Last weekend I attended the final day of a golf tournament, and as I stood just 12 feet away from the amazing physical specimen that is Tiger Woods as he teed off on the 18th hole, just a few short strokes away from winning the entire championship, I was vividly reminded once again that, as a golfer? I make a damn fine humor writer.
I have always had an a stormy relationship with golf, beginning with my first golf lesson at age 9 and continuing up through last Sunday, when I was unable to lend my full attention to the actual tournament play due to the unfortunate propensity of my pants to unzip at random times as I walked the course. Because nothing says class and sophistication like the occasional flash of your hoo-ha. (Unless you are a drunk, twenty-something college guy who thinks it is COMPLETELY appropriate to appear in public wearing brown, patchwork, vertically-plaided Bermuda shorts with a light green and white, horizontally striped, polo shirt. Holy. Hell. If there was ever an argument for allowing us everyday citizens to be armed with tiny, semi-poisonous blow dart guns, This. Was. It.)
But, I digress. My dad absolutely LOVES golf and so, when I was 9 and my brother was 6, he and my mom signed us up for golf lessons. I did learn a lot from those lessons, but unfortunately none of it had to do with the actual game of golf. Mostly it had to do with everyone coming to the realization that I am one of the most physically uncoordinated human beings to ever walk the face of the earth. And the rest had to do with the fact that, even at age 6, my brother was basically a golf Super Star.
Everything came to a head one bright, sunny afternoon during a lesson on putting when, after a particularly abysmal performance by Yours Truly, I was invited to sit on the grass while the rest of the students continued with their instruction, while at the same time being constantly invited (ordered) to compliment everyone else on their fabulous putts. That’s right. I was so bad at golf that I was kicked out of a golf lesson.
It was pretty upsetting at the time, although it did end up working out for me, because guess who never had to take another golf lesson EVER AGAIN?! But looking back on it now, I suspect this is probably the reason that I now, at age 34, am completely driven by the belief that I must be ABSOLUTELY PERFECT the second I try anything new, lest I be denied any further opportunities to learn. So it’s nice to finally have someone to blame that on. 😛
So anyway, I myself was more or less free of The Magical Spell Of Golf, but it continued to claim victims around me, the most recent being my mother.
“Jennifer, I’m so excited!” she said to me on the phone one day. “You dad just bought me my own set of custom-fitted golf clubs, and we go out every weekend together to play 18 holes. I’m such a jock!”
Now that pretty much every person in my life has turned down The Path To The Dark Side, they have, as my friend Lynne calls it, “been smokin’ a big bowl of ‘This Is It!’.” Meaning that now that they have gotten so clear about the very special place that golf holds in their own hearts, they feel compelled at EVERY interaction to try and convert me into A Golfer. It’s kind of funny to watch, because you can see that they know that if they just explain it clearly enough, I will finally see the error of my ways and Become One Of Them.
Yeah. Because that’s worked so well all the other times they’ve tried it. Apparently, they’ve never actually met me before.
And you can see just how much fruit their efforts have yielded by examining this actual excerpt from the stand-up routine I performed last month at the Punchline:
“I like spending time with my family, but I’ve gotta tell you-they’ve got a real problem with using four-letter words, one in particular. And I know y’all know exactly which one I’m talking about:
Take the Master’s, for example. All that struggle, all that effort-and for what?!
To win a dinner jacket so ugly, you couldn’t give it away at the Salvation Army.
You know when that jacket’s good? St. Patrick’s Day.
That’s the only time anyone’s ever drunk enough to wear that color.”
And see, that’s the problem I have with golf. All these golf aficionados walk around spending all their time trying to make us all fall under the “spell” that says, “Oh, golf is so dignified, and so sophisticated, and so full of of elegance and class, blah, blah, blah”, while completely ignoring the fact that, for example, whenever you watch a golf match on TV, EVERY SINGLE COMMERCIAL shows A Man taking a Helpful Pill so that he can go and Get Lucky. Apparently I’m the only person who has noticed this odd contrast, so I’ve made it my mission now to go around and refer to various tournaments as “The Penis Open” so as to draw attention to this little discrepancy. Golfers love me.
Or there’s the fact that, sure, you can make ass-loads of money by winning tournaments, but before they will hand over any reward they make the winners drape themselves in men’s apparel consisting of Colors That In No Way Would Actually Occur In Nature. You’ve got The Green Jacket of The Master’s, The Blue Jacket of The Wachovia Championship, and, God help us, The Tartan Plaid Jacket of The Heritage. And if that jacket doesn’t fall under the category of Things That Should Be Classified As Crimes Against Nature, then I don’t know what does.
It’s my personal belief that what actually happens at these tournaments sounds a little more like this:
“OK, yeah, it’s great to watch you play golf and all, but here’s what we REALLY want to see. If you can put this piece of clothing on without bleeding from the eyes, we’ll give you A MILLION DOLLARS.”
Fortunately my husband has declared, in public, that not only am I incapable of playing golf, but I am actually NOT ALLOWED TO. He knows me very well, and has too many times seen me driven into a homicidal rage by the intractable behavior of can openers, fax machines, walls, and other inanimate objects.
So I’ve dodged a major bullet there, thanks to him, not to mention freeing up lots of time to work on my new creative project entitled, “Hm, I Wonder What Else We Can Get Them To Wear?!”