Saturday, August 27, 2005

Finally...A Post

I'd just like to say, first off, that I haven't been able to work for the last week and a half because the course I NORMALLY work at is closed for renovations and this other course I'm helping out at as an Assistant Caddie-Master has been closed all this week for aerification.

So basically, I've been living the life Peter Gibbons always dreamed of. I do nothing all day.

And it's a wonderful thing. I've needed the break. But I feel bad, because I don't really have anything to post on a day-to-day basis. Starting next Tuesday, however, I go back to a full-time schedule. So I hope everyone's ready for the old me. Because I can't wait to start writing again.

Anyway, I found this post sitting on my desktop today and decided to finish it up. It took place a few days after my two up/two down loop.

Here goes.

I remember sitting in the caddie room talking to my boss one afternoon after most of the other caddies had already packed it up and gone home for the day. We were sharing stories and I had mentioned that I could not even FATHOM seeing this job as a "job." I was just having too much fun. I mean yeah, I bitch, I moan, and I know it seems obvious both to my body and to my readers that I am most definitely "working," but I was always so excited to get into work and have some fun. So I shared this with my boss.

He paused. It was a long, wistful pause.

"Yeah. I remember those days. But they'll end. I'd say I was like that for a good 3-5 years until I changed my mind. I was running up the first fairway one day and I thought to myself, 'Hey, this is WORK man.' And that's when it started to get harder to come into work every day."

I knew he was right, but I never thought I would see that day so soon. And to tell you the truth, I'm really not sure what it was recently that made me start to see all this as work.

I think part of it had to do with the fact that my boss even TOLD me that I don't HAVE to work at this other account if I didn't want to (my regular course is closed for some renovations). But this other Caddie Master keeps calling me and putting me on these guilt trips, and with me being me, I can't say no, and so I'm busting my ass again when I should probably be taking it easy. That pisses me off. It's times like these where I wish I had a steadier job, because I don't actually make any money unless I caddie. I can't just sit in a chair all day and get paid (now I'm not saying office people don't work, but you definitely aren't carrying any heavy objects over 5-7 miles unless you're helping a buddy move a desk across town or something). So yeah, I was pissed because after that "two up/two down" loop I was never able to find time to recuperate. I was right back out there the next day. The next three or four mornings I was even having a little trouble walking. Needless to say, things were looking grim for ol' JB.

And then an awesome loop came out of nowhere. And then another. The kind of loops that make you glad you're a caddie. You're paid well, you actually have some meaningful conversations with your players, and you don't feel like you want to die afterwards. They seemed like they really cared about where my life is headed. They offered suggestions from life experiences and even offered to hook me up with a place to say for a while out west.

So the positive stuff was good. I was able to enjoy myself out there. That’s the way it SHOULD be.

I think the only other thing left to ponder, at least for now, is about my performance as a caddie. I’m comfortable with just about everything there is to know out there. Except for one: reading greens. I’m not saying that I’m hopeless at it, but I think it’s fair to say that I have a bit of a phobia. My eyes are still adjusting to the Lasik surgery, and so there are days where I can’t exactly see “well.” So green reading (and finding the ball in the first place) is a little on the “challenging” side these days. But I’ve been wearing my Peak Vision sunglasses, which definitely help. I guess in the end it all comes down to confidence. After my eyes completely adjust, I think I’ll be set.

And trust me. All those things I said I was going to do once I had my surgery? I’ve been doing it. I’m so happy I was able to get the surgery done. But for now, I need to take it easy. I went into my last eye appointment and the doctor could tell, even in the dim light, that I’ve been partying a little too hard. So now I have to put this freakin’ GREASE in my eyes to keep them extra lubricated at night.

I never realized I was such a deviant. Did you?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Two Up/Two Down

So I'm walking into my apartment tonight looking like an 80 year-old man about to collapse from a stroke, arthritis, and some strange brain disorder. Yeah, I feel like my brain has been "stretched." And yeah. I KNOW nobody believes me.

So what the hell happened to me?

Well, I'll tell you. Two up/Two down "happened" to me.

Translation: Yesterday I carried two bags AND forecaddied for two people in a cart. So basically I looked like an American Gladiator with two bags over my shoulders running like Forrest Gump. Yeah, you heard me. American-flag-skin-tight-shorts and all the fixin's baby. I was an animal.

You're probably wondering: How in the world are you supposed to carry two bags, take care of those two players AND forecaddie for two lazy bastards in a cart for 18 holes? You got me. I just ran like a crack-addict on speed and hoped I ended up in the right place at the right time.

And the worst part? Yeah, one of the bags I'm carrying belongs to a metro-sexual. So he's constantly getting this and that out of his bag. Making sure he looks okay. Calling his friends. I sat on the 6th tee for 5 minutes as the cart rolled away like the last ferry out of HADES as this douchebag rifled through his pockets just to find a cigar CUTTER.

For a SECOND, I was completely okay with this. I mean hey, he's a rich guy, why not take a moment to enjoy a cigar as your playing golf on this beautiful day? But after watching the two guys on the cart get a MASSIVE head start on me and seeing the other player look back from 50 yards away, you can imagine my dismay when I see the guy finally find a PLASTIC CUTTER. I know it's stupid, because of course the majority of Americans would either bite off one end of the cigar with their teeth or pull out a plastic cutter of their own, but this guy had a professional cigar CASE with his name embroidered on it. That cutter better be made of GOLD if we're going to wait this long.

It reminds me of being stuck in a completely unnecessary traffic jam (the kind where you're just driving like a normal person down the road and all of a sudden three lanes of cars slow down and come to a complete stop) where after 15 minutes of moving 3.567 inches you're screaming at the top of your lungs: "Somebody better be fucking DEAD up there!"

Which of course is a great thing to say. I suppose karma is coming back to me in a big way with this metro-sexual.

I was caddying for the president of the club, the head professional, one of the board members, and one of their freaky little friends (Mr. Metro-sexual). So I'm not really sure how I would be caddying for "normal people" under these circumstances, but for these people, yeah, I'm definitely kicking it up a few notches.

Now, the head professional was a MUTANT off the tee. He's 6'6'' and I swear his LEGS are taller than I am. The guy is huge. So with all the leverage he gets for being tall, it's no surprise that he bombs it well over 330 yards off of the tee. And guess what. HE'S one of the player's in the cart. Great.

So while I'm killing myself trying to keep up and get everyone's yardage, there's no way in hell I can EVER help out the head pro until he's on the green. Fortunately, he was cool with me by the 16th hole. I think he just took pity on me. He started asking where I graduated from, how my golf game was looking, whatever. I was surprised I was even CLOSE to being coherent what with all of my major motor functions starting to shut down and my face starting to turn as red as a "cooked lobster" (this is what the Caddie Master said to me after I came in).

A lot of times you'll hear runners' say that after a while, running is all mental.

Yeah, okay, whatever.

I didn't believe that until today. Because running as fast as you can with two bags on your shoulders gets old and painful after a while. For me, holes 12-17 were a little tricky. I think that's where I required a little more mental finesse than HERCULEAN BEASTLINESS. That's probably why I feel like my brain is "stretched" right now. And 18? That was a VICTORY LAP compared to the rest of the round.

So yeah. I feel like an 80 year-old man right now. And it hurts.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Hey, It's Your World Buddy...I'm Just Visiting

Man. There’s so much to talk about. I just got home and all I want to do right now is bitch and moan. So in other words, I’m just dying to get to the keyboard and write a little ditty for all my friends out there.

So what’s been happening with you guys?

Hmm. Wow. Well that’s just great. Me? Oh, well I caddied for a complete dickhead on Wednesday. Wait. Maybe that’s a little mean. By “dickhead” I mean “couldn’t please a $4.75 hooker with a $1 million dollar set of gem-plated Victoria Secret panties.” Yeah. That’s a little more “P.C.”

So there was this member-guest on Wednesday at this other golf course and the Caddie Master over there really needed some help, so me and some of the other go-to Mod-Squad boys showed up ready to pimp out the joint and show this world what caddying was all about.

And then the assignments came out.

I was paired with the biggest asshole this side of the Mississippi. He was about three seconds from dismissing the use of caddies altogether and about two seconds from rolling around in his own fecal matter. All of the regular caddies at this course knew I had a horrible player and tried to show their sympathy.

“Aww man.”

“Good luck with that one.”

“Additional generic sympathetic caddie-comment Tom.”

They’d pat me on the shoulder and offer words of advice, but I had no choice but to die a little inside. I mean how am I supposed to relate to this guy? I have NOT rolled around in fecal matter and I could get an AMAZING amount of use out of a $1 million dollar set of gem-plated Victoria Secret panties (I’ll let you do with that comment what you will). How in the world was I to get along with this human TURD of a man? What could we connect on?

The answer? Nothing.

When I first met him he didn’t even open his mouth.

“Hello there. I’m Tom. I’ll be taking care of you today.”

Look caddie up and down, frown and drop half a deuce in your pants, and walk over to tell a dirty joke to your partner. Yeah. I’d say that initial introduction went over well.

His partner was too busy being mortally offended that he was being FORCED to take a caddie, so any MEANINGFUL conversation with him was thrown right out the window from the get-go.

“Just so you know, I’m USED to carrying my own bags. I really don’t need you.”

You know what? That’s good sir. Too bad you’re TAKING A FREAKIN’ CADDIE TODAY. TOUGH TITTIES.

So I’m working with two players who would rather carry their own bags and complain about me behind my back than pay for my services. Well, no. I’m sure they’d rather complain about me TO MY FACE. You know, I’m tempted to ask people like that what exactly happened to them in their life that turned their souls into writhing, puss-spewing sewers of human emotion. I mean seriously. If you’re filthy rich and have absolutely nothing to worry about for the rest of your life, what is there to complain about? If taking the time to FIND something to complain about whets your proverbial palate, then I guess go for it. But there has GOT to be more to life than complaining all the time. Right?

You’re probably sitting there wondering, “Hey, why were these guys assholes again? You haven’t really shown any supporting evidence.” Well it’s funny you should ask. I was just wondering the same thing. I mean, it HAS been since Wednesday. EONS have come and gone since then. But let’s see if I can remember a few of the reasons why.

Firstly, the member I was working with was one of those players who checked and DOUBLE checked his opponents’ score after every hole.

“You got a 5 there? Are you sure? One off the tee, two in the bunker, three out of the rough…and then what?”

“I two putted.”

“Right. Wait. You sure?”


“Did you ground your club in the bunker? Because that’s a penalty.”


“No you didn’t or NO you don’t think that’s a penalty? Because I’ll tell you something, it IS a penalty. And you would be wise to brush up on your USGA rulebook knowledge before you play in such a serious event EVER again.”

“Why don’t you just impale yourself with the fucking flagstick?”

“Will you help? I hate my life.”

I would also be looking back from the fairway as the foursome was teeing off and of COURSE my player would be the one to step away from his ball and gesture to the rest of the foursome to move “somewhere else” because apparently the players were “in his line of sight.” Come on. If you’re THAT picky about where people stand, I think you’re just LOOKING for something to blame your bad shot on. But hey, that’s just my opinion. What do I know?

Then there was the infamous “found club” incident on the 8th green. One of the other foursome’s had forgotten a wedge in the rough just off of the putting surface and one of my anal-retentive players (although who wants to have ANYTHING leaking out of their anus) happened to see the mystery club and INSISTED that I pick it up and deal with it. Well now. I’m carrying two bags. We’re playing in a tournament. I’m not going to put this new club into one of my player’s bags and risk a penalty. Because Lord knows after all of the interrogation and harassment thus far, the other two players have got to be DYING to call some kind of penalty on my boys. So I asked the other two players if THEY would like to help me out by carrying the club in the cart until after the 9th hole where they could drop it off in the clubhouse and be done with it.

Well no. THEY didn’t want to take care of the club either, because THEY were afraid of MY players calling a penalty on THEM for holding an extra club. I tell ya, there is NO love lost between these boys. And while they were having this little debate on the 9th tee-box I’m waiting by the cart to receive the final verdict. Well of course this means that I’m falling behind in my caddie duties because it’s too late to get in front of them and into a forecaddie position (strike a pose). So NOW I have to double-time it just to get out in front of my players and avoid any MORE criticism.

By the way: did you know that pigs have 30-minute orgasms? Just thought I’d throw that out there.


Because if MY players knew this, they may look into trying to make at least ONE MAMMAL on the planet happy.


And don’t read into that comment too much. I’m not really trying to insinuate ANYTHING. Well, no. I suppose I am. And I’m sorry. That’s an insult to pigs. They don’t even WEAR million-dollar pairs of gem-plated Victoria Secret panties. So I guess my boys have NO chance of getting lucky.


Would “raping” pigs be an option? Holy crap. Did I just go there? I hope nobody from the EPA or some group of over-protective farmer’s stumble across this website. I mean I’m only trying to help my players. Old-heartless-DICKFACES need lovin’ too ya know.

So anyway, the two “cool” guys playing in this little hoot-nanny finally agree to take the club for ONE hole in their cart (by the way, the club is not even TOUCHING their bags). And then I found $20. Oh yeah. Now THAT story just got a whole hell of lot more interesting.

I also appreciated the random dumping my player decided to undertake during his round. Every time he picked up a Gatorade, a candy bar, a Margarita in a Styrofoam cup, whatever. As soon as he finished one of these items, he’d walk with it for an undetermined amount of time until he felt good and ready to litter. Because let’s face it, you really DO have to be in the mood to litter. I might as well have been holding a pooper-scooper. He’d walk right by garbage cans, pretend to be oblivious and then throw the items on the ground just to test me. I mean I have no proof, but what ELSE could he have been doing that for? His crappy HEALTH?

Now, the round wasn’t ALL bad. By the 18th hole the other two players’ wanted me to chug a beer with them on the tee-box. Yeah. Like THAT will ever happen. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to do it, but the minute that sweet sweet nectar touched my lips I’d be sitting at this computer searching for another job instead of talking to YOU good people. So no thanks. But if you’re still interested in buying me a few beers, let’s talk after the round is over. No, really. I’m serious.

Oh, I almost forgot the biggest kicker of all. The Caddie Master had mentioned to me before the round began that yes, all of the caddies “dislike” the player I’d be caddying for, but the boss believed that it was only because the other caddies weren’t doing a good enough job. He believed that a decent caddie would be compensated “appropriately.” And oh my LORD was he right. I received a remarkable rose-scented tip for carrying two bags. Totally blew me away. I mean, I could sense by the 15th or 16th hole I had earned their respect, but I didn’t think I’d be walking away with money to spare. So for all of my bitching and moaning, I would certainly go through that again. And oh yeah. I would DEFINITELY make the same comments about the pigs. Because let’s face it, if you’re capable of enduring a 30-minute orgasm (as uncomfortable as that might be), you could withstand an infinite amount of insults and jokes at your expense. It’s kind of like guys who can afford to buy a Ferrari. That small penis thing? Probably true. Do they care? No. They have a FERRARI.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Rookie Of The Year

So today was the day.

Today, I became a man. Or something to that effect. Today, a small luncheon and "skills challenge" was scheduled for the caddies' in lieu of payment for services rendered. So basically, that meant that we, the caddies, got an opportunity to hit some balls and compete against each other (an everyday occurrence anyway) put on a suit and tie, and then get a chance to walk through the clubhouse and visit an OPEN BAR. Yes, actually PLAYING the course would've been a little more desirable, but they've had some bad weather lately and the course is in some desperate need of repairs. But hey, free drinks and a walk through the clubhouse? Why the hell not.

So I arrive around 11 and am IMMEDIATELY nervous. Now, as much as I WANTED to hit balls recently and get my game in shape for playing the course, I was definitely side-tracked and missed out on a few buckets. I have my boss to blame for that. He threw a party last Saturday and I ended up "crashing" on one of his chairs in the living room. His house was STREWN with bodies the next morning. And just like Cosmo Kramer, I had my internal clock set for 6:15, hit the snooze a bunch of times, and finally ran out the door at 6:35 to see if I could actually pull off getting to work on time. And I didn't feel that bad until I rolled into work and found out that I would be caddying for none other than Mr. Nice-Guy.

The smile was instantly ripped from my face.

I mean, it's not like I would be giving him BAD service, but I definitely looked crappy. Beat up. I was running on 2-3 hours of sleep and I'm sure I still smelled like alcohol. Oh man. How could I let him see me like this?

But, it turned out to be a routine loop and before I knew it I was able to head back home and crash once more.

Just a random side note: it has come to my attention recently that I am drinking an awful lot these days. I think I have pulled more all-nighters since I dawned the bib than all of my four years' of college put together. Thank GOD I'm being promoted. Or...wait. Just because I'm not caddying doesn't mean my parties and drinking will cease. I'm still AROUND caddies. Oh man. These guys are insatiable. This means I'm going to have to come up with some sort of limit for myself or something. I don't want to die at 53 because I decided my liver would be happier FIGHTING FOR ITS LIFE every freakin' WAKING HOUR. So yeah. I'll get that squared away.

But anyway, back to today. So I get over to the range and the "skill challenge" is set up like so: An individual hits towards 4 greens of varying yardage. Greens are 103, 154, 203, and 263 yards away. You are given 2 balls for each green. Points are awarded for landing on the greens, and then you move onto the next station, which is a 40 yard pitch shot into a pool. If you land in the pool, it's 5 points, if you hit the side it's 2 points. Or something like that. I wasn't really listening when they were explaining it to me. Again, I was too NERVOUS to care. I was just concentrating on HITTING THE BALL. And today it was especially hard with these new eyes of mine. And the final station was very similar, with another pool being 80 yards away.

So I step up to the first station. I put one ball on the 103. One ball on the 154. Two on the 203. I'll NEVER figure that one out. You have to remember, I'm so nervous at this point (the head pro and all of his little assistants are observing, in addition to the 30-40 caddies waiting to compete) that I'm taking one more club into each green and aiming WAY left. I was just hitting these thin high fades that SOMEHOW found the greens. As for the 263, that was a joke. So according to the point system, I had 6 points after the first station. The leader was sitting pretty with 8 points. Now I was aiming at the first pool, 40 yards away. My first shot landed a little long and left of it, my second a little long and right, and my third landed short. So no dice. Still two down with 3 balls left to play. The Assistant pro tallying up my score chimed in.

"Now you're two points down Tom. You need to make something happen at this last station."

No shit Sherlock.

But to tell you the truth, that was all the encouragement I needed. At that moment, all of my anxiety and nervousness melted off of my body. It pooled at my feet and was dried up by that unrelenting bastard of a Sun. I was at ease. My first shot sailed right on line and landed 2 yards over my target. I smiled and took a deep breath. I could still feel the last swing. That meant I just had to take a little off of it, and this bastard was mine.

One-two. Like a perfectly timed pendulum, I caught the ball with a crisp down-swing and the ball sailed on the same line as before. The Assistant pro couldn't help himself.

"Oh baby. Be right."

I held my finish, and the ball dropped right into the pool. 5 points.

I high-fived the Assistant pro and proceeded to skull-chunk-shank my next wedge, but I didn't care. I had finished with 11 points and held the lead by 3.

After exorcising some more of my anxiety via various putting contests with the other caddies, it was time to head in and change for lunch. And what a lunch it turned out to be. Ribs, steak, mashed potatoes, seafood linguine, garlic rolls, plain rolls, Caesar salad, regular salad, pies three times the size of your head, strawberry short-cake, whoa. And that open bar? Clutch. I was stuffed after one massive plate. I was also pissed, because the food was so good that I wished I had like 5 stomachs to load up for the upcoming WEEK.

After the meal, the head pro came up with a microphone and said a few words, handed out some scholarships (some of the caddies had applied for scholarships to college--and yes, that is a VERY cool thing for the members of the course to make donations), and then got to the "skills challenge" results.

My score held up. I won. He called me up and I walked away with a cool pair of Oakley's for my trouble. Which is funny, because I've always wanted to have a pair just to SAY that I owned a pair. But I never actually wanted to BUY them. So this worked out nicely. But before I could step down and return to my seat, the head pro stopped me.

"Oh, now hold on a second. Now, Tom doesn't know this, but he's been named 'Rookie of the Year.' And I want to turn the mic over to his boss so he can say a few words."

I was shocked. I didn't even know such a title existed in this field.

"Now some of you may know this, but Tom's nickname around the caddie yard is 'The Franchise,' and I think he's called that because the other caddies know, just as I know, that he's easily one of the best caddies we've come across in a long time. He shows up 6-7 days a week, on time, he doesn't mind sitting around waiting for a loop, and he gets along with everyone. In fact, I have so much faith in this kid that I've already assigned him to work as an Assistant at one of my new accounts in Florida. I know he'll be perfect for the job. Congratulations Tom."

What a great day. And after the luncheon, the boss suggested that we all meet at a local bowling alley for some more pitchers. Most of us showed up, and it was a lot of fun. Yelling at each other, cheers ringing out for every strike, spare, or gutter ball. Good times had by all.

I tell ya. With days like these, why would I ever want to go and try to work an office job? I wouldn't trade these days for anything.