Diary of a Golf BallJerome W. McFadden
I am a golf ball. At my core I am a solid synthetic rubber sphere. My makers surround ed that with a tough thermoplastic cover. Finally they give me all these cute little dim ples and then sprayed me with two (count that again - two!) coats of brilliant white paint and then splashed the family logo across my face. telling the world where I came from. A high sheen and some scuff resistance and here I am, ready to take on the game.
Not so cool. They dumped me into a huge box with a lot of other newbies. It’s dark and crowded in here and we’re shoved around a lot. Never did get the chance to read the family name.
Better. They packed me to a tight little box. Only six of us in here. Kinda homey. Caught the family name. I read it on the others as they nestled us in here. Callaway. Must be Irish. Nice to know.
I’m in love. She has cute dimples (very much like mine), a great complexion, and her family name curved across her face. Only problem, she could be my first cousin, or something more scary. They just scooped all of us out of that big old box and slid the six of us into this small one. But… maybe she was put together on a different production run. That would be copacetic, wouldn’t it? Life is complicated and I’m just beginning! But I shouldn’t complain: It’s cozy in here, warm, and shoulder to shoulder, in the darkness.
On the road. Off to our future, I guess.
We’re in a sports store. I am perched next to the opening of our small box so I can peek out. Crazy shirts hanging on the wall. Soft material, collars and short sleeves, but weird colors. Pastels, aquamarine blue, deep green, bright pink, rusty red. Who wears shirts like that?
Hooray, Hooray, our little box has been bought! Guy opened the carton, took me in his hand, rolled me between his fingers and said, “I’ll taken ‘em.” Fat guy. Wearing a shirt like those on the wall. I don’t know how he sees his toes. Or how he can get his hand around down there to pee. I thought golf was a sport? But not my problem. He stuffed me back into the box and paid for us. The rest of the folks in this box should be damn glad I was in here to make such a good impression. I gotta tell you, though, it was great to be out of that box for a little while.
Life is getting rougher. Got dropped out of our box into a large cloth bag that has a forest of iron clubs protruding out of the top. A wide mix of older balls already in here. Some of these dudes are really old, covered with nicks and grass stains and crusted dirt. No wonder he bought a fresh crew. Spotted a cute chick. but I think she’s foreign - Has some sort of Greek name with only four letters and a sweeping check mark splashed across her dimples. In the process though, I lost track of my cousin, or whatever she was. Oh well…life moves on.
I am first out of that stuffy leather bag. Nice. We’re in the country side. Trees and acres and acres of grass. Life couldn’t sweeter. The fat guy nestles me on to a little wooden stake. The grass smells sweet and the little wooden stake is very comfortable. But then Fat Man swats me on the ass. No warning. Didn’t hurt but caught me by surprise. And I am flying through the air, WEEEEEE, before landing about 200 yards away. I must of done a good job because everyone back there is congratulating him, patting him on the shoulder, slapping high fives. But what about me? I am the one doing the flying. No appreciation for that, huh, guys?
Now that I am into this flying thing. I’m working on hang time (that’s staying the air as long as possible for you dorks that don’t know about this) and sense of direction (I need a little better help from Fat Guy for that). And I am doing this all without wings. Try that and see how well you do!
But the day becomes repetitious. Swat and fly. Swat and fly. Me and Fat Guy become a team. We’re in this together. We stop occasionally at a small circle of grass so he can tap me on the butt to force me into a metal hole that contains a flag. Fat Man is not good at this. Not my fault, I try hard but he doesn’t do his part. This causes a lot of cursing and throwing of his short iron on the ground - like it’s the the iron’s fault?. If I were him, I would just skip these stupid little holes and stay out in the long grass where we’re having fun, but who asked me, huh?
And then - And then - He smacked me on the butt and I fly out in a wild curve over a couple of trees and land into some tall bushes. He wasn’t happy when he came to find me. He thrashed the bushes with one of his irons, cursing loudly (this guy’s got a mouth!), and his buddies were yelling at him to hurry up. And he gave up. HE JUST LEAVES ME HERE. He walked away as if he didn’t give a damn. The whole group went on without me.
Now It’s getting dark. There are all kinds of strange noises in the bushes around me. Squirrels, snakes, chipmunks. A fox. Something licks me as if checking out the taste. Then a snake swallows me whole but spits me back out. This is getting really, really scary. And I never got to say hello to that cute greek girl. Life is unfair.
It’s still raining. I’m miserable.
Hello, Hello, I’ve been found! It’s not Fat Guy but a younger man. I heard his ball clump into the bushes behind me. Then he waded in with his feet and iron, spreading the bushes apart, and stopped when he saw me. He picked me up and glanced back out on the course to see if anyone else was looking at him. No one. He laughed and put me in his pocket and walked out of the weeds, no longer looking for his own ball. I don’t like this. What if Fat Man comes back looking for me? He’ll never find me. I am missing him, so maybe he’s missing me. Also, I felt sorry about my new compadre laying back there just a few feet from where I was. This skinny guy just walked away without him. Whatever happened to loyalty?
May 11 to May 20.
I’m now a substitute. No longer the first one out of the bag. Being used only when he happens to remember me. And I get all the hard shots. Flying over the creeks and ponds and hopping over the raggedy ass parts of the course where golf balls go to die.I am no longer quick on my feet (or should I say quick on my dimples). It occurred to me that I am now expendable. I am looking older. My bright sheen has gone.
I have small nicks and cuts here and there. Some of my dimples have dirt embedded in them and he never bothers to wash me. I also often wonder about Fat Man. Is he getting along without me? Does he miss me?
I often dream about the greek girl. I hope life has been kinder to her than it has been to me.
Catastrophe. The skinny jerk has splashed me into the water. A large pond near the end of the course. We’ve jumped over this oversized puddle several times in the past but today he just pops me up like a fat ass baseball floating out to centerfield and splunk, I sink. Didn’t even skip across the surface. Just splunk.
Not so deep in here. Cold, yes, but not so deep. I thought the fool would walk in here to fetch me but no, he plays another ball. He splunked that sucker, too. But he’s good on the third try. Lucky him. Lucky ball. But what about us?
The skinny jerk just walked away.
I don’t think I am going to recover from this. Water is starting to seep into my nicks and cuts. Wet bottom grass is enveloping me. I can feel myself deteriorating. But looking back, it was a good life. Had some fun. Met some nice people. Had a nice family. Saw some of the world. Was in love once or twice. What more could you ask for? I hope Fat Guy is doing well. I…