Catching A Golfer (Post #401)

There is a golfer ruining my lawn. I find it incredibly upsetting. My lawn is (or I should say, once was) one of my favorite things about my life. It was green, flat and beautiful. The perfect suburban lawn. A serene space where I could withdraw from the madness of the outside world. I spent hours laying around on my lawn in quiet contemplation. I figured out many of life’s big questions while sitting on the calming grass. Everyone who came to my home envied my lawn. “Oh what a nice lawn you have!” “Such a nice spot!,” they would tell me. I was proud, I felt accomplished because such a beautiful space belonged to me.

Things have changed.

Now my lawn is on the verge of complete destruction. It’s an embarrassing mess. There are holes, rocks and mounds of dirt everywhere. My lawn looks like a person’s face during a brutal acne outbreak. I want to cry every time I see my lawn. The golfer is ruining everything.

I have been doing everything I can to catch the golfer. I don’t want to kill him, although I realize that it might have to come to that. I have had enough. Just when I think he is gone, he is there. Every time I come out to my lawn there is a new hole, along with piles of dirt and rocks. I feel violated. Something that was such a source of pride and pleasure is now gradually going away, away, away. Some might say, “Such is life.” But this is happening way too soon. I’m not yet willing to concede that all things in life must happen the way they do. Why should I have to accept the golfer who is destroying my lawn? Sometimes you should be able to have what you want. I want the golfer gone and my lawn back.

Every few days, I see the golfer standing there with his golf club, hunched over and putting a white golf ball into one of the holes he has dug. “Bastard,” I think. I notice that when he gets the ball into the hole he will punch one of his arms up into the sky and yell, “YES!” The moment I yell back, “HEY YOU!,” he jumps right back into the hole he came from. I try to catch him but he is just too quick.

I have done almost everything I can imagine to get rid of him. I have spent hundreds of dollars on ineffective deterrents. The repellents and poisons are all for gofers not golfers! The stuff that seems like it could work on gofers has no effect on golfers. It is very difficult to find a substance that helps eradicate golfers from a lawn. I have tried to make my lawn a very inhospitable place to play golf. I put my garden hose into his holes and run water for hours. I read on-line that golfers hate wet surfaces and mud, so I have tried to turn the golfer’s tunnels into a muddy mess. I have been running my sprinklers for an hour a day to keep my lawn wet. So far, no luck. The golfer just shows right back up again.

I have filled his holes with my dog’s poop and coffee grounds. I read on-line that golfers cannot stand the smell of dog poop combined with coffee grounds. This may have helped in some small way but the golfer just digs new holes. I can’t put my dog’s poop all over my lawn! I’ve also seen the golfer dressed in his white golf pants and his tucked in pink button down Polo shirt, bending over and removing the poop from the lawn. The son of a bitch!

I never liked golfers to begin with. I grew up around golfers and golf courses. My father was a wannabe golfer and I had to play golf every Sunday with him. I had to work a miserable job at the country club I lived just down the street from, where I picked up after golfers and served them nuts and whiskeys. I had to clean the spikes on their golf shoes. I despised those men and their endless card games. All the money that they would waste betting on ridiculous golf scores while I slaved away for a humiliating wage. I hated the way that they would huddle together and look down upon anyone who was not in their golf group. “Hey kid,” they would yell at me and even though I was only fifteen I would say, “fuck you” under my breath. By moving into a lower economic, less pretentious area in the Los Angeles suburbs I thought I had freed myself forever from the game of golf. But now I have this ridiculous, pink Polo shirt wearing golfer digging holes and playing golf in my backyard! I just don’t understand.

Why is this happening to me? Just when I got my lawn looking so nice, a fucking golfer has to appear.

I will continue to put dog poop mixed with coffee grounds into his holes. I will keep the water running. I am not going to end this war easily. I want the golfer gone and my beautiful lawn back. I want to have nothing to do with this futile game of golf. I will stop at nothing to put an end to his game. I have hooked up two radios on my lawn, where I play loud grunge and punk rock music 24 hours a day. I have chained these radios into the ground and locked them in a metal box so that the golfer cannot get rid of them or turn the volume down. I presume he is like most golfer’s who have no taste in music and as a result listen to easy rock musicians like Kenny Logins, Air Supply, Chicago, Doobie Brothers and Earth, Wind and Fire. The grunge and punk music must frustrate him. I’m hoping he hates it. I am hoping that he can’t take it and will decide to leave my lawn alone. I just hope my neighbors do not complain.

So far, this does not seem to be working. It almost seems as if he enjoys the music! I see him moving his head and body to the beat as he plays his game of golf on my lawn. How could a man dressed in a tucked in pink Polo shirt actually be enjoying this kind of music? I just don’t understand.

Just this morning I woke up and saw the pink-Polo-shirted jerk out there practicing his swing. I was not yet fully awake but I immediately became enraged. As he stood out there practicing his swing I felt like he was mocking me! “You son of a bitch!” I yelled out. I startled my wife out of her sleep as I slammed the door behind me on my way out into the backyard. “What the fuck do you think you are doing?!!!” I yelled out not caring if my neighbors heard me. Immediatly he jumped back into his hole and disappeared. I ran out onto the wet lawn and kicked his pile of dirt. I jumped up and down on top of his hole while shouting “You son of a bitch!” Of course I ended up jumping up and down on dog shit.

What am I going to do?

I read on-line about The Golfer Catch Cage. It’s expensive but they are supposed to work really well. Just place the cage by one of the holes, open the cage door, place salted peanuts, cigars, some wine or whiskey in the back of the cage and you will catch yourself a golfer. This is what the advertisement for the cage says. From the several reviews I have read this seems to work well. People who live on golf courses write about how they have finally caught a golfer who has annoyed and disturbed their quality of life for years. No one has written anything about having a golfer in his or her backyard that is destroying his or her lawn, but the product information says that The Golfer Catch Cage can work well for catching golfers who are digging up lawns. The only problem is that no one mentions what he or she does with the golfer after catching it. There are no instructions on-line about how to dispose of a golfer. Some say, tie him up and drop him off at a distant golf course. I don’t know. One review did mention that, we still have the caged golfer locked up in the basement. We do not know if he is dead or alive. We are just happy he is gone.

The cage seems like a radical step that I am not quite ready to take. I don’t want to deal with the guilt I would feel for caging or killing a golfer. I really don’t know what I am going to do but I know that I cannot continue to live like this. It is too painful to watch my beautiful lawn be destroyed all for a game of golf! My blood pressure is going way up and now I am always anticipating seeing the golfer every time I look out into my backyard. It’s just too much for a quiet, almost middle-aged, hard-working man like myself. I want to be able to relax when I am home. I need my home to be a stress free space. Something must be done to eradicate this destructive golfer from my lawn. I just don’t know what.


An Invitation To A Beheading.

I used to love sitting alone in a chair and reading a good book. Nothing brought me greater pleasure. I would read a novel a day while enjoying the background sounds of birds chirping and cats meowing. Nothing was as effective in diminishing my stress and anxiety as a good book. No matter how bad the conditions of the world or my life- the printed words on a page could lift me out from my psychological squalor and re-plant me in a space of wonderment. I look back upon these times with utter envy. I even become emotionally enraged towards the man I was in my twenties. I am not only jealous of the large chunks of time that he had to drift of into the pursuit of knowledge but I am furious that it has all gone away.

Now I cannot read a book without having to get up and do something after twenty minutes. I become aggravated, nervous and I am distracted by these demons that seem to be hovering over me and disrupting my concentration. My thoughts begin to race and I struggle to stay focused upon what ever story or non-fiction work I have chosen to read. But no sooner than I can get past a few pages is there the loud voices of little demons that whisper scary things into my ears and poke sharp objects into my chest making me fearful what might happen next. I try to tune them out and push them away with positive visualizations or a smile- but they are ferocious and do not easily relent.

I know nothing good lasts forever, but there are still so many books left that I want to read. I want to return to that time when I could read peacefully for hours, day upon day- without the little brats whispering in my ear: “is your heart beating irregularly?” or “shouldn’t you be doing something more constructive.” Some times these little demons keep shouting things at me like “watch out, watch out- your head might explode!!” or “run, run, run for your life…death is coming, ha ha!!” My own inner monologue is not loud enough to silence these intruding voices and rather than continuing to read I give up and go do something else.

I have not been able to read a book from front to back for months. These little intrusive demons are getting the best of me. They also sneak into my head when I go for walks and drive my car. If I am not constantly reciting a mantra in my mind or singing a song- they will sneak into my silence and cause me great anxiety and grief. The little demons are wearing me down, forcing me to drink more wine and taking me away from the one thing that has always been of great importance to me- my intellectual life.

Without my practice of diligent daily reading my intellectual acumen has become as watered down as a cheap cocktail. I have not been able to think or write upon the great themes of philosophical dialectics or cultural theory like I had once planned upon doing. I have not been able to write great novels that compare with the best of works by Tolstoy, Kafka or Bernhard. I have not been able to go into my career as an honorable college professor who specializes in Ontology and Samuel Beckett. Rather- to defend myself against these little demons and attempt to save my own life I have had to go towards the New Age. I have had to practice meditation, do Yoga, recite mantras and start wearing beads and stones to defend myself against negative energy. I have had to seek out healers and been told by many that I must get out of my mind and start to become more grounded in my body. The very thing that I put so much work into cultivating has become my demise. My intellect has become the very portal from which these demons can access my nervous brain causing me such scary afflictions as to make me consider taking medication. These voices and disruptions get louder and louder every day- if it continues I may send out invitations to my own beheading.

photograph by Keith Purdy.

Tennis Balls.

28940194_75.jpg “Why don’t you go hit some tennis balls,” my father said to me in response to all the stress I have been under. I had not played tennis in years and the idea of hitting a tennis ball sounded appealing. “Go to the club and hit against the backboard, or hit with the tennis pro if you want, I’ll pay for it,” my father said. I decided to take him up on his suggestion, and dressed in some old sweat pants and a brown Jimmy Hendrix t-shirt, borrowed my wife’s tennis racket and went off to play tennis.

It had been years since I had played against this back board. As a kid I was here almost every day. I felt tight and stiff. I have grown older than my years (36) and my body was unhappy about being forced into these strange postures. However, after a few minutes of warming up and stretching- my game came back to me. I hit the tennis ball just like the pro I used to be. My backhand was a little rusty but my forehand stroke was still in top condition. I bent my knees and released all of my stress with each swing. The sun warmed my body as I slowly began to forget about all my worries and just concentrated upon hitting the tennis ball.

I was unpleasantly greeted by a middle aged man in a Nike sweat suit wearing a yellow Nike hat upon his head. He looked very serious. “Excuse me,” he said with an official intonation in his voice- “Are you a member of this tennis club?” My first inclination was to be offended. I had grown up playing tennis on these courts and was here long before he had ever come around. This was my turf. I took a deep breath and said “yes, in fact I am.” “May I have your club number,”he said. “Why do you ask,” I said with some hint of animosity in my voice. “Because I have never seen you around before, and quite frankly you do not look like the average club member,” he said implying that this was a prestigious tennis club and I did not look like one who had any money in the bank. “Since I am the tennis pro here at Round Hill Country Club, it is my duty to keep these courts safe.” I felt the anger rise up in my body which was covered in a noon time sweat. Just because I had long hair, a beard and was not wearing the appropriate tennis gear certainly did not make me a threat. Granted I LOOKED OUT OF PLACE, BUT HIS ACCUSATION THAT I MAY BE SOME KIND OF THREAT WAS SIMPLY OFFENSIVE.

After a few minutes of struggle and argument he threatened to kick me off the court if I did not give some proof of my identity or club number. “How dare you question my legitimacy,” I continued on, “you have no idea the implications of your mis- judgment. You are profiling me!!” “Just give me your club number sir,” he said with a hint of legality in his voice. I told him I did not know my club number (my father would not give me the number because he was afraid that I would use it to buy booze and food at the country club bar) but I gave him my last name.

He stopped to think for a moment and then he asked me what my mothers name was. When I told him his whole demeanor changed, as if a light had gone off in his head. I went from being a potential terrorist to the son of a club member. He apologized for his interrogation of me but said again that it was his job to make sure these courts were safe. He then asked me if my name was Randall. When I told him it was he said, “your mother always talks about you and tells me what a great tennis player you are.” “Oh,” I said without interest- wanting him to just go away so I could resume my game with the back board. There was a moment of awkward silence between us and then he said to me before leaving, “can I offer you a complementary can of new tennis balls as an apology?” Of course I said- “don’t worry about it.”

The End.