Thursday, September 07, 2006

The "Wedding Crashers" and Plumbing

Not sure why I have suppressed these memories for so long, but something triggered them recently and a massive wave of feelings and reactions to some of my days and nights in Florida came pouring out and I just had to share.

By the middle of the season (late February to mid-March) I had no time to do anything. The only food I could get my hands on came from the golf club or from 7-Eleven, where I had limited my selections to fruit bowls and croissants.

Okay, fine. The occasional doughnut. But I don’t think I was even able to get to the grocery store for a month or so. It was ridiculous.

I’d wake up at 6 am on my oh so comfortable air mattress, run into the wall sideways and hit the floor right next to the alarm. Perfect, because now I was able to shut it off. I’d throw on some clothes (hopefully wrinkle free) and stumble out the door in the hope that I wouldn’t hit a massive tree and die on my way to work.

After arriving at 7-Eleven (the logical halfway point between my rent-a-house and the golf course), I would pick up a fruit bowl and a croissant, say hi to the woman behind the counter for the umpteenth time (I wish I could remember her freakin’ name) and then doze off uncontrollably all the way to the golf course, energy drink in hand, praying I could keep the car going straight on some of the FLATTEST ROADS I HAD EVER SEEN. Once there, I would discover that I had arrived somewhat early (roughly 15 minutes late), which gave me some time to go inside and stare at the tee sheet where I would wonder where on God’s green earth I was going to find enough caddies to fill out the requests listed.

When I finally had my sales-face on, I would open up a drawer which contained a stack of applications. Time to make some phone calls and wake up some of the happiest people EVER. At this point, I had heard every excuse in the book. Caddies saying they’d rather sleep in (granted that’s not really an excuse but a statement of fact), had an emergency dental procedure scheduled at 7:30 in the morning, or would really like to play golf with their long-lost father whom they only get to see once every 10 years.

Then there were the members. It was hard to figure them out. They would say they absolutely loved the job I was doing, and then turn around and bitch to the head pro behind my back about the lack of caddies. In addition, the members also had this crazy habit of waking up early, refusing to call in and appear with 20-83 of their friends and family members (all “incredibly important” individuals) with no other purpose in life than to clog up the first tee and make my life a living hell for 9 hours.

I’ve heard many private clubs are run in this fashion (no tee times and members can show up whenever they wish), but this was a little out of control. During the busy season, 60-80 people would show up (without calling) from 8-10 in the morning expecting to go off before everyone else. The diplomacy involved was Presidential in nature. Well, either that or it was like a plumber unclogging a bucket of shit from a tiny steel pipe. I probably acted more like a plumber than a diplomat most of the time.

“Well Mrs. Johnson, The 1st and 10th tees are completely backed up, but there’s nobody on number 3 yet so I could send you off of the 4th tee right now if you don’t give me any shit.”

Or: “Mrs. Spooner, I know the 1st tee is clear right now, but after the backlog from this morning, there’s going to be an overflow of 3-5 groups coming off of the 18th green looking to finish their rounds. So just go drink some more iced tea and stop being a bitch.”

I probably would’ve donned some ass-cleavage if it wasn’t so windy all the time.

Surprisingly, the caddies’ who showed up the most consistently were the ones that were out drinking every night. I suppose when you blow all your money on booze you’ve got a fairly solid motivator to get up early and work to assure yourself a couple of meals.

But there were two caddies in particular that were by far the worst influences on me during my stay in Florida. I called them the “Wedding Crashers.” They would sleep with young women. They would sleep with older women. With married women. With swingers. Prostitutes. It didn’t matter. If it was a living, breathing organism, they were fucking it.

“Dude, sometimes you need to check the oil on that dipstick. See if she’s into it.”

“Man, just prop that ass up on a pillow and pound away. It feels great. She’ll love it.”

“Dude, I feel like I’m taking candy away from babies. And then fucking them.”

“I’m moving out to Vegas. Forever.”

These and many more quotes embodied the very essence of these two distinguished gentlemen. They came in every day with random photos of tits and asses to try and coerce me to participate in another one of their drink-fests at a few of the local pubs.

And yes, I acquiesced.

I had no choice. They made it sound like every night was just so incredibly wickedly awesome.

“Man, sex and alcohol are the only two things girls in this town think about man. It’s awesome. I mean, sure, we’re bad men. But the ladies LOVE THAT.”

I remember one morning in particular where I threw up three times in the bushes next to the starter’s podium because I just felt so damn wonderful and couldn’t wait to work that morning. I’m not saying I’m proud of it, but I remember laughing my ass off because I couldn’t seem to figure out why I kept throwing up. Was it something I ate?

But after work was when the fun stuff really began. After work, I had exactly 30 minutes to get home, take a shower and get to rehearsal, where I was cast in “Annie Get your Gun” as a half Irish, half Native American knife thrower who said all of two words the whole show yet loved to sing about love and happiness.

I know, I know. Typecasting is a bitch.

I would be in rehearsal from about 5 to 10, head home, take off the make-up and be getting ready for bed when I would get a phone call. The “Wedding Crashers” needed a third. They were calling me, because DUH, it was a Tuesday night and they wanted to get fucked up. And, due to my complete and utter lack of resistance to peer pressure, I would simply chug another Red Bull and continue my day into the wee hours of the morning drinking, dancing and sweating.

Somehow, I was able to get up the next morning around 6 and do it all over again. Oddly enough, I think I gained some respect from the caddies and the other outside staff members because they knew exactly what I was up to most nights and yet I still showed up every day, ready for more punishment. I never want to go through that again. Because it was at that point that I had an epiphany: growing up is realizing that you can never really catch up on any of the sleep you’re missing. Boy was I depressed when I figured THAT out.

I also realized that being a Caddie Master can either be enviable or crappy. It just depends on the day, really. The fact that you get to shoot the shit with your friends every day, find them all work and make all of the players and professionals happy can make you feel pretty damn special. It’s just all those damn days in between where nothing goes right and everybody (you think) hates you. Those can suck some major asshole.


Kiwi said...

great post jamboy, sounds like a right bitch of a job, maybe the members at my course aren't such a bunch of pricks after all

Anonymous said...

Very good post! Do you have some stories about tournaments the club hosted. Those always create interesting situations.

Jam Boy said...

Come to think of it, in almost every tourament, there were some huge issues with caddie assignments. I don't think the people playing in those tournaments understand all that goes into pairing up players and caddies. You've got requests, people trying to budge in and take a caddie irregardless, caddies assigning themselves, and players who never take caddies to begin with complaining that they don't have a caddie for the tournament. I'll go into more detail later, but it was amazing to me how much of an art form those pairing sheets can be. And along the same lines...I don't think people realize that the club pro's strategically place certain people together to avoid any problems. I always thought different player pairings were random or based on handicaps.

Jason said...

those quotes are hilarious! did you ever bring anyone home or did "the wedding crashers" have all the luck? :)