Sammy Sportface: God-Awful Golf Outing
I walked over a small hill and there they were, my golfing partners for the day, the nine-some. The Friday morning sun brightened the day, but my mood and intentions were as dark as charcoal.
I spotted the overriding reason for my fowl frame of mind. Ugh, the sight of his behemoth dissimulated rump jolted my senses and filled me with disgust and haunting feelings about my childhood. It was Rudyface, my former best friend and now nothing more than an abject jerkface. He is the target of all the anger I have about my childhood and how I turned into a malcontent in adulthood.
What a lard-filled loser with nothing to show for his life, I thought.
“Two words,” I declared to the group with people from my past I had not seen since grade school 40 years ago. “Golf blows.”
This turned on a bombshell babe, who at one time when we were both 16 had dug Sammy Sportface. She hugged me.
Her golf skirt was the color of Lime Sherbertface. Her legs were as tan and athletic as Steffi Graf’s at Wimbledon.
It became clear, however, that while she was glad to see me she had no interest in interacting with me.
“You’re Sammy Sportface,” she said. “Did you start that blog for the Baby Boomer Brotherhood? I hear no one wants to be part of the Brotherhood.”
She’s married to JBallsface, who doesn’t like me anymore because I’m annoying and question why he’s in the Gonzaga Hall of Fame and that if he’s in their Hall of Fame I should be in the St. John’s Hall of Fame. What garbage. Politics. But enough about them and she and I and our relationships. It’s time we all turn the page already.
In our nine-some were two surprises: Kathyface and Nancyface, two young ladies I had not seen since high school who went to Little Flower grade school with me for seven years.
When I woke last Friday morning, I could not have thought of two girls I would be less likely to be in a golf nine-some than these two. Yet there the three of us were, hugging, wondering what we had been doing with our lives the past three-plus decades. It was clear to me at that point that they never liked me.
Actions tell. Had they liked me, they would have sent me that message three decades ago or at least at some point between then and this golf day. But they had not. I was of no use to them, clearly. To them, I was roadkill and always had been.
But in this awkward situation, we found ourselves. They had to be civil and say hello.
You can be sure once the meet and greet at Hole Number 2 mercifully ended, they went back to their cheesy golf cart and said: “What happened to Sammy Sportface? He’s gained 150 pounds since eighth grade. He used to be athletic and ruggedly handsome. Now he’s an old man with pasty, unathletic legs and a plump stomach. He turned into an unattractive, balding, foul-mouthed old man who won’t shut up. Why did he have to pick our group to golf with? This whole day is going to be annoying now that he’s here.”
“Golf blows,” Chuck said to the group again. “Let’s eat.”
For the only time that day, the group resonated with an idea Chuck put worth. They rolled all four golf carts up to the clubhouse only fifty feet away. They piled their plates with burned hamburgers, skipped the coleslaw, and started filling plastic cups with beer.
It was 11:10 am.
The day was starting to improve, Sportface thought. Food was served. Sportface was hoping there would be no more golf. He would have much preferred hanging out at the clubhouse eating and talking trash with the biggest gaggle of people he had ever seen who he hadn’t seen in two-plus decades.
But his group wanted to play golf. So, they got back in their carts. Sammy Sportface was bummed and dreaded all that would follow.
One cart had two men Sportface had never seen in his life. One had a bigger stomach than Sportface – which was remarkable in itself — a noggin balder than JBallsface, whom you will learn about later. Fatso sported a maroon polo shirt with the familiar letters “FSU” in gold.
“Jameis Winston is going to blow as a pro,” Sportface said.
Fatso smiled and laughed.
In the car passenger seat was another more mainstream-looking dude with a fire engine red polo shirt.
“So do you two guys stink at golf, too?” asked Sportface.
The two red shirts laughed. Here was this guy Sportface joining their golf group insulting them seconds after meeting them.
Turns out both of them were named Mike. Mike and Mike both laughed at everything anyone said the entire six and half hours it took the lame, eclectic group to play the round of beer and jello liquor laced shooter golf.
Mike and Mike fell in love with each other on the third tee and Sportface figured it was because he put them at ease. They got the vibe Sportface was going to be unbearable the whole day and they found that amusing.
Mike and Mike didn’t know each other. They didn’t know Sportface nor Rudyface nor Lime Sherbert.
They were just along for the golf ride with a cooler stuffed with beverage bottles crammed between their golf bags. They were secure in who they were and their situation as golf buddies for the day.
“Did I ever tell you the story about this dude we knew in eighth grade and what he did once?” Sportface asked.
How could Sportface have ever told them a story? This was the first time he had met them. Sportface wasn’t making any sense to anyone.
He put the tease out there.
“Save that one for later,” said Rudyface. “It’s by far the best story any of us have. You can’t lead with that one. We need to build up to it.”
Mike and Ike were cool with that so Sportface got in the cart with Rudyface and Wolfordface, a dude who ran with Rudyface and Sportface in high school and, more importantly, sucked faced with Cici-face.
On their cart, Sportface stood on the side and hung on to the roof like a trash man riding down a suburban street who steps on and off to haul trash into the Chinese restaurant contents being mashed by the steel incinerator.
It became clear to Sportface that everybody was drinking beverages during this golf round. It seemed to him as if there was some sort of unspoken contest among the five carts as to which one could be crammed with the most beverages.
Around the sixth hole the golf shots got worse. It was becoming vague as to which of the golfers were playing which holes or not, who had teed off and who had not, and whether anyone wanted to or could remember if they had or had not.
The mid-day sun burned them and created a feeling of wanderlust and misguided indifference to anything besides when the golf course driver would swing by with a truck full of refreshments.
Around the ninth hole, the truck pulled into the fairway in front of the five carts. Like supermarket looters, the group raided the truck of all things. Sammy Sportface was psyched there was a window that he could open to grab three bags of munchies: Extra Cheesy Doritos, Fritos, and Cheetos. The total time for this pit stop lasted 25 minutes. It was if the group forgot they were playing golf they were so enamored with grabbing loot off the truck.
“Where are you guys from?” the truck driver asked. “He was getting curious about us after watching how the women, in particular, moved trays of drinks from his truck to their carts.
Mike and Ike kept laughing and drinking. Sportface found the two of them to be the unsung heroes of the day, two dudes, total strangers to each other only a few hot hours before, now out in some boiling fairway grass, driving around looking for their errant tee shots, feeling good.
Sportface didn’t partake of the golf. He didn’t bring his clubs because he doesn’t have any. He walked the first few holes figuring he would get some exercise to burn some belly lard. But that didn’t last long. He told Wolfordface he was driving his car and Wolfordface had to ride shotgun. Sportface was sick of walking and started to sweat and get smelly. He wanted to accelerate the pace of the golfers.
“I’m bored as hell,” said Sportface to himself. “I’m the only one not drinking and these other eight people don’t care how long this takes because they’re losing track of time and themselves. I wish we would all just turn around and return to the clubhouse and eat food. This whole day is starting to blow.”
“Rudyface, you’ve had like six beers,” Sportface said.
“Try like 16, Sportface,” said Rudyface.
Feeling his social inhibitions loosening, Rudyface started riding shotgun in the female golf carts. He was saying nice things, not being a jerk. Who knows what might happen, Sportface figured Rudyface was figuring.
“Hey Sportface,” Rudyface shouted two carts up at around the 11th tee. “You reached your athletic peak in 8th grade. You were terrible in high school sports. How does that make you feel? You were on top of the world back then and you’ve been in free fall ever since.”
“You were the strike-out king of all time in 7th-grade baseball,” Sportface shot back. “What was it like losing your hand-eye coordination at such a young age? Hand-eye coordination is the big differentiator for athletes. The good ones have it. The pretenders don’t. I hit 13 dingers in high school baseball. That takes serious hand-eye coordination. How many did you hit? Oh, that’s right, you didn’t play high school baseball because you struck out all the time in seventh grade and realized you had no future in the sport.”
Moving on to the 14th women’s tee, Lime Sherbert stuck the tee in the ground.
The last several holes were as blurry as a snow-covered car windshield. Rudyface’s speech became disjointed. He kept grabbing more refreshments out of the golf cart. It didn’t seem necessary to drink so fast. But Sportface didn’t care how messed up Rudyface got.
No one was more relieved when the rowdy and raucous round ended with make-shift putt-putt golf shot arrangements set up by the group on the 18th. It seemed as if the group had not played a golf hole in a structured way for three hours.
Sportface could not stop thinking about what was for dinner.
Walking to the clubhouse, he spotted his boy JBallsface up on a deck where the DJ rocked tunes. It was Happy Hour. JBalls looked like a wealth manager. He was wearing shades and was holding a beverage. Sportface had to talk to him.
JBalls was sitting and Sportface sat down close to him so their sweaty thighs rubbed.
“Don’t sit close to me,” JBallsface said. “Get away from me.”
“Hey JBallsface,” Sportface said. “You’ll appreciate this. I’m not going to send out any more emails to this group because I’m not getting any money for it. No more free entertainment. It’s time I monetize this writing, make some money. I’m going to launch Sammy Sportface – The Baby Boomer Brotherhood Blog. It’s going to galvanize, inspire, and amuse Baby Boomer men. It’s going to be a movement.”
“You let me know who pays you for it, Sportface,” said Balls. “I want to know who that is.”
Inside Sportface found the food table. He filled it with grub and found a table in the far corner where no one was sitting. Sportface wanted to eat in peace. He had been suffering through six and half hours of a hot mess on a golf course. All the while he has been Jonesing for food.
He housed it down while speaking with somebody’s mother, another person he had not seen in 30 years. Sportface wasn’t in the mood for talking much so he cut the conversation short.
Sportface had had just about enough. There was only one person he wanted to see before ditching this boondoggle. It was Joeyface, who had the coolest house of any kid he knew while growing up because his Dad was a heart surgeon and drove a Cadillac Seville.
“Where’s Joeyface?” Sportface asked around.
He finally found him. The two boyhood buddies had lived near each other for 20 years and had never reached out to get together because they were not interested in doing so.
Joeyface went to an elite, rich-boy high school called Georgetown Prep.
Sportface attended a tougher, more mainstream high school, St. John’s. They parted ways big time at that stage of life philosophically and socially. Sportface and Joeyface embraced.
“I sent you an email a few years ago,” Sportface said. “It was the story of when I plucked two Our Lady of Mercy kids in the back with my fastballs in sixth grade. After the second one, you fell on the dirt near your position at third base laughing. You were laughing at those kids.”
“No I wasn’t,” Joeyface said. “I was laughing at you.”
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:
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