Garage - Track
Dec. 10, 2009 - 4:11 p.m.
Has anyone noticed I've been in a writing slump the past, uh, 2 years? As much as I'd like to blame a woman (again), this time it's the job's fault. When I started this little diversion I was a 2-bit traffic reporter, on the air from 3am to 9am. Writing silly stories in between reports was a good way to stay awake.
Since then I've clawed up the radio chain to the point where I am now a 2-bit Network Announcer, thankyouverramuch. Without going into too much detail, I've been assigned to more and more subscribing stations by the Mothership as a result. On some stations I'm required to be, still, Traffic Guy. On others I'm Comic Relief Guy (go figure), and I'm also now...(sfx: trumpet fanfare) News Anchor Guy.
Being News Anchor Guy means I have to put together news reports every hour. Which means that every hour, in between traffic and yuks, I am scrambling to write news, edit copy filed by field reporters, screen and edit audio they may have included, voice and produce the finished product, and get it to the stations.
Guess how much time that leaves every day for side diversions? I'll give you a hint: my last entry was Thanksgiving. Of 2008.
(Funny side story: for a while, one of the stations subscribing to my news reports was the NYC outlet of Air America - a bastion of the Left, for those not familiar. However, since my services were also being used by some Right Wing stations at the same time, they asked if I would use a pseudonym. Now a good basic tenet for anyone choosing a pseudonym is: make it one you will remember. And I did. But I forgot to mention to NewWifey(tm) that I wouldn't be using my real name the first day I was on the air with them. When I got home that day she said, "How come OUR DOG was on Air America Radio today?" Yep. If any of you happened to be in the greater NY Metropolitan area anytime from 2008 thru mid-2009 and heard "Casey Magritte" reading news at the top of the hour on a Left Wing Talker...that was me. NewWifey(tm) would tune the station in every hour just to watch Casey The Wonder Corgi come running and stare in confusion at the magic white box booming out his name in Daddy's voice. Good doggy! Here's an autograph.)
But yeah, I haven't had much time to write at work as a result. And I never really did write much from home, even during this blog's Glory Years. I just go to bed too early. During the little free time I have before that, it usually comes down to a choice between sex or writing. Guess which one usually wins?
That doesn't mean I haven't written anything, mind you. There are the occasional days where NewWifey(tm) is either missing or ill to the point where none of her 3 inputs is a viable option. Rare, but it happens. On those days I have indeed plopped down and started writing stories.
I just never finish the stories.
I kid you not, I have a folder on my desktop with several dozen diary entries, all half-finished. And all side-splittingly hilarious, of course. It's just that...I start writing, get a few paragraphs in, then suddenly it's time to go to bed. I click "Save", fully intending to return at my earliest convenience and finish the opus. But when another chance to sit and spill finally rolls around again, I've lost interest in that story and start another. And another. And another.
And I never post anything. Who wants to read half a story?
Nonetheless, what follows is a half a story. I wrote it one afternoon last Spring while NewWifey(tm) was off field dressing a bear or something, and had pretty much forgotten all about it until the day after Thanksgiving this year. The day Tiger Woods came out as definitely not gay.
Here then, in all its unfinished glory, is the first portion of:
My life is officially over. I have taken up golf.
I actually took the plunge 3 years ago, but haven't been able to admit it until now. I mean, who wants to come right out and say they engage in an activity that requires one to hate every black person on the planet except one?
However, in golf's defense, it...it....
Well anyway, I've taken up golf.
By way of absolution, I didn't want to take up golf.
But three years ago I found out that my boss plays golf.
So now I play golf.
I'd like to sound all aggrieved and noble and tell you that he "suggested" I join him on his twice-weekly post-show rounds. But in reality I was just trying to weasel my way up the ladder.
The conversation, on air, which started it all went something like this:
Host: "Well, I see that Tiger Woods is a stroke off the lead at the 'Something Open' golf tournament."
Me (surreptitiously opening 15 new windows on my laptop in a frantic race to find out where the 'Tiger Woods' were located, who had a stroke, why the 'Something' was open, and what 'golf' was, exactly.): "You like golf?"
Host: "Like it? I play twice a week at my club, sometimes more! I even carry an official handicap."
Me: "Is it your bad leg?"
Me: "Well whatever your handicap, good for you for getting out and trying. I love golf myself."
Host: "No kidding? I had no idea. What do you say we get a round in one of these days after the show?"
Me: "A round what?"
Thankfully this exchange took place in the dead of winter so I didn't have to immediately put up or shut up. I had at least seven weeks to figure out how to hit a ball with a stick. How hard could that be?
Like most guys, I actually do have a set of golf clubs molding away in my basement somewhere. They're 40 year old sticks in a rotting canvas bag that I paid 40 bucks for at a garage sale unknown years ago. None of the irons are the same brand, and I don't own any golf balls. I purchased them thinking they'd make an effective rodent killer (they do), but NewWifey(tm) also found that the 3-iron makes a perfect lady-sized scythe and uses it to plow through the 5-foot tall weeds lining our property.
When I got home from work that day I immediately logged on to Golf.com, Golfillustrated.com, GolfWorld.com, GolfInstruction.com, GolfTips.com, and VW-Golf.com (just to be sure). I subscribed to as many magazines as they offered, then had my cable company set up the package that includes 'The Golf Channel'.
This was the very first thing I learned about golf:
Golf is for billionaires who can't get it up.
Every other commercial on 'The Golf Channel', and every third print ad in GolfWhatever Magazine, was for Viagra or Cialis. And if it wasn't Viagra or Cialis it was for a financial investment company. Or Bentley.
So golf makes you impotent. But it also makes you rich. I could live with that trade off.
When I decided to do this thing I realized immediately that I would have to do it right. What little play money I had stashed away would be used on lessons, not bling. Looking like Tiger Woods but playing like Tigger would be worse than vice-verse. I didn't want to embarrass my boss by flailing away dozens of times per shot in front of the members of his glittery private club.
I signed up for 8 weeks of lessons with a private coach, paid for a "membership" at a plastic-matted driving range, and bought a $4 canvas "Sunday Bag" to hold my clubs, since the old one was threatening to evaporate into smoke if moved. After scraping an inch of rust and dried squirrel blood off the clubs, they were good to go.
The lessons went pretty well. Years of fencing must have given me some crossover skills, as hitting things with the end of a long stick came kind of naturally. Ok, the ball usually didn't go where I wanted it to go - like, forwards - but at least I almost always made contact. And after about a month the ball would fly straight, oh, 40% of the time. Which is actually an incredible boast, if you know anything about golf. The last three weeks of lessons were spent on the boring stuff: putting, chipping and sand traps. They don't make you feel like as much of a man, because the shafts are shorter.
When my 8 weeks were up there was still ice on the ground, so I signed up for 4 more. And when I wasn't taking lessons I was at the range practicing. Strangely, it turned out that I actually enjoyed putting more than anything else, as un-manly as that sounds, and spent more time on the practice green than walloping balls into the lake.
By the way, my wife's take on this? Verbatim: "What a fag."
Whatever. Tiger Woods is fast approaching billionairehood AND gets to fuck a Swedish bikini model every night. Pass me a wedge and call me whatever you like.
Finally, later that Spring....
Host: " So Danger, my private club opens this weekend. Wanna play a round?"
It was on.
That Saturday I drove out to Olde Snobbytyne GC and shoehorned The Mighty WRX between two of the hundred or so Bentleys in the lot. A man in full evening tux walked up, looked at the hood scoop on my Subaru and said "Pardon me sir, but the charity mud wrestling event is being held at the VFW hall down the road."
"Ah, no. I'm here as a guest of Mr. Host. We have a 10 o'clock tee time."
"I see" he said. Then after a longish pause, "Allow me to bring your clubs to the staging area."
I popped open the trunk and Jeeves stared down at my 4-dollar bag and mis-matched set of blood spattered clubs. He lifted my bag with a thumb and forefinger and carried them that way, arm straight out, all the way to the clubhouse. I began to feel a little uneasy.
Now, I had actually dressed for the occasion. The day before I'd hit up Walmart for a tastefully patterned polo shirt in a neutral color and a new belt. But I did wear my Arkansas Razorbacks cap, since it says "Go Hogs!" on the back, a sentiment I fully endorse.
Still, even though I'd spent almost 20 dollars on official looking duds I felt like a welfare mom showing up to a Berskshire Hathaway stockholder meeting. All the men in the clubhouse - and there were only men in the clubhouse - quieted and stared hard as I walked through, as if I'd just announced my intention to marry their 9 year old daughter. Or son.
Ok, that's the point where I stood up and walked away.
However - and I realize I'm saying this to absolutely nobody in the world as no one ever expected to see any updates here anymore ever again - I do intend to finish the rest of the story and post it soon. SOON, I say! It was too much fun re-reading that (if I do say so myself) and remembering where I wanted the rest of the tale to go. So...soon.
In the meantime, I'm gonna make like Tiger and go play a new hole or two.