Fair Winds and a Following Sea

I first started working for money when I was fourteen. Indeed, I had a plethora of jobs when I was young. My first job was at a golf course, as a caddy, a situation not so much different as that depicted in the movie Caddyshack. We had our own caddy tournament, even our own eccentric Groundskeeper.  Except our Groundskeeper used his own Crown Victoria automobile and not dynamite to address unwanted interlopers and chase golfing trespassers off of the course in the late evening hours just before dusk.  The chase with his Crown Victoria did wonders for the bent grass of the fairways but provided an added hazard during summer rules.

We also had our idiotic Chairman of the Board, the Big Kahuna, the Commodore, the “I Gotta Be In Charge No Matter What” individual or whatever they called the President of the Country Club in those days. He was the guy generally festooned out in his pastel blue, polyester golf pants, his white belt with matching white shoes and a rainbow of coloured polo shirts to boot. Topping that off with his newly minted golf hat with the stiff un – malleable visor. Having poor taste in clothes and being colour blind was not deemed to be a disability in this worthy position. 

We had our “Loops.” These were the more senior, serious golfers. Usually local businessmen who had way too much money and time on their hands. They also had the big colourful bags with Wilson, Dunlop, Spalding or Macgregor logos scrawled down the sides of their leather loads. They paid well relatively speaking and provided much needed refreshment at the 10th tee. During the summer months the loops generally tee’d off individually or in pairs late afternoon or evenings during the weekdays. On Saturday and Sunday they came out in foursomes in about 3 different groups for a total of about 12. All of the caddies hoped to get a loop on those Saturday and Sunday mornings. They could be intimidating as they all cursed like a sailor in a gale and had little patience or tolerance for youthful stupidity or hubris and indolence from us caddies, especially if a bet was riding on the match.

The women golfers were the worst.  A round of golf with them normally took about half as much time again as playing with the loops. They paid poorly and never offered refreshment at the 10th tee. Their dainty little pink, yellow and white pastel bags were handled with pull carts, a fate worse then death to a young, budding, athletic and eager caddy who vied for a “Looped” carry on. Unfortunately caddying for the ladies came with the territory.  Then there were the in betweens, the hackers and duffers.  Sometimes they could be worse than anyone.

The caddies all knew one another.  Some of us were even related, as cousins. Word gets around a big but financially challenged extended family in quick succession when the prospect of making some money is made apparent.  One of my cousins, who was a year older than I, came from a devout Catholic household.  His mother was a religious zealot, as dedicated to the written word as the archangel Gabriella. She took things way too literally and passed her fanaticism on to her offspring, whether they were receptive or not. It is amazing what a good boxing of the ears or an earful of guilt can do for adherence to the scriptured way.

One day my cousin Peter and I were in the same group.  Suddenly, around the 7th hole, a place were caddies were shooed ahead by their golfers to wait as they tee’d off, I had to take a leak. Up against the nearest tree I went, thinking nothing of it but Peter was aghast and told me in no uncertain terms that I was due to go straight to hell. Okay. So be it. So sayeth the Lord I told him.  He was shocked and perplexed. I couldn’t give a shit, or take one at that particular moment in time.  Yet a few holes later I could hear raucous laughter coming from his direction on the other side of the fairway. On closer inspection I saw that Peter had pissed his pants. There must have been a weeks worth of piss building up in his system for when he went it was geyser worthy. His pants were completely soaked. I asked him why? Why Peter? He told me it was a mortal sin to go outside.  What on earth!  Sheesh, these stupid Catholic Church rules are going to destroy mankind…