day with Mr. Sideways-face.
One of the guys I was going to be caddying for was a member, and he was hilarious to say the least. His voice reminded me a lot of Kevin Nealon's character in Happy Gilmore. The guy introduced me to his bag of clubs for cryin' out loud.
"Now this is my driver, and as you can see it gets a little scuffed up from time to time. Here's my 3-wood, which I only have in my bag because I guess golfers are supposed to have 3-woods in their bags. This is my pitching wedge, which usually gets a lot of use. And this is Abby."
Abby was his putter. He named it Abby because it had a massive dog head-cover and supposedly reminded him of an old dog he used to have named Abby.
"Now I like to keep this putter very sharp looking, so try to keep the head-cover on as often as possible. For instance, when you go to hand the putter to me when I get on a green, hand it to me with the putter-cover on. I want to take Abby off myself."
Well alright then. If he was joking with me, he never showed it. Somehow, I think that was his real personality. Weird guy. But cool.
He and the other guy I caddied for were both good golfers, and I never had to work very hard to keep up because they were playing cart golf for most of the round. There were only two or three holes that they made me work a little on, and they usually spent a good portion of the hole being incredibly apologetic.
"Man, Tom's really making his money on this hole."
Or, "Sorry Tom. Let me just get a few clubs here and I'll get out of your way."
I wanted to say, "Don't worry about it. It's my job guys." But then I remembered that Woody Allen loop from the other day and simply reveled at how well this first round was going. And before I knew it, the round was over and I was racing out to grab some lunch before my next round at 1:30.
My second round turned out to be a forecaddying job for a fivesome with another caddie. Now by my calculations, that meant some MAJOR slacking needed to take place in order for this to work. I mean normally just ONE experienced caddie could easily handle this situation (and by "experienced" I'm referring to the other caddie here). But two? I was wondering if we'd have anything to do. And as it turned out, yes. We would have our hands full with these guys.
And it's not like they were horrible players. Well, let me rephrase that. Ahem. It's not like ALL of them were horrible players. There was just this one guy that needed me to help him decide what to do with EVERY SHOT. And it didn't stop there. Let me see if I can illustrate.
"Tom, would you hit a lob wedge here?"
Well, I would. Can YOU hit a lob wedge? That’s really the question you should ask yourself.
"Where should I aim?"
"Keep it a little right of the stick if you can."
"Should I try to put some backspin on it?"
"You really can't out of the rough."
"Oh. Well what about top-spin?"
You want to top it?
"I don't want it getting caught up in the rough before the green."
"Just give it a good swing. The club should take care of the rest."
"So Tom. From here, would I really open the face?"
Wow. Here we go again.
But before I forget, I wanted to mention one more little tidbit: I was awesome on the greens for the second round. Every player was asking for a read. One of the players got so excited a couple of his putts dropped that he ran all the way across the green with a hand up signifying that he really really wanted me to slap it. It was like a little kid running up after a baseball game to his coach. It was pretty funny. But it looked weird because this guy was so big and scary looking. Guess he was just getting in touch with his inner child.
But then a few big-ass clouds moved in and some people in the clubhouse saw lighting, so they called everyone off of the course. My players decided to wait it out for a little while by the halfway house to see if it would blow over. Then that one guy came up to me again.
“So Tom, when do you think we’ll be able to get back out there and play? How many more holes do you think I should play? I have to get to the airport, do you think I should leave now? Should I even go to the airport? Should I get a beer? Do you like tacos?”
How have you lived this long? If Darwinism means anything, your kind should’ve been eliminated with the Dodo bird.
But the storm didn’t blow over. So we all headed back to the clubhouse. Yet, to my surprise, many of the players STILL decided to wait it out until they were sure they couldn’t play. I just didn’t get it. Heavy rain accented with LIGHTNING. 100% chance of rain tonight. And you still want to wait it out. I guess people will go through just about anything to play this course.
So they were all playing cards in the locker room, and I ended up falling asleep in the caddie room. I had been at the course since 7:15. It was 6 pm when we all headed back to the clubhouse. I was pooped.
I felt really bad though when the big scary man who liked slapping hands had to wake me up to tip me. I forgot the door to the caddie room was usually left open, and players often just came in and greeted their caddies. So I was fast asleep on the couch and he’s standing there with a respectable wad of cash probably wondering why he’s about to give me that respectable wad of cash. The rest was pretty much a blur. I just remember shaking his hand and running over to his bags and offering to bring them up to valet for him. I don’t remember what was said. I was just so tired. I felt drugged.
Alright. So Sunday. I get to forecaddie for three golfers who are all hung-over and are at the end of a 5 day golf-a-thon. The last four days went as follows: 18 holes, then 36, then 27, then 36, and then a final 18 today to finish off the trip. Quite an impressive itinerary. But these three all looked so depressed and sick. I was going to have to be very careful with what I said during this round. Anyone who’s ever had a really bad hangover could relate--even the sound of people talking makes you want to throw up. So for the first 5 holes or so, I was just pointing to their balls and giving the yardage, which I think they greatly appreciated.
Fortunately for me, my green-reading abilities from yesterday’s rounds carried over a bit, and so when these guys could finally handle a small conversation without feeling sick, they started asking for some reads and I started kicking some ass.
I think the best hole was number 9. All three of them hit the green on this par-3 and they were all about 20-30 feet from the hole. I read all of their putts, and they all knocked them in. Perfect reads. It was great.
To be honest, I think I would’ve liked to have those great reads fall a little closer to the end of the round, so the players could simply enjoy the finish and enjoy handing over a couple bills. But as it turned out, I lost some steam coming down the stretch and COMPLETELY screwed up my reads on 15, 17 and 18. So instead of them looking at me at the end of the round thinking to themselves: what a great caddie! They were probably looking at me the way a meat-lover looks at tofu. Because seriously, what a bland God-awful product. Anything you combine with tofu loses its flavor simply because it’s sitting next to it. Tofu is the black-hole of flavor. So yeah. These guys just looked at me and probably thought of tofu. Which is never good. And neither was the tip.
On a positive note, however, I started noticing that I can pretty much talk to anybody about anything. I guess it comes from all of my years of experience in customer service. Bartending especially.
One of the players was in real estate, so I was able to talk to him for a little while about the housing boom in Northern Virginia. Another guy was a car salesman (and yeah, he cringed when he said this to me), and so I asked him about the current decrease in sales of SUV’s. Could volatile gas prices cause this trend to continue?
In thinking about it, I think there are only three professions that people are embarrassed to admit that they actually DO for a living: car salesman, telemarketer, and lawyer. Random comment, I know, but it’s true. I’m sure there are probably others, but I think people tend to try and avoid these people more often than not.
Posted by Tom Collins at 1:22 PM
Sunday, May 15, 2005
So, I'm finally in my new apartment. Still got a crapload of unpacking to do, but at least I have my internet connection. I can rant again. And it feels oh so good.
I've realized recently that I really need to make sure I update as often as possible. Thanks to this move, I'm a little behind in my posting. I have six loops to talk about. Six. That's an insane amount of material to go over in just two posts. I sat down this afternoon and started jotting down some notes, which I'm glad I did, because I've experienced some interesting stuff in the past few days and I didn't want to miss anything. On the same token, however, I hated to do it because I'm always striving to write whatever pops into my head. Taking notes kinda ruins that. But anyway. Enough jibba-jabba. Let's talk.
I don't know what the hell was up with this first loop. It sucked. The other caddie I was working with didn't seem to have a clue what was going on. And yet, he was supposedly more "experienced" than I was. I found out after the round that he really is a nice guy, but during the round I wanted to kill him. And his appearance was a little off-putting too. He looked like that crackhead from The Chappelle Show. I was just waiting for him to start scratching his neck uncontrollably and start mumbling in a high-pitched voice: "I smoke rocks!"
He was freaky looking. He looked like he might "cut a bitch" at any moment. And as an aside, I think the fact that I just had to put "cut a bitch" in quotations illustrates how white I actually am. But moving along.
So to recap, this caddie was sketchy looking, a little slow in the head, and moved like a turtle. You can imagine my elated feeling of joy and happiness when we get paired with four angry New Yorkers who have never done anything slowly or quietly in their entire lives.
I'm carrying two bags, he's carrying one, and the fourth player is in a cart. I'm caddying for the member and one of his guests. The member was fairly built and had a bit of a lazy eye. I got nothing against that, but I was always a little confused when he got irritated. Is he yelling at me? Or the guy next to me? Or what about that squirrel over there. That little bastard. Just look at him. I'm sure he can't wait to chew on a nut or something to distract you just as you're about to start the down-swing.
The whole round I had trouble deciphering whether or not these guys were friends or if they all just hated each other.
"Nice shot Bob. GO FUCK YOURSELF!"
"Got the read on this putt buddy? YOUR WIFE'S A WHORE!"
I may be exaggerating a bit, but that was pretty much what happened. You can bet your bottom dollar that the last thing I wanted to do was get on their bad side. But leave it to Turtle the crackhead wonder to start screwing things up. I tried my best to compensate, but it wasn't long until the foursome started voicing some opinions.
The first complaints were about the yardages. The other caddie had two huge yardage mistakes that I was aware of. On the 6th hole I caught him on it before he was able to tell his player. In my head I was walking off a yardage. "...173...174...175."
Turtle: "What you got there, man? 119 to the front?"
Me: "Whoa man. I got 175."
Turtle: "Oh, cool. I SMOKE ROCKS!"
I'm not sure where the hell he came up with that one. My boss would ask me later what I felt about his abilities, and I gave him that example. My boss just sighed and said, "Oh, he's just subtracting instead of adding. We'll fix that."
Wow. Well he may be screwing up his adding/subtracting, but by over 50 YARDS? That caddie must be smoking some really good crack.
The second yardage mistake (I'm sure there were more I didn't hear about) came on the 10th hole. I had just arrived at a sprinkler-head when I heard him ask for the yardage. I told him it was 145 to the front. He nodded and went back to his player, a good 20-30 yards back from that mark. His player hit a great shot that ended up about 20 yards short. The player was pissed.
Player: "What the HELL was that? That wasn't 145!"
Turtle: "Well Tom told me it was 145."
Me: "Sir, I told him it was 145 from HERE."
Player: "I was gonna say! I HIT THE SHIT OUT OF THAT 7-IRON! You can't fuck up a yardage THAT badly! What kind of a caddie are you?"
I did feel bad for Turtle. But it didn't really look like the comment had affected him, and after a couple holes I was too busy picking up the slack to even think about it.
Whenever I had a free moment I would watch him to see what he was doing with himself, because I was busting my ass, and it was really freakin' hot outside. I was wondering how he was handling it.
Nothing. He was doing nothing. He was carrying one bag and getting yardages for his guy. That's about it. I forecaddied for his other player and took care of my two guys, which makes me believe that I could really handle 2-up 2-down someday (where I'm carrying two bags and forecaddying for two guys in a cart), which is a cool feeling. I mean I can still remember when I was blown away by the idea of trying to carry two bags. That seems like so long ago.
But yeah. It was frustrating. He couldn't get yardages right, he was slow, and he wasn't doing anything. But number 15 was where the shit hit the fan.
The member snap-hooked it off the tee into the lateral hazard, but it hit a couple of trees so I was already running over there to see if I could find it. On the way over, I'm crossing my arms over my head trying to signal to the tee that he's in trouble and may want to hit another. I also yelled to Turtle, "make sure he knows he's in trouble!"
Now my back was turned when this happened so I'm not sure if the member was hallucinating when he made this claim, but apparently right after I told Turtle to inform the member that he was in some trouble, the caddie gave the safe sign.
So of course the member had something to say about it.
Member: "You don't fucking give the safe sign when a ball is hit into a lateral hazard!"
Turtle: "Sorry. I thought Tom told me it was safe."
Man, it sure seems like he enjoys putting it all on me, doesn't it?
Up until this point, I hadn't experienced the wrath of a member. All of my caddying experiences had been pretty tame. But this guy just exploded. And at that point, I was so tired and so frustrated that I just caved. So when the other caddie walked over to his player I tried to apologize to the member.
"Sir, it probably doesn't matter at this point, but I want to apologize. Normally they stick an 'A' caddie with me because I'm still pretty new here. I'm sorry that--"
Well okay then. From that point on, all I could really do was hustle. By the end my brain was fried. I was so exhausted I couldn't react to the tip until the following morning when I was like, "Wait a minute. Me and the other caddie got the same tip? DAMN!" I mean, it was a good tip, but I was suffering and that caddie didn't even break a sweat. Come on karma karma karma.
The course was pretty busy that day, and when I went into the caddie room to check with my boss about where he stood, I made the mistake of flinching when he asked me if I was good for 36. He noticed how apprehensive I was to continue and sent me home. I mean, I didn't want to give him a weird face when he asked if I could do another 18. I guess it was just a reflex after that round.
But enough sympathy. Let's move onto the women.
Now with women, there are only two rules that you need to follow: don't stare at their respective asses, and don't laugh. I'm sure there are more rules, but so far that's all I got.
Today was tough because one of the women I was caddying for was HOT. So yeah, I guess I broke rule number one a few times. But I guess I'll simply revert back to the ol' caddie response of, "Hey man, she was FLIRTING with ME." Like that makes it okay. But several caddies I know use that line, so why can't I?
And to be honest, I guess I broke rule number two a few times as well. So I guess the two rules I know of acted more like suggested guidelines more than anything else that day.
So what was I laughing about? Oh let's see. Well, one of the ladies looked like Mrs. Doubtfire and took her game way to seriously, another woman was stout and ripped and added on a few occasions, "Oh YEAH do I lift weights." She swung out of her shoes and topped everything. It was like she was trying to force-feed the ball into the hole. She said she was a softball coach, and you could see it in her swing. She had this massive uncoiling action that whipped the clubhead down into the upper-half of the ball every single time. David Leadbetter would've been impressed with how consistently she topped the ball. She had a few of those great tee box moments where she swung as hard as she could with her driver only to nick a small millimeter on the top of the ball. The ball would wobble for a second and then fall about an inch forward of where it was teed up.
Got a piece of that one.
But I think the best part about caddying for these women was that not only were they so grateful and blown away at even the smallest service I provided (replacing their divots for them was a thrill), but they were also so happy at even the slightest hint of success. A good drive meant giddiness and compliments all the way up to the ball, a good lag putt initiated some clapping, and one of the ladies made her first birdie EVER, which of course meant that some significant cheering had to take place. And it was a lot of fun. I think some of the other members at this course should take a lesson from this group. They may not be scoring that well, but they just love the game and enjoyed being able to play.
The only annoying part of the day was when they were playing a game called "Wolf." Now I'm sure it goes by other names, but this is where someone is named "wolf" and has to pick a partner for a hole based on the other three tee-balls. You then have two teams, and if the wolf's team wins, that person gets a point. If the wolf's team loses, that person loses a point. I mean, it sounds kind of fun, but it was a little annoying because they could never remember who was wolf last, so there was a debate on every tee box.
"Who is the next wolf?"
"Well I was wolf on the last hole."
"I was wolf at some point today."
"Who's on first?"
Wolf wolf woof woof woof. Sounded like a bunch of squirrels on caffeine. But it was a fun loop. They were all very easy going, and even though I was carrying two bags, I never felt rushed.
I think that's why I was so unprepared for my next loop. Now I actually had to work.
The next loop was a nightmare. You know when you're dreaming and you're trying to run away from something, but regardless of how hard you try to run you can't seem to run fast enough? Yeah, that was me. I was constantly trying to keep up but for some reason I just couldn't.
On this particular loop I was carrying two bags: one of them belonged to a member who reminded me of Woody Allen, except he had a higher-pitched voice and wasn't as shy. The other guy I caddied for was just funny looking. And not like "Fargo" funny lookin'. It's like his face was on sideways or something. The whole round I was just like, "Dude, why you gotta look at me like that?"
So I was working really hard, but there were two problems. They were splitting me at least twice A HOLE, which meant that I was constantly crossing the fairways, dropping a bag here, picking up one there, running back to get a yardage, running forward to replace a divot. It was crazy. And the biggest problem was that they were not even helping me. Now, I'm not saying they should've carried their own bags or done all that other stuff. All I wanted was for them to grab a couple of clubs to take with them for their next shot. True, they can't always do that without knowing the distance, but I mean come on, if you're in a greenside bunker and you can see your lie from 50 yards away, you know what type of shot you have to hit and therefore what club or clubs you need to grab. But they weren't doing that at all. So I had to bring both bags up to every green, which slowed me down significantly for the next tee. I was running everywhere and it didn't look like I knew what I was doing because they were always waiting on me. God it was frustrating.
The other caddie I was working with made me feel better though. He instantly realized the problem I was having and kept giving me little pep-talks whenever he could.
"Shake it off man. Shake it off. It'll be over soon."
To which I would always reply: "I'm sorry man, I'm never this bad. It's like I'm on my very first loop or something."
But it seemed like everyone understood. At least, that was what I inferred out of the tip I received. It was a great tip for a crappy crappy round.
To give you an idea of how out of it I was by the 17th hole, I completely forgot a very simple request from Mr. Sideways-face. Junior (Son of the great "Prune-face" from Dick Tracy). Sideways-face wasn't hitting his driver well that day. Well, he wasn't really hitting anything well, but his driver was the biggest banana-cut out of them all. So on the 15th he tells me that he doesn't want to see his driver for the rest of the round. He just wanted his 3-wood from here on out.
"Oh, not a problem sir."
So guess what happens on the 17th tee when I go to hand him a club? I hand him the driver. He just stares at me and asks for his 3-wood. Oops.
And then guess what I hand him as he's walking to the 18th tee? You guessed it. The big dog. His sideways-face almost righted itself he was so frustrated.
Like he was trying to sound it out for me. Crooked dickhead. Look, I'm sorry I forgot. But you've had me concentrating on other things today buddy.
So that's it for part one. Thanks for sticking with it.
Posted by Tom Collins at 2:12 PM
Friday, May 13, 2005
So as you may have seen, this site was recently reviewed on Travelgolf.com. I was and still am blown away by this news. For some reason, I only pictured maybe 10-15 readers seeing this site every day or every other day. Obviously I was mistaken.
My initial reaction to this article was completely positive. I laughed, read it about 30 times just to make sure I wasn't seeing things, and started calling up family members to tell them about my good fortune.
But then I got a little dose of reality. My parents were happy for me, yes, but they also gave me a warning: "Now you have to start being careful about what you say, just in case somebody from work realizes who you are. Just don't want you to lose your job, bud."
So now, even though some interesting things have been happening at work, I have been too paranoid to sit down and write about them. Will I be walking into work soon and be confronted about what I've been writing? I guess I just needed some time to digest this new reality.
After considering my options, I decided that I needed to change a few things on the blog, but I would continue to write.
After spending the last 3-4 hours reading over all of my previous postings, I noticed a few things. Firstly, I wasn't as incriminating as I had originally thought. Hell yeah bitch. I won't have to make a whole lot of changes to the site. In addition, I realized that not only has my writing style evolved considerably, but my readers have progressively become more responsive and more receptive.
I mean come ON. I can't let you guys down now.
Plus, I really enjoy ranting for a while after work. It's a win-win situation for everyone. I just have to be careful now. So I've changed a few things. Personally, I hated to make these changes because I LIKE being open with people. But to assure the success of this site over the long term, a certain level of anonymity had to be reached. I guess I'm pretty stupid for not even CONSIDERING these things until now, but I was just having fun. And that's exactly what I want to continue to do.
This Sunday I will be moving into this "New Apartment" I was talking about earlier. Unfortunately I will not be able to post anything between now and then because I'll be living out of a hotel. But trust me, I'll be taking notes during the day and I'll make sure to post something extra either Sunday or Monday.
So in short, I would like to thank everyone for your support and I'm looking forward to a great summer.
I'll see everyone on Sunday.
Posted by Tom Collins at 1:57 AM