I was sitting in my battered recliner, drifting in and out of a partial coma, just four days from going back to TV work after four months off. With the FBR Open almost upon me, I felt like a 50-year-old crash-test dummy gathering speed toward its inevitable immovable obstruction. Wasn’t it just a few days ago I was in New Jersey doing the Barclays? I don’t know if everyone my age feels like this, but the years slip by so quickly now that I sometimes wonder if I’ve accomplished anything in my life.
Then I heard the mailman drop something heavy on the front doormat. I make a point of never opening the mail in case it’s for me, but there was something particularly alluring about the “whumpf” of this package as it hit the “Bugger Off” mat on the front step. I stretched luxuriously, resulting in a dangerously damp fart of the sort that I believed was still in my distant future. Shaken, I slid gingerly off the chair and shuffled toward the door, listening for signs of movement outside. I hate my neighbors, and the last thing I needed was eye contact with any of them, giving them the chance to wave cheerily or yell some inane greeting. I don’t ram a plug of mud, grass and twigs up my rectum during the winter, but that’s pretty much the only difference between me and a Kodiak bear.
I cracked the front door, squinted out furtively and scooped up the package as if with a lizard’s tongue. I yawned as I made my way back to my still smoldering throne and noticed the parcel was from Tour HQ in Jacksonville. Against my better instincts I tore it open, only to find the Official 2009 Guide to the PGA Tour. Bollocks. I’d been hoping for something to drool over, like the Cabela’s fishing equipment catalog, or the latest Pulitzer winner from Victoria’s Secret. Still, having moved heaven and girth to retrieve it, I figured what the hell and tore it open.
As luck would have it, I opened to page 1-231 and a photo of my personal self under the heading “Other Prominent Members.” I had no idea my member was considered prominent by anyone other than me, so naturally I was delighted! I noted that the photograph made me look fat, but despite this irritating accuracy, I read on. Apparently at one time I had told someone I was 5′ 11″ and 200 lbs., and my “special interests” were all sports and golf course design. This was a load of crap, as at the time of enquiry (1996) the real answer was 5′ 10″, 205 lbs., and I was especially interested in self-destruction by way of drugs, alcohol, and Wagner. Over on the other half of the page, I noticed Nick Faldo, at 6′ 3″ and 195 lbs. (my ass), whose special interests were flying helicopters, photography, and fly-fishing for women in their 20s. The swine.
But back to me, where under “Other Information” I learned that I played in 61 Tour events, made the cut in 31, and my best finish was second behind a man about whom I cannot find a single attribute to dislike. It was Kenny bloody Perry in the 1994 New England Classic, a tournament I was too hungover to win, even though there were more Irish people in the gallery than I’d had in 20 years of playing the Irish Open. My career earnings were $329,903, and my highest world ranking was 65. I’d gotten out of my flatulated butt-cushion to discover this?
Right at that point, I realized the answer to the question that had been nagging me earlier. I, dear reader, at the age of 50, have accomplished bugger-all. Granted, I’ve done it in a stylish and windswept manner, but I now pass for an expert in a game at which I clearly sucked. Maybe the Official Tour Guide needs a new category: “Other Fortunate/Flatulent Members.” Talk about a breeze! I’d be a Hall-of-Famer in that one.