Friday, April 17, 2020

Getting to Know the FGR - Part 1

Now that we have this involuntary break in the golf action, I thought it might be a good opportunity for us to take some time to get to know each other and by that I of course mean that I'm just going to tell you a bunch of stuff about me. This was originally intended to be a regular feature and I started writing it four weeks ago when I figured we were all going to be quarantined indefinitely with an unlimited amount of time to write our memoirs that no one would ever want to read. 

What I didn't realize at the time and what I am still trying to come to grips with now is that my quasi-essential job which I can normally do (and have done ) hungover in my sleep while taking the "occasional" afternoon off to play golf and swim and write and binge watch Deadwood suddenly got really fucking essential when this virus hit. It turns-out that even the greatest autopilot system in the world (which I thought I had designed) won't help you when a flock of fucking seagulls flies into all four engines just as your copilot tells you he decided to try ecstasy for the first time an hour before takeoff and that he loves you. No really. He loves you.    

Then I started wondering whether anyone would really want to read this crap I wrote so I began to doubt the idea of publishing it but THEN I remembered that when you write a self-indulgent blog about fantasy golf, you've already made a conscious decision to avoid any conceivably defined target audience so who cares what you write? Here goes nothing. 

Let's start at the beginning and highlight some of the geological events that contributed to the character formation of a brazen self-righteous dickhead with anger management issues who loves people while at the same time despising people.    

I was born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland. The son of a lawyer from Virginia and a dress shop owner from outside of Philadelphia who met in the middle geographically but nowhere else. Without going into details that no one really wants to relive, let's just say the divorce started when I was about five years old and finally came to fruition fifteen years later. We were kind of the typical nuclear family in that one spilled cup of coffee on the control panel generally led to apocalyptic results.  

My upbringing was pretty standard really. We lived in a big house on the water with a pool and as a kid I became proficient in sailing, tennis and lacrosse which made be a certified green belt in white youth douche athletics. I would later achieve brown belt status after college by adding golf
. I went for the black belt five years ago with a squash lesson but realized I was out of my league when the 4th string goalie from my college lacrosse team walked by in his top of the line goggles and designer headband. I had to accept that I would never reach that level and have been content to reside one notch below truly elite honkeyness ever since. 

My first memory of being the version of me that I would ultimately become was from first grade when my teacher held me back from running-out to recess to tell me that I needed to stop "using the 'F' word on the playground." To the best of my recollection I then kept a somewhat low profile until 5th grade when my mom got a call from the Latin teacher on a Saturday morning to inform her that I was being disruptive. Apparently the inherent comedy of yelling "Screw Caesar" when we were supposed to yell "Hail Caesar" was lost on some (but definitely not all). I also changed the name of my science book from "Investigating the Earth" to "Invest in the Fart" and yes we all did that but did any of you actually cite the textbook as "Invest in the Fart" when answering questions in class? I didn't think so. 

Generally you would only drive this car
in 1981 if you were out on parole. 
I really started blossoming into my future self in 7th grade. At that point I was riding to school and home from lacrosse practice with my insane stunt man wannabe 10th grade neighbor and three other guys in an early 70's two-door Plymouth Volare or something like it. (I'm pretty sure that at least seven of my ten closest brushes with death occurred while this guy was behind the wheel). 

At about the halfway point of our daily commute there was a small gas station with a very congenial proprietor and every single damn time we drove by I would lean so far out of the window that someone had to hold my feet and yell as loud as I could "YOUR PRODUCT GIVES ME GAS!!!" And every single damn time the guy would smile and give us a friendly wave as we howled with laughter and roared off down the street. It was really quite a beautiful exchange when you think about it.

And then that gas station closed. So we picked another gas station because of course we did. And this may not come as a surprise to you but it certainly came as a surprise to us . . . apparently not everyone wants an obnoxious twelve year old doing a drive-by scream at their business like clockwork every single day of the week. (I know weird huh?) 

One day after making our scheduled deposit of goodwill, we noticed a guy in a pickup truck come tearing-out of the gas station after we passed. Immediately recognizing that the jig was up, our driver went full Steve McQueen and started trying to put as much distance as possible between us and the crazed vigilante chasing us. Unfortunately, historic downtown Annapolis at rush hour is not ideally designed for winning a car chase and, though I'm sure the idea crossed his mind, our wheelman chose not to use the sidewalks. And that would ultimately be our undoing.

"Let me at those little
snot-nosed private
school dipshits!"
Eventually we hit a red light and this future MAGA hat rack drove his truck into the oncoming lane, cut in front of us and wedged at an angle to block any escape. As he immediately jumped-out and started charging towards us, it became clear that he was not a small man and he looked like the last time he actually laughed was when one of his cousins set himself on fire while trying to deep-fry a raccoon. Before he got to our car to commence the pummeling, however, one of Annapolis City's finest happened by and stopped. Now we had ourselves a classic Boss Hogg/Roscoe P. Coltrane situation which made us the Dukes so we were good but I don't remember feeling that way initially. Especially as the punk who was the face of this ill-fated enterprise. 

Boss Hogg took the lead as they made their way over to us with the classic confident stride of two morons who just hatched an ingenious plan to put the fear of God into a bunch of teenagers about to "learn their lesson the hard way." As he leaned into the driver's side window, you could almost see his rancid yellow cheese breath. We sat in a mild state of shock as he proceeded to launch into a tirade about the devastating impact we were having on his business. 

As he went on and on and on and on, however, our facade of fake respect started to crack and when he barked, "MY KIDS EAT OUT OF THAT GAS STATION!!!" I knew we were in trouble. At that point he ducked-out of the car for a brief follow-up conference after which Roscoe asked, "should we run 'em in?" and you could immediately feel the suppressed hysterics. We were one snicker away from this thing exploding and going completely sideways with someone winding-up in handcuffs. 

Fortunately, this impromptu think-tank figured they had blocked traffic long enough and I guess they thought we had gotten the message because it abruptly ended with some lame final warning after which we were free to go. Less than a minute later, four of us were in tears laughing as we tripped over each other to perfect the impression of "MY KIDS EAT OUT OF THAT GAS STATION!!!" The fifth member of our party sat in frozen terror. Someone definitely would've said "that MIG really screwed him up . . . I don't think he can make it back." Unfortunately, that line wouldn't make sense for another five years. 


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