The Golf God
I remember a funny incident that happened to me about twenty years ago. Actually, it didn't happen to me. I sort of caused the incident. On purpose. Here’s the way I recall it... (my vision gets wavy as I rub my chin and recall the events like it was yesterday. In the background is distant harp music)
I took the day off work one beautiful day. I was bored so I decided to play golf. Since I was by myself, the Golf Pro put me with a threesome which was waiting on the 1st tee.
It was there that I met Chad, Win, and Cole. (I do not remember their names but these are close enough).
Now, around strangers I tend to be quiet and shy. My playing partners were way younger than me and I surmised they were in college at Arizona State University. It turns out they were Frat boys, as I later learned from their conversations.
While surmising, I also figured these fellas to be from very upper middle class or even wealthy stock. I guess it was the way they looked more than the way they acted. I could tell they were very intelligent and sharp of mind. In addition, they knew their way around a golf course. They probably learned the game at Dad’s club. Their English was precise which I attributed to Mom, Dad, teachers, professors, and probably the Au Pares constantly correcting every little speech flaw.
They were dressed very well with the latest line of Polo clothes, and were neatly groomed.
Now all of the above are not negatives to me. As a young lawman in the hippie days I vividly recall many of the youth from that era. These boys looked impressive. I surmised they were probably in law school or medical school.
These were all of my first impressions on the first tee as I sized up my partners of the next four hours.
Once we had teed off and ultimately reached the green, I knew way more about these three than I ever wanted to know. Here's why.
They had a constant dialogue going about every sexual encounter, real or imagined, they ever had. Although the dialogue was in very proper English the content is what annoyed me. With graphic detail they spoke about the most private sexual acts between humans. Story after story after story. The more foul, the more they laughed derisively. "Hey Win, remember the time I was with Janet in the Jacuzzi and we (*%)#$*(#)..and then her sister joined in and we all %(#&$*...." Get the idea? Not traditional golf course patter.
Now I am far from being a prude. My language can get as salty as the next guys. What shocked me was that they spoke as if I wasn’t there. Being married, I should be used to that, but they never once said “Hey Frank, did you ever *#&@#$ a beautiful ($#@& ??" They really didn’t ignore me because occasionally they would say “nice shot” or more often “your’e away”. (They were pretty good golfers).
As the round progressed I was getting more and more irritated as the stories of orgies and their sordid details were discussed to lusty jeers and demented laughter. Never once, however, did they ask what I did for a living. What irritated me was “How dare they talk this way in front of me without even knowing who or what I am!” If it were'nt for getting mad I might have needed a cold shower.
On the 13th tee there is bathroom and beer/soda stand. Win and Cole went off to use the facilities. Alone with Chad, he finally asked what I did for a living. (Cue the singing Angels)
At last the doorway to my twisted sense of humor was opened! Without hesitation or prior planning I blurted..
“I’m a Priest, Chad. I do God’s work at a nearby Parish”, I said with a very straight, somber face, while staring into his eyes.
Chad’s jaw literally dropped about a foot. He lost the color in his face and he started to stammer.
“Oh my God….We didn’t know…The language we’ve been using….The STORIES!! I’m soooo sorry!” As I recall, this is about word for word.
I calmed him down and explained that I don’t go around announcing I am a priest because I found it inhibits people to be themselves and puts a wet blanket on their good times. That’s why I didn’t say anything until I was asked and besides, I’ve heard all of this and more in the Confessional over the years. I asked him not to tell his friends because they seemed to be having a good time. Chad promised to keep my identity to himself. The poor lad could not look me in the eye anymore.
Win and Cole arrived back at the 13th tee with more beer and were right in the middle of yet another ribald adventure that involved someone named Sondra and a trampoline. Chad was very quiet now and he looked at me with an embarrassed grin, and just shrugged.
Chad was good to his word and did not say anything to his pals and before long (and a dozen more sexual conquests) the round was over. I said goodbye to my now half-drunk pals (Chad was cold sober). I declined an invitation to play nine more holes and said I had to get back to work. Chad gave me a knowing look. I winked at him.
The clubhouse is on a second story that overlooks the first tee and fairway. Next to the clubhouse is a balcony where you can watch people tee off on the #1 hole.
Looking down from the balcony I saw Chad, Win, & Cole tee off and start their next nine holes. They did not know I was watching them.
About thirty yards down the fairway I could see Chad speaking very earnestly to Win and Cole. After three of four steps they all stopped and the conversation became very animated. I knew Chad had just spilled the beans.
Just then all three young men, in unison, turned and looked back towards the clubhouse and there I was looking down upon them from the second level. They just stared at me while I made a sign of the cross, then waved. I turned and walked away because that’s how I wanted to remember these three. I suspect they learned a valuable life lesson that day.
I'm am sure Win, Cole, & Chad have told their version of this story many times over the years. I also suspect they are a little more careful about what they say in front of strangers.
God works in mysterious ways. Me too.