I played golf today—my occasional escape from the heaviness of writing about the meaning of life. My normal partner, pleasant seventy-year-old gentlemen and I were paired with two brothers. While one of the brothers was friendly the other began mouthing expletives from the first shot onward. He quickly explained the reason for his terrible play was that he had already downed two glasses of whiskey for breakfast!
He spent the first few holes loudly cursing at the players in front of us, yelling that there weren’t fast enough–fortunately they didn’t hear him. Actually, they were fast players, and within a few holes his incredibly poor play left us well behind them—the marshal had to tell our group to speed up. My drunk playing partner responded by spending an inordinate time in the woods on the next hole looking for a ball that was not going to be found, while the rest of us just kept walking and the group behind us waited on the tee—probably murmuring their own expletives.
The drunk also spent a large part of his time verbally abusing his brother who tried his best to stay sane. By the end of the round, the younger brother was carrying his clubs because his drunk brother had thrown his brother’s clubs out the golf cart. (One of his clubs had been broken in the process.)
Of playing with his drunk brother the younger brother told me, “well you get used to it.” I had hoped the drunk might sober up as we played on, but the supply of fresh beer made sure that didn’t happen. But it was obvious that the alcohol was a symptom of a deeper problem—this man was a horrific human being. I wanted to quit and in retrospect should have, but I hated to leave my friend in this company alone.
It was the single worst experience I have ever had on a golf course. By the time I picked up my wife from work I needed a drink and drank a rare glass of wine with dinner. And I’m still suffering late tonight from imbibing all that toxic psychological waste at the golf course. The lesson. We have to tolerate each other in life, but we shouldn’t choose abuse.