I NEVER LEARNED TO KILL

When the amphibious assault vehicle I was riding in – I was a Marine being trained to kill people – capsized and sank, I was badly injured and took up golf. I was an immediate prodigy – in terms of skill that is. At the age of 21, I was too old to qualify for the age dimension of “prodigy.” But I loved the game, its rolling blue skies, its high clouds and sunny fairways. The mechanics of the swing too.  I loved my swing, my beautiful swing. People could tell from holes away that it was me coming down the fairway. And I’m not just talking about my limp. It was my swing that identified me.

I was still in the Marine Corps, and living well. Cheap food from the base commissary, my monthly salary, bowling alley privileges, all the movies I could see at half price, tuition paid for education courses, a 65-inch flat screen TV.  The Marines even paid for my membership at the golf club. Rest and recreation, they classified it, after my near-death ordeal. It could have been a lot worse.

I never finished the course in killing people, but I did become a scratch golfer, which is a big deal as far as I’m concerned. And I learned that you can play an entire round of golf without having a normal conversation with the folks in your foursome.

I took notes once on the words that were used in the course of a round of golf. They were the only words spoken:
OK Big Easy, show me the way.
Not that way.
That won’t do it.
Come down!
Stay up!
Beauty!
Clunker.
Oh god!
Bladed it.
Hey guy, you’re a gun!
Just punch a knock-down.
Piece of cake.
Opened the face up going back.
Closed the face coming down.
Hit a house!
Oh god!
A little whippy going back, dude.
Never up, never in.
That’ll bring rain.
Come on, wind!
Fade!
Bite!
Run!
Draw!
That’s a knee knocker.
Go left!
Go right!
Go in!
Curl!
Turn!
Shit!
Break!
Come back!
How many more holes to go?
OK, let’s get going now.
Took too much off.
Took too little off.
Shit!
Stiffed it.
Flicked it.
Stabbed it.
Hit it fat.
Threw it from the top.
Smothered it.
Topped it.
Came over it.
Came under it.
You think you have problems?
I haven’t hit one good two-iron in all my life.

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About judyjablow123

In my youth I was a world class tournament golfer. I earned an MA in history at NYU, after which I knew I had had enough of academia. I have remained a student of history. I have a strongly personal - almost entirely negative- take on the contemporary pharmaceutical and mental health industries. That was the impetus for my Bluepolar blog, which will also include stuff on sports, history and anything else that strikes my interest.
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