This rich fucker hit on top of us. I’ll give him some credit because we was a good two hundred thirty yards from the tee and he hit a ball down the middle of the fairway that bounced about twenty feet short of where we was standing and would have rolled another thirty, forty yards if I hadn’t knocked it down. Jess said we should let him play through, it wasn’t worth starting anything. “Play through my ass,” I said, and she goes, “That don’t even make sense. Just let him play through.”
All I’d wanted was a quick nine but this guy had to turn up. Fucker had on these white shorts that seemed to be swallowing a salmon polo shirt. Looked like an albino python trying to choke down a yuppie. After the country club got ripped up by that F-4 the collared-shirt crowd took over the pleb course with the express intent of reminding us that golf is their game. These country club boys didn’t like the way we played. Didn’t like the way we looked, our trucker hats and cutoff shirts. They wanted to install a dress code. Always in a goddamn hurry. What’s the point of living in Oklahoma if you can’t take a minute to finish your beer before lining up your putt? They was always on our asses, making snotty comments when they played through. They all had brand-name clubs and woods with heads as big as their egos.
I’d been fixing to let his ass play through but his breach of etiquette shot my good intentions straight to shit. Another day, I might’ve just stared him down and played on after I made my point, but I was wound tight. I’d only come out to get my muscles moving, get some of that negative energy out, clear my head of all the stress that was being heaped on me by rich fuckers just like him. Jess wanted to let it go, but it was her he was hitting on top of; some guys still didn’t like to see women on the course, thought they couldn’t play, and in spite of all their superficial gentlemanly ways they’d ride their ass and make demeaning jokes and treat them like second-class citizens, even Jess, who could drive a ball farther than me.
He weren’t him but he looked just like that developer, the motherfucker that wanted to turn my farm into a gated community. Private security. Manicured yards. Cloned homes. A heated private “community” pool. A clubhouse. All these fucking libertarians think taxation is slavery and true liberty is only found in HOA fees. I wanted to hurt him. I wanted to sprint the two-and-a-thirds football fields that lay between us. I would hold my club up like a warrior leading his army into battle and bring it down on his skull and twist the staff around his neck. But I had no army. No one could make a fucking living farming anymore and I was the last holdout. I wanted to rip his heart out through his mouth. I wanted to drag him over to Formaldehyde Frank’s place. Frank did taxidermy in his garage and I’d let him stuff the rich fucker and then I’d take him home and mount him at the end of the driveway, a scarecrow for when the developer comes back around.
I started toward him, raised my club and half-lunged, but I stopped myself. If I killed that rich fucker then the other rich fuckers would win. I’d get the death penalty and they’d get my farm.
I tossed my pitching wedge in the grass and pulled out my 5-wood.
Jess goes “Hey, what the fuck?”
I picked up the rich fucker’s ball. A Top Flight that no one had ever had to dig out of a water hazard. I whacked it back at him. I’m pretty wild off the tee but I’m normally pretty straight with the 5-wood. This one I hooked further to the left than Che Guevara. I put a little too much into it. I don’t know if he was scared, or if he just had enough sense not to push me, but he just flipped me off and trotted into the next fairway to hunt his ball and Jess and I played on. Jess beat my ass. Fucker had me rattled and I finished seven-over.
Alan Good is a writer and an editor at Malarkey Books.