Monday, December 17, 2007

It's hard to say how we all got here. I mean, who knows how the ship went down? Like the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, "we might have capsized, we might have split up, we may have broke deep and took water." But somehow, the golf crew of the S.S. CBS ended up together on PGA Tour island, a bunch of misfits, tossed together by the winds of fate.

We're three weeks from rescue now, with the NEC Invitational at Firestone in sight, but the experiment has taken its toll. At the weekly tribal council, Venturi, the barnacle-encrusted old sea dog who is chief of "Hybalzi," the tree-house tribe, keeps voting himself off the island, but no one will let him leave. The Reverend Clampett, our spiritual leader, put the wind up all of us the other day by brewing up a batch of what he called "homemade lemonade." He had that strange "there's nobody home" look about him, and of course there were no takers, in case it was one of those cult mass suicide deals, like Jonestown. Hey, we're all a little paranoid.

Austin Oosterhuis, the international man of mystery, is keeping us on our toes as usual, by renting tiny cars, showing up for work early, and doing all kinds of research. "That is my bag baby!" It's disgusting, and hopefully, it'll never catch on. Speaking of disgusting, Bill Macatee goes missing for weeks, and then shows up in Armani pants and a $500 bowling shirt like the older woman's Ricky Martin he is. All coconuts and beach rumba, but he does improve the view periodically.

Meanwhile, "Dragnadzi," the nomadic tribe of Kostis and Feherty, continue to prepare for the merge at the PGA Championship. When the tribes come together, we will be joined by Cap'n "Jules" Verne Lundquist, and Rear Admiral Sir "Moby" Dick Enberg, who recently jumped ship from an NBC dredger. Kostis is acting shirty, and I'm pretty sure he has a goat tied up somewhere, although he refuses to share it's whereabouts with me. He vanishes from the compound in the middle of the night, and I'm pretty sure I hear bleating now and then. Everyone is trying to get into a favorable bargaining position, because up until now, Jim Nantz has been the only one able to hold his breath long enough to hunt underwater and put food on the table. He's also the one we hide behind when the weather turns bad, and while the rest of us are definitely getting out of here shortly, with football coming up, Jimmy looks like he might be marooned here for ever.

But the one that I really worry about is McCord, who is losing his marbles. I know that may not sound like I'm going out on a limb here, but I think the man is trying to do too much. After he started spending lot of time on his own out on the rocks, talking to a mollusc he claimed was the reincarnation of Howard Cosell, he was given special dispensation to leave the island to play golf, and since The Masters (a week during which he was not particularly busy), he has had the same clothes in his suitcase for 20 weeks in a row. Just the other day he showed up for work topless, and it was apparent that he has been working on a tattoo of the 17th at St. Andrews. His left nipple is the Road Hole bunker. I wouldn't mind so much, but every time he sits down, it becomes a par three. His eventual aim is to have the front nine on his chest, and the back nine on his back. He started to tell everyone about the Valley of Sin, but thankfully, he was shouted down. Even by his standards, this is unusual behavior.

I'm starting to feel like the most normal person on our crew, and I'm on medication. But I still think I have a great chance of winning the big prize. That is, as long as they don't find out I've been talking behind their backs. For God's sake, bring on football.

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