Friday, August 28, 2009


Old man Q is standing on the par 3 fourth tee at the Stooped Egret Golf Club in Naples, Florida. “God damn it,” he growls. “Pulled it.” He’s hit his first ball well enough to carry the water, but left. It lands wide, on an unforgiving slope back toward trouble. The ball bounces then reverses course and dribbles down to the water. Plop. Ripple. Sigh. Q tees up in nothing flat and whacks another. He swings like he’s pouncing on prey. This one stays low and straight, clears the water, and ends up on the back fringe. Q finishes with the club tucked under his arm and a rueful look on his face.

“You know,” he says, not talking about golf, “I really did think I’d cleared the hazard.”

“Aw Quinny,” says the woman. She wears peach colored shorts and a friendly floral thing on top. She’s been in the sun for a long time. She looks like an iguana with sunglasses, and her voice sounds like a thousand packs of cigarettes. “If you can be patient, I can get you a better price.”

“I can’t be patient, Harlene.” Big leafy plants hover over the exchange.

Q gimps over to the cart. He puts the 6-iron back in his old-fashioned tartan plaid bag. “I do like smacking the ball around.” The old man with the thick white hair and the warrior forearms steps around to the wheel. “But I can’t afford it.” Q sits down. “I need to make some money.”

Harlene the realtor sits down next to him in the cart as he punches the gas off toward the ladies’ tee. “Aw, Quinny,” she says.

“And I need to stick it to those Sucke bastards.”


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