So I’ve been feeling pretty tired and intellectually feeble the last couple of days, and after some careful thought and asking a few of my friends, I think I’ve figured out my problem. I need to eat more for lunch.
My usual routine is to wake up as early as I can, stuff my face with some cereal, English muffins/ raisin bread / or bagels and I’m out the door. I bring an energy bar and a piece of fruit with me to consume at some point during the loop, but that’s all I usually eat until dinner time. And don’t get me wrong, when I finally get to eat, I EAT. Horses on STEROIDS are the only mammals capable of keeping up with me. But all things considered, I think I need to up my caloric intake throughout the day. I figure that way I won’t feel so fatigued when I get home, and that means more time and energy to sit and write and bitch and moan and whatever else I want to do on this site at night. So I have THAT figured out. Now I just need to see how I can implement this new "habit."
You know, some of the senior caddies have been telling me that I can get WHATEVER the hell I want at the halfway house (just after the 7th hole). This includes sandwiches. Occasionally I’ll have a player get me a hot dog (they insisted), but for the most part, I guess I’m just too shy to ask for anything edible. It’s always Gatorade. Blue. I don’t fuck around man. I don’t get any of those other colors. Like red? Why would you WILLINGLY walk around looking like you’ve put on lipstick?
Why am I so shy out there? I don’t know. Being humble WAS part of the training. But the thing is, I don’t consider myself a shy person. I’m sure many of you reading this know PROSTITUTES that are WAY more modest and quiet than I am. But sometimes I just want to bite the shit out of some real food. I mean what can I say? I like sandwiches, and I like feeling full. So it’s settled. The next time I hit that halfway house, I’m going to BITCH-SLAP those highly-attractive sandwich girls until they give me some FOOD. Well, maybe not bitch-slap. Perhaps a noodle-whipping would suffice.
Oh, and a random comment: remember “Half-Baked” (The pot-smoking caddie who’s cousin left him for Florida with the aid of yours truly)? Yeah, he and two of the other crack-addicts who occasionally moonlight as caddies all decided to go swimming in "the lake." A lake that borders the course. A lake that ALSO happens to be THE source of drinking water for an entire CITY. So swimming is forbidden. Obviously. To be honest, I can’t see WHY. I’m sure the townspeople would APPRECIATE the addition of caddie-sweat and bong resin to their drinking water.
“Oh wow honey. This drinking water has a delectable nose. What is that wonderful aftertaste? Crack or Heroin?”
So anyway, some guy saw them swimming, politely asked them to get out and one of them flew off the handle and bitched the guy out, citing that “this is a free country.” So the guy called the cops and alerted the EPA, and now these caddies are going to be suspended, fined and possibly brought to court under a federal SUBPOENA for deciding to take a dip in the forbidden waters. So I probably won’t be seeing that kid for awhile. What a shame. GOSH. I mean, just when I FINALLY solved the mystery, he’s suspended. I finally figured out where all of the caddies were getting their crack. And for some reason that was fascinating to me. But now it’s over. Game over man. Game over.
But I digress. Again. Which is fine, because I wanted to throw in the following sentence anyway: Donkey-dick’s love trees, rocks and ho-bags? And no, I’m not really sure what that means. But yes, it needed to be said, and yes, it IS a question I’d like to have answered.
Wow. I’ll be honest with you guys. I was just staring at my desk for 5 minutes without moving or thinking about ANYTHING. This means that it happened again today. I didn’t eat enough. Damn. So I’m not sure how far into this I’m going to get, but trust me, I am going to make it a point to stop somewhere on my way to work tomorrow and grab a CRAPLOAD of food to eat all freakin’ day. There’s no WAY I’m going hungry tomorrow too.
So I started my training today. And by “training” I mean “doing nothing for 5 hours,” which I never MIND doing, but on an empty stomach, you just want to die. It was hot today too, which of course was AWESOME. So now I’m hot, sweaty (perhaps “slimy” is a better term) and hungry. I have no energy. I was working as a Starter for most of the day, which meant that I only got up when I had to. This was pretty pathetic, because as a Starter, you’re supposed to spend the majority of your time STANDING. But I just couldn’t. I just kept sitting on that magical bench hoping my stomach wouldn’t start to eat itself and give me an ulcer or something. Because I know that can happen. And I still don’t have health insurance right now (yes, I’m a genius), so if something happens where I need prescription drugs, I would probably fart so loud you’d think Whitney Houston was lodged somewhere in my bowels. I just don’t know what I would do.
Before I left for my training, I met my boss at a coffee shop to have a little “talk” before he sent me on my way. It was really quite enjoyable. Here’s a guy I’ve wanted to say SO much to in the last 3 months but haven’t had the chance because he’s always busy, or driving to another course to sell his caddie program, or selling his house, or MOVING, or whatever. You know. Useless crap. But he’s just one of those guys who could probably do anything he wanted to with his life and he chose to start a high-end caddie program. He also doesn’t take shit from anyone, and he always tells it exactly how it is. So having him sit across from me trying to get to know ME was a rare privilege.
Oh yeah, and one more thing: Before I left the course for the coffee shop this morning two of my caddie-friends saw me pulling OUT of the parking lot at 9:20 am and were probably wondering what the hell was going on. They stopped and rolled down their window to ask, but I just blew by them. I mean I WAVED, don’t get me wrong. But what would I say to those guys? I don’t want them to think differently about me just because the boss is giving me this opportunity. That’s probably the old Tom talking here, but I just KNOW how the caddies felt about this other kid who was given this new account. They all think he’s a jackass. And true, maybe he is a little bit, but I don’t want the other caddies to start hating me because of my new status. I guess I’ll just have to see how tomorrow goes. Because I’m sure after I just blew by those two guys they probably let EVERYONE know that I just LEFT without a word. Whoa boy.
So the talk with the boss was great. No need to get into all of the specifics (because he’s not really sure WHERE I would be going yet) but things are looking up: he wants me to train, work as an official Assistant Caddie Master for a while at a course down in Florida, and then in a year’s time, he wants to get me my own account to run. Which I think is pretty awesome. Although the way he said, “get you your own account,” almost made me a little uncomfortable. Because I would really like to HELP him land an account. I don’t just want it handed to me. I never like it when things are handed to me. All of this great news at once seems surreal enough, but then you throw in a free Caddie Program to run and I just start feeling like I didn’t earn that opportunity. Yes, I mean, I guess I will. I don’t know. Some of you know might know what I’m trying to get at. It just doesn’t sit right with me. But the best part is that he’s actually going to fly me down to Florida to meet up with another Caddie Master to see if he could put me at this new account he’s opening up as an Assistant. So in a couple of weeks me and him are FLYING down TOGETHER to meet up with this guy. I asked him to repeat it because I thought I heard him wrong. You’re flying ME down? Why? I’ve never had somebody FLY me anywhere before. But he is. So yeah. Needless to say, it was a great meeting. And then he sent me over to this new account to start my training.
I felt like Luke Skywalker did when he decided to embark on his quest to become a Jedi. Except in MY version, there will be better dialogue and NO CGI for the prequels.
So after I arrived at the course, I walked into the Caddyshack and pretty much just stared at the Caddie Master for 15 minutes. He really didn’t have anything to say. Here I am, ready and rarin’ to go, and he just keeps repeating, “You know, I just don’t know what to tell you.”
Well, how about starting with, “Welcome Tom, today you’ll be doing BLANK for me.” All you have to do is fill in the blank. Come on now. I know you want to.
And for about 3 hours, he couldn’t. I had to fish out random questions from the inner recesses of my bowels (being careful not to violate Whitney Houston in the process) just to pass the time. I mean, I know this guy is new, but there’s got to be SOMETHING to talk about. I mean how hard can it be? Walk me through a normal day for you, and simply elaborate during the parts which you feel are the “most important” in helping me to understand how to be a Caddie Master. End of story.
But no. The staring contest continued. After about an hour, he finally decides to put me up on the first tee with a clipboard and a radio in my hand. Yeah. That will teach me stuff.
And yes, a few groups did come up to tee off. I greeted the players, joked around with some of them briefly, and sent them on their way.
“Perfect. That’s all you have to do.”
“Well, there’s not a whole lot involved with being a Starter. I could probably teach a monkey how to do it.”
Well that’s encouraging. So now I’m an idiot. A “cerebral moron” if you will.
“We’ll get you out here on Sunday when it’s busier so you can get some real experience.”
Sounds good. Because this is KILLING me right now. I need to be handling more than this. This is like putting a porn star in a room with just ONE guy. I mean come ON. They’re trained to handle more. Bring it.
And it did get a little busier, but for the most part, it was a pretty dead. The real fun came when he asked me to come out around 4 to help train two new caddies. So wait. Now I get to PLAY this course for free with a caddie carrying my bag and I get to TELL him how he should do his job? That is AWESOME.
I remember reading online somewhere that “most” players don’t see the need for caddies. They feel “stupid” having somebody carry their clubs and rake their bunkers for them. And for a while, I agreed with those statements. But now I have to disagree. I only played 9 holes today, but I tell you: It was marvelous. This kid didn’t even know ANYTHING about golf and I still loved it. My caddie finally started catching on after 3 or 4 holes and I have to say, it was fantastic. I never had to think about a yardage, worry about picking stuff up, or excusing myself when I farted. Now I had somebody there helping me DENY that I had ever farted in the first place. Just wonderful. And all I had to focus on was PLAYING. I didn’t have to worry about anything else. I had never played the course before, and I started out with four pars. Then a bogey. Then a birdie. Then two bogeys, and then a par. Two over on the front nine. And I had NEVER PLAYED THE COURSE BEFORE. I’m telling you, it was because I had a caddie. It helped me to focus. I was simply given a yardage, handed a club, and hit the ball. No thinking required. Which as you know, certainly helps on the golf course. I mean look at Tiger Woods. I mean SURE he went to Stanford. But he is a RETARD and look at how good he is.
I’m going to wrap this up because I really AM trying to type up shorter posts these days. I just can’t seem to help myself for some reason. So we played 9 holes, and as we were walking in I came to the realization that I truly enjoyed training that caddie. Everything about it: establishing authority, teaching, shooting the shit, encouraging them to work harder, whatever. It was all gravy. My only concern is that I’ve only been caddying for 3 months. Placing me into a Caddie Master position too soon could take away some of my street cred because I would definitely be nervous about telling a few of the caddies with 5 or 6 years of experience how to do their jobs. But if I must I must. I just can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
So I’ve been feeling pretty tired and intellectually feeble the last couple of days, and after some careful thought and asking a few of my friends, I think I’ve figured out my problem. I need to eat more for lunch.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
To avoid giving any of the other caddies’ a seizure, I decided to come in at the regular time today. I was there at 7 am. I was the third caddie to sign up, and it looked like it was going to be a busy day so I didn’t think I’d have to wait around very long for an assignment.
So I sat down and fell asleep.
Well, to be honest, I suppose I really didn’t fall asleep per se, it was more like “dozing off” for a couple of hours. My head kept falling forward, or to the side, or whatever. After a while, a senior caddie punched my leg. Not really sure what that accomplished. But now I was awake.
I looked at the clock. 10:07 am.
What the hell? I’ve been here for three hours already and the boss hasn’t even said a WORD to me. Well, I mean he COULD’VE said something to me. It IS possible I missed something because I was kind of “unconscious” for the last few hours.
And don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against sitting. I always like waiting around because I know I’m going to get work at some point and the dialogue in the caddie room is always PRICELESS. Well, maybe not priceless. If I had some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups maybe THEN it would be priceless. Yeah. That would be sweet.
Then I started to wonder if my sleeping had angered the boss at all. Maybe that was why I hadn’t been assigned a loop yet. Crap. I mean, I don’t think sleeping in the caddie room had “irritated” him at all thus far. But you never know. He has been known to get a little “moody” at times. Perhaps sleeping in the caddie room was one of his “buttons” today.
By now other caddies were coming in for their afternoon loops. Before they signed their names on the board, they would all stop and stare at me. It was always the same look: Were you late AGAIN Tom?
And then they would look at the standby board, look at me, and then turn back to the board. Something was fishy. Wait a minute. You’ve been here since 7 am and you HAVEN’T been out yet?
Yeah, that’s right.
“Is the boss mad at you or something Tom?”
I just stared off into space and shrugged my shoulders. Well I HOPE not. But your guess is as good as mine buddy. But you know, while I’m waiting, why not confirm my crossword puzzle handicap and see if I can fill in ANY of these blanks today.
And surprisingly, I started filling in a few. “Farce.” That’s a good one. “Foil.” Heh. Alright. A fencing reference. High School gym class is coming through in the clutch today. “Lauer.” Yeah. Katie Couric’s buddy.
I was on a ROLL man. If I could just knock down a few more words it would be a personal BEST. And then I see the boss walking over towards me.
Whoa boy. Here it comes. Whatever “it” is.
His voice was pretty quiet, which took me off guard because normally he’s anything BUT quiet.
“Would you be interested in training as a Caddie Master on Tuesday’s?”
I think my cerebellum just fused.
“Yeah. That would be…bitchin’.”
“Yeah, you know, we’ll start to get a feel for what the future holds for you at this company.”
“Thank you so much.”
“Cool. I’ll call you Monday night.”
And that was it. That was the most meaningful 30-second conversation I’ve ever had. Wow. I really don’t know what to say to that right now. I’m sure it will sink in later and I’ll flip out in some later post, but for now, I guess I just wanted to let you guys know. So next Tuesday I will be traveling to that new account my boss just opened and do “something.” I’m not really sure what yet. I’m sure the boss will fill me in when he calls me. Wait: He’s CALLING me now? That’s so cool man. I never thought I’d get a call from that guy. I’m guessing I’ll be shadowing as a Starter/Caddie Master to see what it’s all about. But I do know one thing: my boss’s company is BOOMING. He’s got 3 or 4 new courses in the works, meaning that he’ll potentially need 3-4 new Caddie Master’s to run his accounts at these PHENOMENAL courses within the next year. But you know what? I’m going to stop now, because I need to be realistic. I mean hey, I could absolutely HATE being a Caddie Master and might decide to just stick with caddying for a while. Maybe I’ll do both. Or, I could completely SUCK at being a Caddie Master. There’s always that. Who knows. But that’s great news. Beauty, eh?
And THEN he puts me out on a loop. So I guess that answers my FIRST question. No, the boss is NOT mad at me. He’s DEFINITELY not mad at me. And once I jumpstart some of the synapses in my brain, I’ll tell my freakin’ body to get out on the tee. I’m forecaddying for a foursome today. But wait. One last question.
“Who am I caddying for boss?”
“See that heavy-set man in the circle? Yep. Have fun buddy.”
“Bitchin’?” Am I like STUCK with that word now? Has it embedded itself in my brain tissue? Can I stop it?
I didn’t care. At that point, the good news from a few minutes ago was starting to sink in and I was getting a little hyper. I didn’t CARE who I’d be caddying for today. WHOEVER it was, I could probably CARRY them for 18 holes. I was so excited. No energy drinks required. I could’ve peed in a freakin’ cup and sold shots of it as ESPRESSO I was so pumped. Oh adrenaline. How I have missed thee.
And I didn’t waste any time. On the first green, I delivered my ultimatum.
“So Tom, how well do you know these greens?”
Better than a chimpanzee knows how to throw FECAL MATTER! Yeah, that’s right. Bring it bitches.
And they were all pretty horrible golfers. But they kept the pace of play up and they were all in good moods the whole way around. It was great.
And after 14 or 15 holes, it really didn’t matter WHAT I screwed up. I don’t even think it would’ve mattered if I told them to beat themselves with slices of PIZZA. I was on FIRE today. My advice was just this big aggregate AVALANCHE of invaluable stroke saving tips and key reads on the greens. I couldn’t be stopped. I WOULDN'T be stopped. For some reason, the greens made sense to me today. I read them like books. Complicated books. We're talking 4th grade reading level here. Oh yeah baby. The players’ would ask me for a read, I’d fly over and take a cool Spider-Man pose low to the ground, read their putt, and if they hit it on my line, they made it. I don’t know what came over me. Normally CAVITY SEARCHES are more pleasant than my advice around the greens.
And it wasn’t just on the greens. The players’ started asking me about club selections, shot-making tips, you name it.
And MAN did I hustle. As I mentioned before, they weren’t the best of golfers so I was occasionally fishing balls out of some overlooked river in TIBET. So I felt pretty beat the whole way around. Which was a good sign.
And by the end of the round, the member said that he wanted me to join him every time he came out to play.
“Anytime we’re playing and you’re available, please feel free to join us. We’d love to have you again. We normally go out Tuesday mornings and Wednesday afternoons.”
I’m sorry. Did you say Tuesday's? CRAP.
So maybe caddying for this guy again WON’T be as feasible as I had originally thought. But you bet your ass I’ll be seeing you on Wednesday afternoons. Sir.
What a great day. DAMN I LOVE THIS JOB.
Posted by Tom Collins at 1:56 AM
Friday, June 24, 2005
I'm still not really sure WHY I decided to do this, but I thought it would be a good idea to come in a little later today. I intentionally took my time this morning and pulled into the parking lot around 8:20. That's approximately one hour later than I normally arrive. I think part of me wanted to arrive a little later to make sure all of the other caddies signed up before I did, giving my boss no choice but to send me home early.
Oh, take the day off you say? Well, SOMEBODY has to do it I guess. I hate to take a day off, but I need to rest.
I also wanted to see what would happen if I didn't come in when I normally did. I wanted to see everyone's reaction. Because from what I've observed thus far, everyone else comes in when they damn well please. There are only one or two other caddies that come in as consistently as I do. I'm not saying that's the way everyone should work; I'm just saying there aren't a lot of caddies’ that LIKE waking up that early. As funny as that sounds, it’s true.
So I pull into the parking lot this morning and sure enough, the caddie section was freakin' PACKED. Excellent. Just have to sign up, sit around for a few hours, listen to some more stories about sex and I'm home free.
I walk into the “caddie area” to sign up and almost IMMEDIATELY people are giving me shit.
"What? You get laid or something last night? Why are you late?"
"We thought you were dead."
"What gives Tom? You don't care about this job anymore?"
Ten minutes later my boss comes over to me and says, "All the caddies here are SHOCKED that you're not out on the course already. They can't believe you're waiting around like the rest of them."
Umm...sorry? He almost sounded a little pissed that he had to be telling me this. Or maybe he was just as shocked as the rest of the caddies at my arrival time. Yes people. Today, I arrived LATER than usual. It was a little ridiculous: my brief absence was actually UNSETTLING to the other caddies. Perhaps I'm the equivalent of a caddie "Dow Jones," and whenever I'm a “little off” people start wondering what the hell is going on with the world. That's all I can figure.
As soon as a chair became available, I grabbed it and propped it up near one of the walls. I immediately fell asleep. I don’t really think I was even tired. I guess I've developed a talent over the years to fall asleep on cue. I worked as a Webmaster for a school newspaper a while back, and the funny thing about the job was that I had absolutely NOTHING to do until the editorial staff told me that the print-version of the paper was good to go. Sometimes I'd be waiting around for 4-6 hours before I could even START working. So I slept. I found a spot on the couch in the back and I'd make it a point to sleep as much as I could. So I did the same thing in the caddie room today. I think I was able to sleep for a couple of hours before a towel hit me in the face.
Yes, thank you. Hope I’m not DISTURBING you guys.
Then, out of the blue, I'm assigned a loop. I mean sure, I waited around quite a while. But I felt like I was still going ahead of some of the other caddies who arrived a little earlier than I did, which of course made me feel like a shithead.
But whatever. I've been working hard and I'm reaping some of the rewards. Kind of like hookers with amicable pimps. Such a rare situation to be in, but oh those hookers. What a life.
So where was I? Ah yes. So I'm carrying two bags for this twosome and I've already caddied for one of these guys before. Not sure if everyone remembers, but it was the guy from the husband-wife post who couldn't stop cheating (in golf) and it was driving his wife CRAZY. I was a little nervous to caddie for him again because I had mistakenly put his lob wedge in his WIFE'S bag after the LAST round, and so when her bag went home and his bag stayed at the course, he was left without a lob wedge for a while.
But when I introduced myself, I received the same blank stare I had been given the FIRST time I worked with him. He had no CLUE who I was. Perfect.
The other guy said that I reminded him of his nephew right down to the GLASSES. I said, "Really?" and he said, "Yeah, really." Whoa dude. Tubular. He also liked to ask me questions about EVERY freakin' shot he wanted to hit. It was like he wished I was his regular caddie and knew exactly how far he hit all of his clubs.
"You think I should hit the 5-iron here?"
"Whatever you can carry 170."
Sir, do you actually LISTEN to me? Or do you just wait for the wind to PASS THROUGH YOUR EARS before you respond.
This guy also threw out the time-tested phrase "caddie error."
"If I miss this putt I'm attributing it to 'caddie error'."
Whatever helps you sleep at night. Bitch.
I'm not sure if it was a mistake, but I decided to take a stand on the first hole and put my nuts on the line right from the get-go. They both asked me on the first green: "can you read these greens?"
To which I responded: "I'm damn good at reading these greens."
That was verbatim. I guess I'm just shaking ALL KINDS of things up today. And for the most part, I WAS damn good at reading their putts. There was only one putt I can think of that did something OTHER than what I stated. And I think it was only because I misunderstood the question. Mr. Fearless-Husband said: "So which way does this ball go after this hill?"
Well, the overall break of the putt would move the ball right, so I said that the putt would be moving right about 4 balls.
Oh no. What he REALLY meant was: "In which direction will THIS HILL move the ball?"
Well, the HILL kicks the ball to the LEFT. The ENTIRE putt was a double-breaker. I knew this, HE knew this and even your MOM knew this. But when he struck the putt, he was dumbfounded when the putt veered to the left off of the hill.
“Wow. You were really wrong on that read Tom.”
Fine, I’m WRONG. I apologize. But it didn't seem to faze him. I don't really think a lot of things fazed him now that I think about it. He had that wide stare on his face all freakin’ day. It was like he was staring at a pile of cocaine with arms and legs and an intense desire to blaze a trail into the innermost regions of his rectum. But you know what? That’s another story.
And WHAT was WITH the freakin' HEAD COVERS today. They each had 5-6 clubs in their bag with head covers. I made it a little easier on myself by taking off the head covers on their drivers, but the rest just kept PILING UP. It was insane. I felt like that freakin' teddy bear on the Quilted Northern TP commercials. Or whatever that little bastard stands for. I was puffed OUT every time I was even close to the green because I had two Scotty Cameron head covers’ stuck in my bib, I was juggling two towels because Mr. Fearless-Husband determined he wanted to be as random as possible as to WHEN he’d want to wipe off his face (his randomness was awe-inspiring) and for some reason his guest had an UMBRELLA on his bag. An UMBRELLA. It’s 85 and there aren’t any clouds in the sky. WHYYYYYY?
And GOD FORBID they stroke a putt without my say-so. One of them stood over a putt for 2 minutes while I ran over to give him the line. No wonder he jacked it by the hole. Waiting two minutes while standing over a ball? Talk about a TENSION build up.
They also played faster than the speed of sound. No wait. I farted on the 3rd fairway and I definitely heard it IMMEDIATELY. So that isn't right. Maybe it was more like the speed of that gopher on "Caddyshack" on Red Balls (cocaine in a can...come on people...you HAVE to watch Dave Chappelle). It was FAST. I've never caddied for ANYBODY before where I've had to leave a bunker un-raked (temporarily) just to run onto the green and tend to their putts. Then I'd hand them their drivers' for the next hole, run back to the bunker and rake it, then run up the next fairway JUST as they hit their tee shots. It was a race the whole round. Sometimes they would walk ALL OVER the freakin' bunker and then haul ass up to the next tee. It was like they were TRYING to get rid of me. But I think overall this was just a great test. Juggling the head covers, dealing with wise-cracks, consistently hustling, reading putts, etc. It was all there. The whole package. Everything I had learned in training and everything I had learned on the job. I had to be on top of my shit to keep things running smoothly. And honestly, I think I'm getting there. It was a nice assessment. I think I just need to learn a few more shortcuts to make sure I can comfortably be on the green with enough time to fix all ball marks, clean all balls and read all of the putts without having to skip a step just to get to the FLAGSTICK in time. Perhaps if the players' I worked with today were a part of a foursome and there was another caddie involved, the job would've been a little easier because I wouldn't have to worry so much about doing EVERYTHING. Sharing the load is a good thing. Much like dropping a load. That feels great too.
Posted by Tom Collins at 1:16 AM
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Man, I tell ya. It was 8 pm last night when I decided to lay down for about an hour to take a quick “power nap.” I figured if I did THAT I might have some energy to say what I needed to say in writing. So I set my alarm for 9 and CRASHED. My alarm wakes me up at 4:10 am. 4:10 AM. Wow. That means the alarm HAD to be going off every 15-20 minutes since 9 pm. And I STILL didn't wake up? Craziness. Sorry guys. I really wanted to post last night but apparently I needed to slip into a coma for a little while.
So WHAT is up friends?
Well, now that I think about it, there were only two highlights from yesterday worth noting.
The first was obvious. The "Half Baked" cousin. He walked in yesterday morning COMPLETELY flustered.
"Man, my cousin fucking LEFT yesterday without telling me. He left without paying the $550 he owed me for rent."
That was the first thing he said when he walked in the door. What a start to my day. Half of me felt sorry for him and the other half felt like crap that I hadn't called him to at least warn him about this whole situation. So wait. I guess that means BOTH halves of me wished I had told him. Ahh well. No use crying over spilled milk.
"I was up until 3 am last night calling his relatives to try and figure out where the hell he was and what the hell was going on. I still have to fuckin' call Greyhound to see if he even GOT onto that bus down to Florida."
Well yes, he got on the bus. I can tell you that much. Oh wait. I can't. Sorry man. I didn’t mean for you to be up all night worried sick over where this kid was. I didn’t even think you cared.
And now here's the tough thing: he knows I was THERE in the room yesterday and didn't say anything to him about what had happened. So now, if he finds out about what I did, I'm in for a shitty day. If that day ever comes, I’m sure I’ll be telling you guys about it. Hopefully. I hope I can survive that monster. I should PROBABLY start doing some more push-ups.
The only other interesting thing that happened yesterday was that I carried two bags (one of them had a freakin' THONG for a shoulder strap--it sucked) and one of the players' I caddied for had a four-letter last name. And for some reason, I couldn't remember what the hell his last name was, even after 18 holes. I really tried too. Although, I suppose when your last name is only four letters long, your name just gets kinda lost in the crowd or something, right? No. I'm sure they don't. I'm just a dumbass. But I tell you, it sucks coming off of the 18th green to shake somebody's hand and you draw and freakin' BLANK on a four-letter last name.
So that was about it from yesterday. Exciting, I know.
Now about today. I had to come in early this morning because the loops were going to be scarce. The senior caddies were already assigned for the day and there were maybe only 5-10 spots left to fill. So that meant that the first 10 guys to show up this morning were going to get work, and the rest were pretty much screwed. So I made sure to wake up at the ass-crack. I rolled in at 6:38 and I was the third caddie to sign up. That's HARDCORE.
My number was finally called about an hour later, and I think my boss referred to me as "Ivan" for some reason. I thought I was hearing things, and then the caddie next to me leaned over and said, "Dude. Did he just call you 'Ivan’?"
To avoid an aneurism, I stopped trying to figure out why my boss called me "Ivan" and decided to think about boobs and funnel cakes instead. Don't ask. They always go together, and they’re MUCH more pleasant to think about. I mean come on, do I LOOK like an Ivan?
And as a quick aside: Why the hell are they called “funnel cakes”? Where I come from, it’s just called “fried dough.” It’s a simple name and there’s no mystery as to where it came from. But “funnel cakes”? That would be like calling “tornadoes” “diving boards.”
“Lord have mercy! Here come the diving boards again Pa!”
“Grab your brother and sister while I open up the shelter! Boy do I HATE diving boards!”
So I walk outside to see who I’ve been paired up with and it looks like a 2-up 2-down job (two walking, two riding), except there's already a caddie standing there. What the hell?
As soon as I see this obvious dilemma the boss comes over to me and mumbles, "Sorry man, I tried. Two of them want to ride today so it looks like you can take the day off if you want to."
But just then--as if to prove my theory correct--Mr. Nice-Guy walks over to shake my hand.
"Well hello there Tom. Will you be joining us today?"
My boss quickly responded: "I tried to fit him in, but it looks like two in your group will be riding today. I think the other caddie is going to have it taken care of."
There was an awkward pause, and then the other caddie blurts out, "Hey, I'd be more than happy to let another caddie come in on this."
So maybe my theory is half right: Mr. Nice-Guy got the ball rolling by trying to get me work, and then the other caddie finished the job by being generous enough to share his good fortune with me. It’s a nice one-two combo. So cool. I get an easy loop with a familiar face and the sky is COMPLETELY overcast. So the weather was finally going to be bearable for a while.
And it was a great round. Mr. Nice-Guy and his partner ended up winning the match and I was able to make some good reads on the greens to help them out along the way. The only thing I’m going to have to think about is how I can help out Mr. Nice-Guy. He has a really solid swing, but his mental game is so fragile. One mishit and he’s out of it for a hole or two. To give advice or NOT to give advice. That is the question.
Posted by Tom Collins at 1:26 AM
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
I was told to come in this morning around 8 am. There was a rather large group that was SUPPOSED to be teeing off around 9 and I was one of the caddies' selected to help out. Well in reality, that's not exactly what happened. As it turns out, there weren't enough players showing up this morning to warrant a large list of caddies. For some reason people around these parts are terrified of golfing under an overcast sky. Last week the temperature was almost unbearable with the humidity and EVERYONE wanted to play. Now the weather is PERFECT, (around 75) but because of the overcast sky people crap their pants and then call in to cancel their respective tee times. I just don't get it.
So I ended up waiting around for 5 hours. To be honest, I’m glad this happened because lately the boss has been frustrated with caddies’ who are unable to be patient and sit around for a few hours before they’re assigned a loop. Depending on how a caddie handles the wait, my boss can easily see who deserves to work and who doesn't. So “riding the couch” has become a staple for rookie caddies for most of the first week. Aside from the gambling, that's just about the only form of hazing somebody might have to endure.
So I appreciated sitting around for a while today because I hadn't done that in so long and there's NO WAY I should be considered a senior caddie yet. So I figure I need to put in some more couch time to make myself feel like I DO in fact deserve some more loops.
But after 5 hours, the Caddie Master decided to let me go for the day. He said he'll be sure to "put me out on one of the only loops first thing in the morning." So I got that goin' for me. Which is nice.
So I'm walking out to my car to go run some errands when another caddie comes over to me and asks to use my phone. Okay, no problem.
After making a couple of phone calls, he hands the phone back to me and asks for a ride back home to grab his stuff. Apparently he only lived about 5-10 miles away from the course. Okay, that's not really a problem either.
But in the car, I start to hear a little bit more of his story.
This kid (and I use the term loosely because he WAS married) started working as a caddie under my boss's corporate name down at one of the accounts in Florida. After working there all winter and seeing just how easy it was to make a buck or two, he decides to move up to Virginia with his cousin (already a senior caddie at the company) to live during the summer months to CONTINUE caddying year-round. I guess that’s when the trouble started. First off, this kid is pretty dumb. Many of the members and almost all of the caddies thought he was a little retarded after his first week (I have some stories I haven't included in this blog yet that I will have to share at some point). Secondly, it turns out his cousin is quite a fan of the weed and will decide not to come into work for weeks at a time. This is a serious problem because our young friend doesn't have a car. So I guess he has no choice but to get REALLY blazed with his cousin and just sit around and wonder just how many brain cells he might have left. One more doobie and he could count them on his HANDS. Fire it up boys.
Maybe it was the pot or MAYBE this kid truly didn't want to feel stuck anymore, but he had made up his mind and wanted to leave for home. This means Florida. And until I came along, he really didn't have a chance in hell of getting there. His cousin wouldn't take him to get a ticket. The other caddies SAID they would, but nothing ever came of it and they ended up just ignoring the situation.
“I can’t thank you enough man. Somebody up there must be lookin’ out for me today.”
Not a problem. But help me out here “pard.” Why can’t you take a plane?
“You need an ID to ride on a plane.”
“Why don’t you have an ID?”
"Well, I left it down in Florida."
You’ve been living in a DIFFERENT STATE for over two months and you still don’t have an ID? How can you function?
But at that moment, it didn’t matter. He just wanted to grab all of his shit, throw it into a suitcase, and get a one-way ticket on a bus back to Florida. Back where things made sense to him.
So now he was in my car and we were on our way over to his crappy house to grab all of his stuff and leave before his cousin came back home (And yes, that sounds weird. It makes me feel like I’m a white-trash hick from Bumblefuck, Georgia). This kid was so excited over the idea of his cousin coming home and having NO idea where he was.
Bill Lumburgh moment: “Yeeeeeaaaahhhhh. I’m going to have to go ahead and… DISAGREE with you there. Yeah.”
We finally arrived at the house. It was in the middle of nowhere. He lived in the basement, and I tell you, I have never seen such a crappy place to live. It's like something out of “Silence of the Lambs.” You walk in the front door, and you're immediately in the living room, where there are 3 items of furniture. A small couch, an end table, and a chair. The television is propped up on speakers and Xbox games, and there is nothing on the walls, floor, or ceiling. This house is BARE. He moved straight ahead into a bedroom that had only one thing in it. A bed. It was a large room, but all it had was a box-spring, a mattress, and a pillow. No sheets. That was it. The bed was angled towards the door and it freaked me out when he turned on the light because it looked like the bed was trying to sneak up on you to slit your throat. Outside of his room and to the right was the dining room/kitchen area. There was a stove, a sink, some cabinets, and a fridge. Dirty dishes lined the inside of the sink, and all of the cabinets had NOTHING in them. There was a ketchup bottle and a jar of mayonnaise in the fridge. That was it. Why were those dishes dirty? There's no food ANYWHERE. Then I saw the most amazing thing. Sitting alone on the dining room table was a well-maintained spice rack. It had every flavor you could possibly think of. And most of them were completely full. Why the hell would somebody have all of these spices and no food to put them on? It was probably stolen. That was my only guess. Next to the kitchen were three doors. One was a bathroom, which was actually RAISED above the kitchen floor so you had to step up INTO it to use the freakin' toilet (weirdest thing ever). The second door was the laundry room, which looked like something out of a horror movie. It was dark and quiet. Cobwebs lined the ceiling and there was a small window that faced a single tree outside. I was waiting for somebody to jump out from behind the tree and come charging at me with a knife. And behind door number three was a bedroom. I didn't look because I didn't want to. Who KNOWS what was behind that door. I don't WANT to know.
"You ready to roll man?"
HELL YES. LET'S GET OUT OF HERE.
So we jump back into the car and head to the DMV to see if he can get an ID and actually buy a PLANE ticket to help expedite the trip a wee bit.
He bought me lunch, so I was sitting in the car eating my cheeseburger when it hit me: should I call his cousin and let him know what's going on? I mean, I don't have his number but I bet I could at least get a message to him on the course. The little "tiff" these two are having with each other is none of my business, but I feel bad because I'm sure this guy would be freakin' out wondering where his cousin was. But hey, this kid was suffering up here. He didn't know anybody, nobody was helping him, and he couldn't even get to work to make any money because his cousin was smoking pot and doing nothing with himself. I would want to leave too. So I'll honor this kid's wishes if he wants me to. I will not tell anyone what happened unless asked.
He came back out royally pissed because he needed 3 forms of ID instead of 2 to get a driver's license. So it looks like we were headed for a Greyhound bus stop.
But he definitely probed me for a while about letting him use my ID to buy a plane ticket.
"Dude, I could just flip the ID to you after I get through the gate. It HAS to work. I mean people get into bars with fakes, right? You know what I'm sayin'?"
Of course I do. You want me to risk getting a cavity search just because you THINK you could pass for me while trying to go through AIRPORT security. Getting past a fat guy at the door to a bar is a LOT easier than trying to get past a fat guy with a Homeland Security enema and a GUN. Now I want to help you get home man, but I am NOT going to screw with those guys. Sorry.
So we finally get to the bus station, and he's off. He offered to give me a place to stay for awhile if I ever decide to work down in Florida, so I guess that’s a good thing. I just felt so bad for the kid.
So maybe this wasn’t the most profitable of days, but I definitely felt like I helped somebody out. It felt good. It was just the change of pace I’ve been looking for to shake up my schedule a little bit. I feel a little more focused now.
Posted by Tom Collins at 1:49 AM
Monday, June 20, 2005
So the Member-Member was this past weekend. Sweet. I really enjoy caddying in tournaments because the golf is a little more consistent (I don’t spend as much time looking for balls) and the tips are always AMAZING. I mean, how could you NOT like caddying in tournaments? Good golf on a great course? Sign me up. Here’s the thing: I was set to caddie for Mr. Nice-Guy. Whoa boy. This might be a little awkward.
But, having slept on that last incident for a few nights now, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions. First off, Mr. Nice-Guy was the first member to request my services. In fact, every time he goes out now to play, I’m his man. This of course makes me feel SORT OF good. That’s awesome. That will REALLY come in handy on those days when the caddie room is packed and NOBODY is getting a loop. My man decides to show up, and I’m SET man. So that calmed me down a little bit. Okay, we’ve started to develop some sort of relationship here. Let’s work on this. Caddies and players at the professional level get into little “tiffs” all the time. Maybe I’m more of a professional now that I’m starting to get a little pissed at some of my players. Wait. No, scratch that. If I could be considered a professional caddie simply because I get pissed at my players from time to time, I’d not only be an UBER professional, but I’d be the president, high chancellor, grand master, WHATEVER you want to call it of the caddie world. May I simply cite—oh I don’t know let me think—this BLOG as an example.
But the other thing that crossed my mind was that Mr. Nice-Guy was one of the founding members of the course as well as being one of the first members on the board. Not sure what “board” that would be, but he’s on a board, which means that he’s at least a LITTLE important around the club. So if this guy was a founding member, is currently an active member on the board, and has to spend at least 15-20 minutes per round explaining to me just how beautiful the dogwoods are, he’s obviously quite proud of his membership and the course in general. When tour players came to him with suggestions for improving the layout of the course, he was on the cutting edge with a few of the other members in determining which suggestions they would implement. Needless to say, he’s watched the course grow and mature. Telling me and the rest of the caddies to make sure we’re fixing all of the ball marks on the greens was nothing personal. It wasn’t even a big deal now that I think about it. He’s done so much for the course. If fixing 2 or 3 extra ball marks on the greens will make him happy, then so be it. So I guess I like him again. BFF big guy.
By the way: That will be the LAST time you’ll hear me say “BFF.” Well, wait. THAT will be the last time.
The other player I’d be caddying for did two things that amazed me. First, I think his mouth and feet were interconnected, which meant even if a single synapse decided to fire in one of his TOES, this guy would be talking. But the amazing thing about it was that he would talk FULL VOLUME whenever another player was about to hit. This guy didn’t care. And neither did the other players for some reason. And that was pretty amazing to me. It’s right up there with Genital Herpes commercials. Despite the topic, the marketing guys responsible for promoting these wonder drugs seem to be stuck on a recurring theme: an untouched wilderness setting with two people. Let’s delve into this for a moment.
THE SETTING is an awesome forest. The forest should be so incredibly awesome that awesome people look at it and crap their pants. Enter MALE and FEMALE, two individuals being paid MASSIVE amounts of money to sit on a rock for five minutes and CLAIM they have genital herpes. But we know what’s REALLY up. Only the FEMALE does. Because she’s a dirty dirty skank.
Male: “3 ½ years ago I decided to have sex with this woman. Back then I didn’t realize she was such a dirty skank. But now I realize that she is. And now I’m screwed because I have genital herpes. But you know what? That’s okay. Not only am I STILL with this skank, but I get to walk around this gorgeous forest. I mean LOOK at that rock. It’s MASSIVE.”
Female: “4 years ago I decided to be a skank. And 6 months later, I had STD’s I couldn’t even PRONOUNCE. Doctor’s nicknamed me “The Green Monkey.” Those were good times. Then I met THIS guy. I’m not a huge fan of his rock fetish, but it WAS pretty cool that I could pass one of my diseases to him. I had WAY too many. And he’s too much of a wuss to leave me now. I mean who would sleep with him? But I discovered something: My life doesn’t have to stop now that I have genital herpes (cough) to name one (cough). Because I’m in this great forest that has all kinds of squirrels.”
CUT TO a close up shot of them laughing together near a waterfall. End commercial.
Okay, maybe that’s a little overboard, but what is UP with the serene settings for genital herpes’ commercials? It should be a concert with METALLICA rocking out in the background and some guy SCREAMING at us with a beer in his hand. “Yeah! So like, I have HERPES! But that’s okay man! Take this medicine and you’re good to go!”
See? Piece of cake.
Sorry. Another tangent. But you know, that’s OKAY. Oh yeah. The other guy I caddied for did one other thing that amazed me beyond belief: He took responsibility for himself on the greens. Now he didn’t ask me for a lot of reads, but when he did, he laid the blame on BOTH of us if the ball missed.
“Wow Tom. I guess we really misread that one.”
It just has a nice sound to it. “We.” Normally when a player misses a putt there is no sound at all. Just silence. And you stand there wondering if you screwed up the line or if it was just a bad putt. It’s so rare for a player to split the blame in half. It’s almost like he was saying, “That’s okay Tom. We really had a nice line there (holy crap I’m going to be using a semi-colon); it just didn’t work out for us. We’ll get ‘em next time.” It gave me some confidence coming down the stretch to volunteer some reads because I knew it was a TEAM effort. And there’s no “I” in “team.” But there IS an “I” in “caddie.” Then again, there’s also an “I” in “perpetuity.” So stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
Now I may have had some trouble (again) on the greens, but I’ve discovered a new talent that came in handy on more than one occasion during the tournament. I seem to have a great feel for what clubs will work out of what lies and can visualize launch angles and shot trajectories, meaning that when my players hit the ball into some trouble (which does happen) I would know exactly what club they should hit based on the lie and the height of the overhanging branches, bushes, your mom, whatever. I feel like a superhero discovering his powers for the first time. Now I know almost any idiot with a subscription to Golf Magazine could make the same suggestions, but I’ve got something those people could never have. Autographs from Jennifer Aniston. I mean sure, I didn’t ACTUALLY get them from her directly, but I still have them. And that counts for something.
Posted by Tom Collins at 1:47 AM
Friday, June 17, 2005
So I walked in yesterday morning to find a sign on the caddie room door that read: “Caddies: please make sure to rake all bunkers and repair all divots.” I immediately thought of my round the day before with Mr. Nice-Guy. He had said something.
You see, I was one of those boring kids growing up that always did what was expected of me. I got into some trouble, yes, but for the most part, I work hard and am never normally the target for complaints. So, when people yell at me for something that I’m already doing right, it does two things. One, it makes me work harder, because I start second guessing myself and questioning whether or not I’m actually DOING what I am SUPPOSED to be doing, and two, I get pissed off because I don’t feel I should be getting in trouble in the first place. The result is that I work twice as hard as before and increase my level of guilt. I’m sure devout Catholics have the same problem when they walk into a strip club by mistake for the THIRD time. But I’m not Catholic. I’m a caddie.
Fine. This guy wants to complain, GREAT. See if I care. If anything, this makes me respect the man a little less, which is sad because I really liked the guy. He was the first member to ever request me.
To be honest, I’m really not sure WHY I think less of him. I mean, he IS a member. The members’ certainly pay enough to get what they want. Why not let the Greenskeepers know that there’s a problem before it gets any worse? Understandable, but I guess I’m just mad because now I’m going to be looking over my shoulder every time I step onto a green to see if the member is taking notes on what I’m doing. And that’s annoying, because I work hard. I don’t need any supervision. So I guess there was a line that was crossed when Mr. Nice-Guy walked into the pro shop and complained that the caddies’ weren’t doing their jobs. It illustrated for me just exactly where I stood in his mind.
But you know what? It’s over and done with. Like a wee babe crying over a misplaced dime-bag, there’s no need to pine over it. The important thing was, I was on time, feeling good, and itching to do 36. Bring it on bitch.
After a little wait, I was put on a loop with 4 guys from New Jersey. Now most Southerner’s would’ve cringed at such an assignment, but you have to remember, I’m originally from upstate NY and these are my kind of people. They move faster, talk faster, swear more, and don’t take shit from anyone. You come out of a conversation with people like that hyper and incredibly alert. I say it again: This is very similar to our friends the squirrels. Especially when they smoke the crack.
On my way out to the tee-box, one of the staff members added, “Make sure you take care of these guys today, okay? They apparently had a bad experience with a caddie yesterday.”
So in addition to adjusting to a faster pace of speech, play, and smell, I have to appease some of the tension dwelling within these beasts. Because if they had a bad experience with a caddie in their FIRST round, they might be a little hesitant to accept ANOTHER. Especially one with such an amazing record for TOLERANCE and COMPASSION.
So I walk out onto the first tee to meet my players. The first guy I run into is bending over to grab his coffee. I’m not sure WHY it’s on the cart path, but whatever. They’re from New Jersey. So he pauses for a moment as he’s bending over. Well, I can see his arms are hanging, so maybe he’s stretching before he tees off.
It was one of those hangover farts that you can’t seem to get out of your clothes. It’s worse than cigarette smoke. Normally you can outrun a fart, but with these, they follow you around for MINUTES. And yes, this fart happened to smell like New Jersey.
Then the guy stands up. He turns around, looks at me, and cracks a huge smile.
“Well hello there brotha. Are you our caddie?”
“Well I hope you’ve got good fuckin’ eyes. ‘Cause I can’t read these greens for shit.”
Well that makes two of us. I mean, I don’t have on my magical sunglasses today, so I’m pretty much screwed, sir.
So with that last positive thought, I shook some more hands and flew down the first fairway. Today, I’d be moving. “Do the hustle.” I mean, I can’t seem to read a green to save my life (unless of course I have those sunglasses on), but I have DEFINITELY determined one amazing rule of caddying: If you hustle, you’re golden. No matter how badly you screw up during the round, if you’re running your brains out, the group will be forever grateful.
Because let me tell you, yesterday was far from perfect. I can’t even REMEMBER how many putts I misread. But the thing was, I actually read enough putts RIGHT to keep these guys guessing. Does this caddie know what the hell is going on? Is he smoking something we should be looking into? I read enough putts right that they couldn’t dismiss me on the greens. I was still asked to read a putt or two on every hole. And despite how shot my nerves were by the end, I was quite grateful that I was able to read that many putts and get THAT much experience on the greens. Because I’ve also learned something else: the only way a caddie can learn to read putts is to be burned. Trial by fire. I mentioned this before when I was caddying in that member-member match and I gave my player a TERRIBLE read on the 16th hole. I think, for the rest of my life, I could come back to this course and pick the exact spot where the ball was, pick the exact spot where the hole was, and give a perfect read. I am forever scarred. But that’s the only way to learn out there. It’s just like my feet. They’re covered in blisters right now, but you better believe that I have some STONG feet right now and I could walk most people into the GROUND.
So it turns out that this New Jersey loop was mentally draining in ADDITION to being smelly. Keeping up with all of their comments, dealing with the incessant “Hey brotha’s,” like, “How far is this brotha? How much does this break brotha? You are still WASTED brotha.” I have a headache. Oops. Here comes “Kindergarten Cop.”
Could be a tumor. Oh no. Drop it. DROP IT.
It’s not a tumor!
Oh yeah. And I should add that the players were all guests of a member in the group ahead of us, which meant that last night, these guys were SLOSHED. Apparently it was so bad that the guy with the coffee on the ground who blew a fart in my face? Yeah. He claims he didn’t sober up until the 14th hole.
But now that I think about it, is that really possible? You hear all of these big partiers claiming that they’re still drunk long after they’ve gone to bed and woken up the next morning. This guy had to be making it up. I think the only way that could happen to me was if I was tanked before I went to bed, got about 20 minutes of sleep, and just HAPPENED to go back outside to do something else. But after 14 holes? Come on. That’s a lame excuse. I mean, his swing was ugly enough as it is. He’d HAVE to be unbelievably sober just to make CONTACT with the ball.
But anyway, where was I? Oh man, I LOVE my tangents. So I’m on 17, and by this point I’m feeling a little tired and the brain farts and coming out like I need Ammodium AD or something. All four players hit their balls into the fairway. Well the 17th on this course is like the 1st hole in that carts aren’t allowed on the fairway. So caddies have to yell out yardages over to players in their carts because the carts have no “legal” way of getting onto the fairway.
So I’m writing down yardages and I still have two more balls to go. Well all of a sudden the players are ready for their yardages. For some reason I didn’t see their carts pull up. Well this makes me wig out “just a lil’ bit.” So now I CAN’T function. I can’t walk, add, subtract or put together a coherent sentence. So I made up the last two numbers. Hey, I THOUGHT they were pretty close.
Well one of the balls didn’t really matter because the guy was so far back that I KNEW he couldn’t even put it CLOSE to trouble. But I think I was about 10-15 yards off on the second yardage, and the player ended up taking too much club and flying the green. I felt like crap. Everyone knows how that feels when you fly a green after you hit a GREAT shot. Feels like you’ve been used. Used by a large black man named Beatrice. It NEVER feels good.
Normally, if you go over the back of the 17th green, you’ve got a better chance of finding Jimmy Hoffa than finding your ball. There’s a sharp downhill slope into a LATERAL HAZARD lined with weeds, prickers, and Anti-Semitic fish. So the ball was probably screwed. But I tried to keep things positive.
“You’re probably fine. There’s a lot of rough back there.”
Well maybe that wasn’t as positive as I wanted it to sound, but it’ll have to do.
So I haul ass and make sure I’m way ahead of the group so I can be the first one over the green. And for some reason I will never understand, the ball stayed up. I mean, it was way down the hill and right next to the hazard, but it was playable.
So I looked both ways and threw the ball up the hill a little closer to the green.
Don’t look at me like that. I mean sure, it’s cheating. But I don’t want the guy to think I was THAT far off on my yardage. So I walked up to the ball, looked both ways, and threw it up even closer. Now he was sitting pretty about 10 yards off of the green. Nice shot, sir. I gave you the CORRECT distance, but you just PURED that last shot. No worries though. You’re just off the back of the green.
And he ended up getting up and down for par. That’s awesome. So now he’s smiling and totally FORGETTING about my questionable yardage. Cool freakin’ beans.
But the 18th was just pure mayhem. Three out of the four players hit a second ball off of the tee because they either skanked their first into the woods on the right or hit it into the water on the left. And when a caddie has to keep track of 5 or 6 balls instead of 3 or 4, chaos will normally ensue. My mind went blank. I was running around like a chicken on speed. I was rummaging around in the woods to find one of the players’ balls, running back across the fairway to reiterate to another player that his ball DID in fact land in the water, and then back across the fairway to get the yardage for the ONE player that actually hit the fairway.
One of the players whiffed two shots in a row trying to get out of the rough, and so I just assumed that he would skank his third shot as well. So I started pacing off a yardage for another player when all of a sudden Mr. Skank-Boy ripped a shot over my head straight down the fairway.
He started yelling at me saying, “Oh come on! LOOK!”
Look? But what if I don’t WANT to. It was too late anyway. When I went to look and see where his ball landed, I didn’t see it anywhere. I felt bad that I had missed watching him hit his shot, but it would’ve been like waiting for Spalding to hit one amazing shot out of all of his mishits. I just never expected a good shot to come out of that man.
But despite that little hiccup on the last hole, all of the players agreed that I had “taken care of them,” and so the member took care of ME. So long New Jersey.
I’m going to stop there for now and fill you in on the rest when a little later. I actually have to head to work right now. I tried working out at the gym last night after a long loop so I was pretty much DONE by 10 pm. But no worries guys. More is on the way.
Posted by Tom Collins at 8:27 AM
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Hey guys. Been awhile. I tried to post something last night, but I was so tired that I actually dozed off in my chair with my hands on the keyboard. And I’m glad my hands were still on the “home-row” because typed some REALLY crazy things. I’ll be sure to place a few quotes in here somewhere just to give you an idea of what I'm like after my bedtime.
As some of you may know, I went home last weekend to play with a few friends in a member-guest. I guess the long and short of it is that we won. I won't bore you with the details, because honestly, I’m having trouble remembering what exactly happened anyway. See, our group consumed alcohol. I think “gallons” would be a good word to use. The whole weekend was more or less a blur that lasted 72 hours. Yes, some talking and golf DID in fact take place, but for the most part, yeah. We pretty much just drank, and it was beautiful.
And that was a nice vacation from the golf, drinking and poker that I've been INUNDATED with since I started working as a caddie. I mean there's only so much of the same I can handle here people. Gosh. I mean, what do you think I did with myself on Sunday night when I got back in the area? Played poker and had a few beers. I'm tellin' ya. I'm a workaholic.
But to be honest, I was really excited to work on Monday because I acquired a pair of sunglasses recently that are designed to help handicapped individuals such as myself read greens like a pro. Although, I have to wonder if simply HAVING these sunglasses constitutes any kind of disbarment from the caddie brotherhood. Because caddies are supposed to be awesome at reading greens anyway. We don't need no stinking sunglasses.
But I do. I am Stevie Wonder's evil twin brother Thomas "No-Wonder" Collins. One of the members I caddied for recently seemed to agree.
"Hello sir and how are you today?"
"Hey! Stevie Wonder!"
And, despite my late night of drinking and losing money, I still arrived at the ass-crack, ready and raring to go. I tell ya, I am a TROOPER man.
As I walked by the putting green, I stopped to see if there were any noticeable differences between looking at a green with my naked eyes and using these special x-ray glasses. So I looked at the practice green without the sunglasses on. Yep, it's green, and it has a few slopes here and there. Not a lot to it.
Then I put on the sunglasses. Wow. I saw everything. Every imperfection, slope, shadow, your mom, poa annua seedlings, some more of your mom, and small clumps of pollen. The grains were easy to read and I could imagine how the break could very well appear to me like one of those 3D-stare-until-you-see-it holograms. So I was PUMPED to get out on a loop.
So I walked into the caddie room.
After about an hour, I walked out. No work for me this morning. The Caddie Master told me to come back around 2:30 and he'd "work me" then. I think my absence this weekend moved me back a few notches in the pecking order. I definitely lost my place in line. Almost all of the loops were already assigned to other caddies today.
So now I’m the underdog. I like that. Game 4 of the World Series, and I’m down 3 games to the Yankees. Time to be the freakin’ Red Sox.
Now in order to WEAR these sunglasses, that meant I’d have to ditch the glasses and throw in my contacts. Happy happy joy joy. I hope the members don’t think I’m hot-boxing in my car or anything when they see that my eyes are BLOODSHOT.
By the way: hot-boxing? That's the right term, isn't it? Or is it clam-bake? Ahh pot lingo.
To minimize the redness, I decided to take out my contacts during the break I had from about 8-1. And may I say this again: what a great job I have. I mean who takes a break from 8-1 these days besides drug-dealers? Nobody. In taking the contacts out, I noticed a little discomfort after only two hours of wear. And these are SUPPOSED to be the contacts that you can wear for 30 days and nights STRAIGHT without inadvertently worshipping ZEUS or something. I used to be able to wear my contacts all the time, but now, for some strange reason, my eyes are rejecting the material. My eyes refuse to water themselves anymore. I have to keep popping in the movie “Rudy” every time I want to wet my eyes. Well, either that or “Kazaam.” Shaq’s acting in that movie was just so damn beautiful. So I went home and slept for a while, had a great lunch (something I hardly ever get to do these days), popped in the contacts again and left for work a little early to beat the traffic.
I didn’t have to wait very long once I got back. I was given a forecaddying job for a twosome on a cart. Sweet. Now I can get ahead of my players and read the greens before they get there. And with these new sunglasses, today should be a blast.
And the players were really cool. One was an older member who lived by two of Lee Trevino’s axioms: talk as much as possible and play wicked fast. It sounds mean, but to get ahead of this guy I’d have to stop listening to him and just run ahead. He’d start trailing off and then a ball would wiz by me straight up the fairway. No practice swing and he barely missed a beat when he was talking. The other player had a great swing and pumped his fist in the air every time I threw up my arms to signify a fairway hit. He played some great golf and was fired up about it. Fun to watch.
But now onto the most important aspect of the day: reading the greens. Now it’s going to sound pretty ridiculous, but I was actually having some trouble focusing on the reads today because I was just so CONFLICTED inside. I would look at a putt and immediately see the break. Okay, good so far. But then I would think to myself: self, you read that putt wicked fast. You’re probably just going on old reads and are not really taking the time you need to verify the read with these new sunglasses of yours. So I’d look at the putt again and get all frustrated because I would think that I needed to see something else, but the fact of the matter was, the sunglasses simply expedited the process of reading the greens. It really only took me a few seconds to look at a putt and determine the perfect line. I guess I was just panicking because normally I would pine over a line (and yes, that rhymed because I’m the MAN) and never really be sure if I was right or not. Now I KNEW.
After four or five greens of PERFECT reads and the ensuing compliments that followed, it finally started to sink in. I am a green-reading machine now.
Random insert from my “free-writing exercise” last night:
“I had to take the worst shit today. I was running down the 7th no…it started earlier. I would be running and all of a sudden I would cramp up in my lower abdomen and I would almost jackknife I was so tweaked. I could barely walk. I probably looked …no, I DID look like an old man trying to walk down the sidewalk in a hailstorm. Exactly like that. Oh my god I was in so much pain…it’s like I wanted to giv myself a c-section and let out the gasses contained withinin… When I could finally get to a bathroom, I ran in, locked the door 3 times tjust to make sure no dumbass was going to try and subject themselves to the p demon child that was trying to force itself out of my backside. Noboy wants to smell that. I whip down my pants, forgetting that my ass is soaked with sweat from working thus far, and I sit down quickly, like a MAJOR dumblass, and slip on the seat. My hand slams against the wall like that redheaded chick in Titanic when she’ shaving sex. .the guy in the other stall must’ve thought I was having sex or Something moderately intesting in there. So I try to sit down again, this time holding the two handicap parallel bars that I just KNOW old fogeys are trying to train on after they shit. That worked, and I was able to exercise some demons. All that kept running through my mind was a story of another caddie at this club who just COULDN”T hold it any longer and popped a huge squat behind one of he holes one day. I’ve done that one before…dickheads.”
Not sure what that last “dickheads” part was all about, but I wrote that last night with my eyes closed because my eyes were still so irritated from wearing contacts. Well, that and I was REALLY freakin’ tired. I decided to leave all of the spelling and grammatical errors in there to try and add a hint of authenticity to my little midnight rant.
In fact, now that I think about it, why not add another:
“I should probably get some sleep…I feel like a weight is continually trying to push down on me…GO to sleep …Man I’m tired. I hear that drunk again ownstairs.. everone on the fourth floor odesn’t liked to be searched. Caterpillar has gotto b a safe brand…nobody’s died yet I think…and that’s amaing. …goodnight.”
That makes PERFECT sense. Way to be. So you see, I really am trying to post every night, but once my eyes start to close, I’m done. And it’s a good thing too. Could you imagine bringing up this site everyday and reading that crap? Well, MAYBE it would be interesting to read. Not sure.
So as far as Monday was concerned, I went home, came back after eating lunch, made some incredible reads on the greens, took a major dump BECAUSE of that great lunch, and ended up getting a decent tip by the end.
Now I don’t normally include links in my entries because I’m incredibly lazy and I really don’t want to clutter up the text with interactive crap. I’m always going for a nice rhythm and flow with my writing and I don’t want your reading to be interrupted. But I would like to make an exception to the rule today and include a link to these sunglasses just in case there are more of you out there with my handicap (AKA: green-reading deficiencies). They were made by a company named Peak Vision Sports.
Whew. So that was yesterday. Now for today.
Today was pretty cool because I arrived around 7:45 (a little later than normal) and was immediately given a loop. I mean IMMEDIATELY. As soon as I walked in the door the Caddie Master told me to “suit up.” Sweet.
And the kicker was, I’d be caddying for Mr. Nice-Guy. One bag with a REGULAR? I’ll take it man.
And I haven’t seen Mr. Nice-Guy for a few weeks, so it was fun to shake his hand and get pumped to go out on a loop. I knew it would be an easy loop too because he was a great stick and a fast player. Plus he told me he wanted to skip around today because he wasn’t sure how many holes he’d get in before he had to go. So one bag for less than 18 holes? Even better.
So everything was going great. We had a lot of things to talk about, and he was educating me on poa annua, a "black sheep" breed of grass that invades greens and gives Greenskeepers a real run for their money in the long term. For those who don’t know (and don’t worry, I used to be in that group), bent greens are a mix of a variety of grasses to insure longevity and character. The only problem with mixing breeds of grass is that you will eventually be invaded by poa annua. The problem is that little seedlings form at the top of poa annua grass and that will cause little bumps and inconsistencies on the greens. So after a while, putts will cease to be rolling true and people will start to become annoyed. Well, I guess if you're used to playing Muni-tracks all your life it won't be such a big deal. But if you're a member at a prestigious course like this, poa annua is completely unacceptable. Apparently they have not yet developed a way to kill all of the poa annua on the greens without killing the rest of the grass as well. So what does my course do? At certain times of the year, the Greenskeeper will send out 40-50 guys to pick the poa annua out of the greens blade by blade. BLADE BY BLADE. That’s incredible. That’s a story you’d expect to hear coming out of a course like Augusta. I was just floored.
In addition, the club decided to install one of those fancy sub-air pumps underneath the 8th green just to experiment with it and see if it would be a good idea to install one of these systems on ALL of their greens.
We stopped and talked with one of the grounds-crew members who was working on it at the time.
Mr. Nice-Guy: “So do you like this new system?”
Maintenance Guy: “Well, yeah.”
Mr. Nice-Guy: “You hesitated there. Not very useful?”
Maintenance Guy: “Well, it’s very useful. But it’s been a little stressful so far in learning how to customize it for our needs. If I’m not careful, I could very easily dry out the green too much and start killing some of the grass. But I've learned a pretty cool trick lately. I turn on the system during the coolest part of the night to suck in the cool air, store it, and then pump it back up into the green during the hottest part of the day to try and regulate the temperature. I just got off the phone with a guy at Augusta, and they’re actually re-doing their sub-air systems because they want to install copper pipes under the greens as well.”
Mr. Nice-Guy: “Why?”
Maintenance Guy: “Well, that way they can pump either hot or cold water into the pipes to make it even easier to regulate temperature.”
You know, I’m really glad Augusta is now able to control their greens EVEN MORE. Those things were never very challenging anyway. I know it’s all for the sake of keeping the greens as fresh and true as possible, which I’m all for, but I’m starting to see an evolution here. I bet someday they’ll come up with a grain-control system that works with electromagnetic forces so the course can change the break on greens if they want to. I think that’s the only logical “next step.”
Needless to say, I learned a lot today. It was turning out to be a great round. He even asked me to caddie for him this weekend in the Member-Member. And then “it” happened.
We were on 15, and as I’m walking up to take the pin out so he could putt, he blurts out, “You know, you guys should really do a better job fixing ball marks on the greens. I think I’ve repaired 3 or 4 on this green already.”
“And when I say ‘you guys’ I really mean ‘everyone.’ We all need to start doing it.”
That hurt. He made it sound like I hadn’t fixed a ball mark all day. I really had. I’d fixed 3 or 4 on every green we played. There might have been one or two I missed because he was playing fast and all I really had time for was to run up, grab the pin, and then run off to the next hole. He wasn't playing very well, so I can understand where the frustration might come from, but it was the first time I felt like a servant around him. It was just like that one scene in “Pretty Woman” where Richard Gere’s character offers Julia Roberts’ character all that shit to be at his beckon-call.
Gere: “Now, I have NEVER treated you like a prostitute.”
Roberts: “You just did.”
And yes. Knowing the lines from that movie STILL qualifies me as a heterosexual. I just never fully appreciated those lines until now.
Family Guy: “Fine white devil! You can whip me all you want but you’ll never break my spirit!”
Sorry. That quote just seemed appropriate.
So it got a wee bit awkward. I think he realized what he must’ve sounded like because he was kind of quiet and afraid to look at me the rest of the round. The tip was normal, but I definitely left him feeling like a Chinese whore. Used and underpaid.
Take it easy all.
Posted by Tom Collins at 1:59 AM
Friday, June 10, 2005
I don’t know what it is, but lately the weather has gone from nice to HELL ON EARTH. It’s hot and humid every freakin’ day.
“…The humidity, and here’s the problem, is WAY over 100%. WAY. And you know how you know it’s over 100% humidity? When you’re walking down the street for five minutes thinking to yourself: you know, I should’ve put deodorant on my BALLS. That’s over 100. Cause that’s not something you’d think of on your own.”
Sorry. That Lewis Black quote had to get worked in here somewhere. It has been SO incredibly hot lately. I’ve been averaging about 20 ounces of water every 3 holes. For all you math majors out there, that’s 120 ounces, or a GALLON of water for 18 holes. And yes, I just looked it up too. A gallon is actually 128 ounces. But I’m close enough. That’s insane. And I NEVER stop to take a piss. Which means that I don’t just sweat. Oh no. I RAIN. I sweat to the point where I think I’m crying because there’s so much water in my eyes. Even the brim of my cap has started to stratify into all of these magnificent colors. And when you add in the fading effects of the sun, you’ve got yourself a new line of hats to sell: “Caddie-Ass Hats.” The best freakin’ hats since “Truckers: America’s Little White Blood Cells.” Man, this heat has been KILLING me. This is two nights’ in a row now where I’ve been sitting at my computer trying to write and I almost pass out in my chair. I can’t even finish the post. I get about 4 paragraphs into it and my eyes start to close. At that point, the only thing left for me to do is to type as fast as I possibly can and hope to God that there’s something palatable by the end. I guess it depends on your palate, but the majority of what I’ve been writing hasn’t made much sense. Here’s a taste:
“So there are WAY too many roads. They need to take some bazookas to that shit. Either that or just give these weapons of mass-destruction to me. That comment scared me a bit so I'll stop. But I just really want to blow up some of the cars that get in my way. Is that wrong?”
Well maybe that did make SOME sense. But you can see why I stopped. I was a little “punchy.”
But now that I’m a little more ALERT, why not take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about my day yesterday. Because it was vicious.
I was told to arrive early yesterday morning, so I did. Because I'm the man.
The only problem was that NOBODY was playing golf. I had a better chance of curing some form of cancer than getting out on a loop. Today, I would be riding the couch. But then THE call came in. Somebody was in trouble!
So I jumped into the Bat-mobile and did some AWESOME karate kicks and roundhouses. I kicked SO many asses. It was wicked awesome. And quite manly. But wait. Who was calling?
The Caddie Master at my boss's new account was short on help. Apparently it was absolutely slammed over there. So, after looking around the caddie room and realizing that the caddie to player ratio was higher than a baby at a Doobie Brothers concert, my boss decided to offer up priority tomorrow to anyone who went over and helped out the Caddie Master at this new course.
So let me get this straight. I get a loop today, I’m assured a loop tomorrow, and I get to see a new course? Oh I’m SO there man.
Well, I was forgetting about one minor detail.
For all of you who are just joining us, I live in an area where the traffic is a bit of a nightmare. Well, I don’t know if “nightmare” quite cuts it. It’s more like a Vietnam Vet reliving one of his worst moments in combat while getting railed in the ass by a gopher. If you're trying to get somewhere and the time just happens to be between 8-11 or 3-6, you're done. You might as well just stay where you are and try to leave when traffic simmers down. Under normal conditions, the drive up to this new course would’ve been about 45 minutes. No sir. Not today. How do you feel about an hour and 45 minutes?
Crap. Father time, why must you be a dickhead?
So I finally arrive at the course, and the minute I step out of my car 38 flies start having sex on my face. They’re in my ears, under the brim of my cap, in my eyes and trying to get into my mouth. It was rough sex too. All I kept hearing were a bunch of flies yelling, “Who’s your daddy? Who’s your daddy BITCH!”
A few of the gay flies were whispering sweet nothings in my ear trying to stop me from killing them. But it didn’t work. The only flies I didn’t kill were the ASEXUAL ones. But I couldn’t really find any. So I just swatted at all of them.
There were flies EVERYWHERE. I'm not used to that. I NEVER run into flies at my home course. I guess the security gate outside keeps them out. But at this new course, DAMN. They just would NOT leave you alone. I’d kill a few of them on my arm and they’d leave little blood trails behind them. Those bastards are FILLING UP man. They’re like tiny water balloons who like to have lots of dirty sex.
By the time the flies started to bang the shit out of my tear ducts, I arrived at the caddie hut. I’m swearing and throwing punches at anything that moves. Come to think of it, Mike Tyson must’ve had the same problem when he jumped out of his car and beat those two senior citizens. Ah well. I blinked a few times to crush the bastards, and I walked into the ice-cold igloo this course had turned into a caddie hut.
It was marvelous in there. I ended up walking back outside a few times because I was actually getting COLD. It was exciting because I could almost etch my initials on the window with my NIPPLES.
There were no chairs in this little hut and it was SMALL. So all you could do to pass the time was lean up against the glass and stare at the other four guys waiting to get out. It was a little awkward. But you always had the air conditioner to talk about. Much like the weather with a perfect stranger. You ever notice that? The weather is really the only thing that you could just turn and talk to ANYBODY about. Well, no. I take that back. Weather and crack-rocks.
“So how about this weather, huh?”
“Yeah man. Some weather.”
“Wanna buy a few rocks?”
And this is an acceptable conversation. If that’s all that was said, you’re golden, and are probably friends now. Such was the case with this caddie hut.
“Man, this air conditioner is NICE.”
“You like crack?”
“Only if YOU like hard nipples.”
“Done and done my friend.”
Then I was finally assigned a loop. I would be carrying two bags, and I was set to work with another caddie from my home course. Cool beans. I mean I think one of my nuts might melt off halfway through the round, but other than that, yeah, cool beans man.
We walked up to the driving range and introduced ourselves to the players. Then I was introduced to my players’ bags. For all you newcomers, I’d like to define something for you.
A “Trunk”: Largus Baggus. The antithesis of a “non-trunk.” A golf bag known for having three distinct qualities: incredible mass, volume, and density. It’s large, to compensate for a small penis. It’s unbelievably dense, because the player normally likes to be prepared for even the rarest of events. Crossing a desert is always popular. And, due to the density and size, the bag is heavy. Caddies who willingly carry said bags on a hot day are considered RETARDS. See also: Al Czervik’s bag in “Caddyshack.”
Both of my players’ bags were HUGE trunks. And the minute they saw me eyeing up their bags, they became very defensive. I walked up to the first one and the player immediately approached me and said, “What? This is fine, isn’t it?”
Sir, your bag has HOOFS coming out of it.
This was a cart bag of the highest order. King of the cart bags. Not only that, but the guy had 16 clubs in his bag, two umbrellas and NO bag-stand. He obviously had a MASSIVE DONG.
“Sir, would you mind if I switched this bag out?”
“No, I GUESS not.”
Well okay. Here are a few tissues and I’ll introduce you to somebody over on the other end of the range who gives a shit.
So I went about my business, happily changing out the first bag. At some point, the Caddie Master comes over and informs me that they don’t have any more carry bags.
Tis true, I was able to slay one trunk thus far, but there was still one that remained. And that player was so happy with himself he could barely stand it.
“Yeah, this should be no problem for you. There’s no need to bring out another bag.”
Well, there AREN’T anymore. I don't really have a choice Mr. Hunglikeahorse.
You see, what players don’t understand (at least most of them don’t) is that as a club caddie, I’m working every day and am never really sure what kind of caddying job I’ll be assigned to do (whether it’s forecaddying, two bags, etc). Therefore, if I'm carrying a bag, I need to make sure that I take care of myself and lighten the load as much as possible. Otherwise, I run the risk of hurting myself and losing a substantial part of my pay trying to get better. I imagine Stevie Williams, Tiger’s caddie, kept this ideal in mind when he bought a racetrack and crashed a car one day. But for the most part, caddies know they need to be careful. A heavy bag mixed with a side-hill lie and a little dew could easily introduce to a world of hurt. Or hot-ass babes in bikini's. I don't remember which it was. So I guess you have a 50-50 shot of coming out alright.
So fine. I’ll carry this bastards’ bag. Not quite as wide as the other one, but it was definitely just as heavy. And I definitely appreciate the absence of a bag stand. You dirty slutbag.
Halfway down the first hole, a cart flies out and flashes another bag in my direction. I wasn’t the first one to witness this miracle, but it definitely caught my eye soon after. The guy with the remaining trunk was the first on the scene.
“So I guess you’re switching out MY bag now?”
I guess so. I'm sorry to hear that. I mean, I didn’t say anything. I suppose news of your bags’ weight traveled far and wide. This nice man in the cart just wants to take it somewhere special until you finish up. This isn't goodbye, sir. Just a new beginning.
Finally. The loop was underway, and I don’t have to deal with small cars hanging off of my shoulders. Sweet deal.
Before I pass out again, I’m going to wrap this up so I can finally post. The rest of the round was extremely tiring. But there were some great things that happened. First of all, these players treated me and this other caddie like Kings. They were sending carts in to fetch us water, snacks and even an iced-towel. Now for those of you who have never used/seen one of these babies, it is a gift from God to caddies everywhere. They soak towels in ice-water and throw in a few lemons. Don’t ask me why they use the lemons, because I don't really care. I’d just like to think it’s used to pamper the caddies. We just wanted to throw in a lemon because we LOVE YOU SO MUCH. That’s really why.
And iced-towels feel so good. It’s orgasmic, really. Here you are, sweating like a pig, heat infecting every pore in your body, the sun beating down on your neck and calling you a sissy girl. Then out comes a fat guy on a cart with towels so cold it would shrink the nuts on a polar bear. You slap that towel on the back of your neck and your body instantly feels cooler. It’s like a Dentyne Ice commercial, except not as gay. The only downside is that you CAN get a small headache from this experience. It feels like brain-freeze. But man, you just let that towel thaw out on your neck and enjoy. Water’s running down my back and chest, making me feel like Chewbacca flipped me upside-down and dunked me in a pool. Like a potato chip. Yeah. That's exactly what it was like.
So the service on the course was phenomenal, the players were all extremely appreciative of everything that I did (the course JUST adopted this caddie program), and the course itself was in great shape. It was fun to see. The greens were PURE man. Hardly any ball marks on them at all. But there were a few downsides to today. First of all, the traffic can lick left and suck center for all I care. I was on the road for 4 1/2 hours. Totally unacceptable. I was wasting away in the car on the way home. I was running out of water and had to ration it accordingly. Why didn’t I just pull over? The TRAFFIC man. Once you get in that line, you just have to keep going. It would’ve been MORE of a hassle getting off of the main road and getting back on after a drink. It would’ve been easier to DIE first.
So take it easy all. I need to get some sleep before my trip tomorrow. I’m driving back home to visit some friends and play in a member-guest. Hope I don’t suck it up.
Posted by Tom Collins at 1:04 AM
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
So I carried some pretty massive bags on Friday. I knew I would be sore. Probably tired, too. So I decided to play it safe after the round was over. I got together with some friends and played poker all night. Oh yeah. Almost forgot. I drank some great beer too. I mean hey, while we're playing it safe, why not add in a quality lager or two?
And I kicked some ass. Regardless of how many beers they fed me, I was unshakeable. Somehow, after all of the trash talk, bluffs, and dirty jokes, I came out smelling like a rose: I made $12. Heh. Alright. I said my goodbyes and after drinking glass after glass after glass of water for about an hour, I peed my brains out and was finally able to drive home.
The time: 4 am.
Yes, it's true. I COULD'VE hit the sack and been running on a few hours of sleep before I rolled into work, but I remembered that only babies and small dogs quit THAT easily after a night of drinking and gambling. So I decided to be a man. I was going to go home and make myself some freakin' BREAKFAST. Then, I was going to take a SHOWER. And then, much to the surprise of EVERYONE, I was going to go to work.
I was feeling pretty beat (yet quite manly) so I made sure on the way in that I stopped to grab another energy drink. That "Full Throttle" from the other day knew JUST how I liked it. I was so excited to buy it when I walked into the 7-Eleven. I felt like a Manatee on angel-dust. Those fuckers are HAPPY. Made me want to scream at the cashier as she rang up my drink: "FULL THROTTLE BITCHES!" But I didn't. Probably should've too. That would've been EXTRA manly.
I pulled into the parking lot at 6:15 am. SOMEHOW another caddie got in before I did. I mean number 2 on the list isn't that bad on a Saturday, but I WAS a little pissed that I was up ALL night, pulled into work WICKED early, and STILL didn't get the #1 spot. But whatever. That really wasn't important right now. Because at that moment, I had to take a HUGE dump. We're talking photo finish here. Even if I GOT to the toilet in time, I still may be in trouble as I got my pants down.
I was delighted to find out that I had arrived SO early that the freakin' caddie room wasn't even OPEN yet. Crap. No, I didn't mean that. Think of bunnies and little cuddly puppies and other little creatures one would never associate with pieces of--Ha. Nope. Not gonna do it. I wish I was allowed in the clubhouse. There's a novel idea. Then maybe I could SHIT. But no, I'm not allowed. So yeah, let me just stand HERE and talk to the first guy to arrive. Yeah. That's EXACTLY what I want to do.
After about 10 minutes, one of my legs started to go numb and I began to shake uncontrollably. You KNOW it's serious when you start to shake. Sweat's running down my neck and Pee-Wee Herman jumps in front of me and starts dancing to "Tequila." I don't know WHAT the hell is going on. I just felt like hitting somebody. Well, either that or TAKING A DUMP. Is this caddie even talking anymore? I mean, what does this caddie have to say that's so freakin' interesting anyway?
"I picked up my cat last night from the vet's office. Fortunately, they got rid of all the cancer."
Oh yeah? Well I don't care about your FUCKING FUZZBALL of a pet. I HAVE TO TAKE A SHIT.
Great, my Tourette's are acting up again.
Finally, about 20 years later, somebody came to open up the cart barn. I almost started CRYING I was so happy.
Ahem. So anyway, after all THAT was over with, I sat down on the couch and fell asleep for about an hour. Life is good.
I woke up to an attractive woman placing a huge SHEET of banana bread on the desk. Life is really good. Too much sugar though. I realize caddies can act immature most of the time, but we really ARE past the age of 10. Not sure why somebody would put brown sugar on top. But she did, and I could only handle one piece. Some of the other caddies LOVED the sugar and had like 4 pieces. It was like crack to them. The whole sheet was destroyed in about 15 minutes.
Well now that I had my sugar, I was a little wired. So I had a crazy idea: I need to gamble with my boss. I don't really think he trusts anyone until he's won some money off of them. Plus I've been playing cards all night, so my desire to gamble is quite legendary. So really, I'd be killing two birds with one stone. That's all that is.
So I whip out $2. Oh yeah. High-roller here.
"Hey boss. We're playing one hand of 5-card stud for $2."
"Sure." No hesitation whatsoever.
Some of the caddies wake up. Is the rook really going one-on-one against the boss?
The hand is dealt, and I've got ace-king-queen in my hand. He had nothing. So I was up $2.
"You want to go again?" I couldn't resist.
"YEAH. But we're not playing any of this 5-card stud bullshit."
"What do you want to play?"
Oh like that's soooo much better. But okay. I'll play your game.
I'm dealt a full house. Kings over 7's. He's got 3 pairs. I'm up $4. At this point, he's getting a little flustered and we've started to attract 10-15 onlookers.
"Well I have to freakin' win something. Why don't we just draw a card from the deck? You draw first."
"And if you pick up a freakin' ace, you can forget about loopin' today."
I picked up a 6. He laughed, and picked up a 5.
"FUCK! We're going again. This is BULLSHIT!"
And after 5 more games, I was up to $16. He was baffled. I was baffled. Even your MOM was baffled. It was great. With every game, cheers would roar out from the caddie room. My luck seemed never-ending. But by the 9th or 10th hand, my profit was down to $14 and the boss finally had to work.
He didn't say anything to me for a while after that. I was wondering what the hell he was thinking. Was he pissed? Itching for more? Impressed?
Well I'll tell you what he was thinking. Revenge. Getting even. He was setting me up on the worst possible loop today. A predictable move, but I was a little nervous now because I hadn't been to bed yet and I knew I would have to be alert to make ANY kind of impression on these players.
So I chugged my "Full Throttle," let out a war cry and went out to the first tee.
To be honest, I've been thinking about asking my boss about some more training lately because I've been seriously considering making my job as a caddie a little more permanent. I just love this job. And he's been a caddie for over 20 years. If there was anyone who could grill me on technique and give me some new pointers, it was him. So I approached him before I went to my players.
"Hey boss. I've been meaning to ask you this for awhile. I was wondering if you could take me out for some more training. I need some pointers. I'll even put some of my winnings from today towards it if--"
"Don't try to give your fucking winnings to me. Those are yours. If I won money from you, you better believe I'd be in your face asking for it. Plus I train for free. Get out there. You're on the tee."
And so I was off. Not exactly the epic "talk" I wanted to have, but I'll take it.
Today I would be carrying one bag and forecaddying for a guy in a cart. Sounds simple, but I've caddied for these guys before. They're little bitches. Maybe not as needy as the inaugural "little bitch" everyone read about, but these two are definitely up there. For instance: you know why this guy is riding in a cart? Because the rates went up recently for caddies and he doesn't always feel like forking over the dough. So he's taking a cart to try and AVOID using a caddie. But I am so onto his game. Tough shit sir. I'm going to caddie for you ANYWAY to see how much I can extract from that tight little fist of yours. I'm sure your ass is retaining quite a bit of liquid these days, too. Just let it go, sir.
I'm not sure if everyone remembers, but there was a player I talked about a while back that complained to the Caddie Master about a caddie screwing up ONE yardage. I was also working in a group with that caddie one day, and while this player was on the tee, he was telling all of his friends to make sure they double-checked their yardages because the caddie "doesn't know what the hell is going on." Or something to that effect. So yeah, that guy who complained to the boss? Well that was the bag I was carrying. And I had gotten along fine with him before, but then again, I hadn't caddied for him after an intense night of gambling and drinking.
The first 4 or 5 holes were really rough. Every time I'd run over to help the guy in the cart, he'd either say he was fine or run away from me. Like bunkers? I'd run over to rake it for him and he'd hold up a hand and say he would take care of it. Okay, that's fine if it happens 2 or 3 times in a round, because some players are just trying to be friendly. But all the time? Come on. What's the point of having a caddie--oh OKAY. I GET it. I see what you're doing you sneaky bastard. You're trying to get out of paying me after the round is over with. Well like I said before, I'm not letting your wrinkly-old-ass off the hook that easily. Oh, is your ball on the green? BAM. I just marked and cleaned it for you. Those clubs you threw on the ground way out of the way so you were sure I wouldn't touch them and your Dad never said he loved you until you moved out when you were 18 and your sister ended up stripping in Vegas because she thought her connection would get her a spot in a movie someday and those stocks you had in Yahoo tanked with the dot-com crash all helped to make you the worthless sack of shit you are today. But I just grabbed those clubs and cleaned them for you. How do you like that, little man?
I wanted to do more, but he was in that cart and he was FLYING ahead of everyone. It was hard as hell to give him yardages because he was beating ME to his ball most of the time. But what can I say, I tried my best.
I thought the other guy was going to kill me within the first 6 holes because he kept hitting everything short and you could tell he really thought it was my fault. Now, I know I'm still struggling on the greens, but I feel like I make up for my lack of skill on the greens with some INCREDIBLE enthusiasm (which I'm sure is quite apparent on this site) and some killer yardages. I take pride in my yardages. I double check them off of different sprinkler heads if I have time. They are close to perfect.
"You said 146, right?"
"I hit my 145 club and ended up short."
And then he'd shoot me a quick stare to let me know he was watching me. What an asshole. There are so many reasons why you left the ball short. For starters, every time you hit the ball it sounds like you're catching it a little on the thin side. Is it possible that you actually needed to hit the club SQUARELY to get it to the green this time? I mean call me crazy, but I think club manufacturers have the MIDDLE of the clubface in mind when they design clubs. Or maybe it was just a bad swing. That's been known to happen in golf, sir.
But the 6th hole was when all of his anger and frustration finally came out in the open. No more of this passive-aggressive talking behind my back sissy stuff.
He had a blind shot over a bunker. Before he had arrived at his ball, I had picked out a tree above the flag that would be a perfect aiming point to try and take advantage of the slope in the green. There are three greenside bunkers on this hole, two of which are located on the front right and front left of the green. A small patch of fairway runs up between them. The tree I had picked for him to aim at was directly above this patch of fairway.
"Sir, it's 147 front and 168 to the flag."
"Where are we going here?"
Well now. I'm glad you asked.
"Do you see that tree with the lighter shade of green? That's a great line."
"Okay. Here we go."
He didn't even look over the bunker to see if I was right. Maybe I WAS getting on his good side.
His shot was hit thin (again) but it was on the line I had chosen for him. It landed on that patch of fairway and rolled up onto the front edge of the green.
"Ooo. You're a little short."
"Well I should've been fine. I mean, YOU aimed me."
With that, he turned and walked up the fairway.
Well excuse me princess. I'm sorry you're not 2 feet away. Maybe SOMEBODY needs to learn how to hit the ball a little higher on the clubface. You put the ball on the EXACT line I had chosen for you. And what happened? You ended up just where you needed to be. Isn't managing your mishits a big part of this game? Or do I just hug my crack-rock when I watch the golf channel. I don't really know.
So in an effort to quell any desires he might have about complaining to the boss about me (even though I know my boss would understand), I tried to humor him for the rest of the round. I tried to find out what he thought was funny, and then repeat it over and over and over again.
And nothing seemed to be working until 9. He rolled in a long birdie putt and as soon as it went in the hole, I made a sound: BAAdooomPPSHhhhh. It's that sound "they" used to make on the drum set after a joke was told. And he laughed hysterically. In thinking about it, I have no idea where I was going with that joke. It makes no sense to me at all. It's not like the putt was funny or anything. It's not like he made a wisecrack to one of his playing partners after he knocked it in. I don't know. I guess that was just his humor: anything that doesn't make sense. Okay, I can work with that. It's a mix of Dadaism and Russian Deconstructivism. You see? I'm on the right path already.
But I was a little bummed after a while because none of my jokes seemed to be working on him.
He would be walking down the fairway and I would yell out: "Cheese doodles!"
And he didn't laugh.
"Your wife's a whore!"
Nope. Guess that didn't work either.
So by the end of the round, my players' couldn't wait to get away and neither could I. At least the bag was light. Although, I suppose anything would seem lighter after lifting those two black-holes from the other day. Those were DENSE.
Posted by Tom Collins at 1:12 AM