It’s December 23rd, which is the official (sort of) day of Festivus. A made-up holiday from a TV show (Seinfeld) about nothing. Which somehow, seems perfect given where we are. Don’t understand? Fine, here’s an explanation:
For me, this started shortly after, when I was working for a large company who calls this area home. This was my first exposure to the cube farm, and everyone in the group I was in decided to go all-in on decorating their cubes to celebrate Christmas (for the record, I don’t have an issue with Christmas but I do mind how one holiday has become a 10-week orgy of crass consumerism and people get into fistfights over buying things, and get worked into a blind rage over coffee cups, and saying ‘Happy Holidays’ as opposed to ‘Merry Christmas’). For those of you who don’t know me, know that my default setting is that of a provocateur. A shit-disturber. Anyway, with everyone seemingly not doing their actual jobs and spending hours upon hours channeling their Martha Stewart-Sandra Lee “best” selves, I went the other way, and asked about why we weren’t honouring Festivus. I brought in a Festivus pole, wrote a poem, challenged my coworkers to feats of strength, began airing my grievances, and generally caused a grand-canyon sized divide in the office. You’re welcome.
In previous years, I’ve done the Santa thing and I may well come back to that in 2019. But given what 2018 has been, I had a change of heart. It started yesterday while I innocently sought something to eat and was subject to a mass of humanity surrounding me while I attempted to eat my lunch in relative peace. Today, I had to go to Costco and I’d politely describe the crowd as being slightly more violent than the crowd at your average punk concert circa 1984. I was not pleased. The fuse was lit.
So on that note, allow me to pour myself a vat of bourbon, stand by the shiniest of Festivus poles, and air my grievances. I’ve got a lot of problems with you people.
Patrick Reed: I’m not even sure where to begin. You won a Masters and then turned into a full-blown diva. Sorry those FREE Red Sox tickets weren’t good enough (there’s 200,000 kids in Boston who’d happily take them). You showed your ass at the Ryder Cup and “allegedly” got into a fight with Dustin Johnson and had a spat with Tiger. And seemingly everyone else. Keep blaming everyone else. I hope your game goes full Ian-Baker Finch, and you show up at Augusta in 2032 as your only event of the year where you post 88-84 and people have to wear helmets to see you play.
PGA Tour: The DC area has supported its tour stop through every possible form of weather known to man. We’ve had a derecho, a Tuesday finish, flooded out courses, and more. So thanks for bailing on us for other places. Karma’s a bitch, as you’ll find out. Eat it.
The “The US Ryder Cup Team Is Unbeatable” Think Pieces: Stop it. The US is tough to beat on home soil. Not so much when they’re playing in Europe. Accept, breathe, move on.
Backstoppers: Just stop it already. Mark your god damn ball, and not with a poker chip. Just use a dime. Simple.
CA Courses: Join the 21st century. Every other course allows on-line bookings, but not you guys. It would be one thing if Hobbits Glen and Fairway Hills were the Pine Valley of the area. They’re not. Both tracks are having some real problems right now. Maybe, and I’m just spit-balling here but maybe don’t make us regular folks have to go through a rigmarole to make a damn tee time. Every other course in the area literally makes it EASY to do business. But not you guys.
The USGA: Shinnecock and Oakmont were supposedly incapable of being screwed up, and yet, you manage. Do they have Paint Chip day for lunch on Tuesdays? Maybe quit getting a collective boner over protecting par and let the course play. Sure- grow the rough up but don’t turn the greens into parking lots. Did you watch the Open Championship? Notice how green the greens were? Bingo. Really looking forward to see how bad you can manage to screw up Pebble Beach next June.
People Who Yell Crap During Tournaments: The second time someone yelled Baba Booey it stopped being funny. Just stop. I hope these people get thrown into an active volcano.
Guys Who Dress In Full PGA Tour Pro Scripting: Were you not loved as a child? Black pants and a red shirt when it’s 95 degrees and swamp-like doesn’t make you cool. All-orange? Who hurt you?
People Who Don’t Fix Divots and Ballmarks: While you’re standing there picking your nose waiting for your partner to plumb-bob a 4-footer to save triple bogey, fix that mini-crater you made. Divot repair tools are cheap. Hell, I’ll GIVE YOU ONE. You’re in the fairway. After you take a snowboard-sized divot laying over your 7-iron, replace it. Divot gone? Great- take some of that mixture that’s in your cart and pour it in the hole. Smooth over. Done.
Guys Who Flirt With the Beverage Cart Girl: She’s old enough to be your daughter. So stop it. Plus, there’s probably several groups being held up while you pull this crap. So don’t. Seriously. How would you like it if you were trying to get something done and people were bothering you? Buy your stuff, tip well, and move along. If you really had game she’d flirt with you. And ask for your number.
People Who Don’t Rake Bunkers: Unless the course treats bunkers as waste areas, rake it. No, it’s not going to slow you down. Have one of your playing partners mark your ball while you rake, and they can finish out. Simple.
Courses Who Don’t Notify About Aeration: You lying and crooked bastards. Note that “if” you aerate and post it, I’ll be MORE inclined to play at your course. Because you’re being honest, and that works for me. It happens in the spring and again in the late summer/fall. We understand. So tell the truth and you shall be rewarded.
The People Trying to Put an End to UMD Golf Course: God forbid we have a public course inside the beltway AND a home for the men’s and women’s golf teams. Seriously- get bent all of you. It’s not some swanky private club. It’s open to the public. AND, it’s a fantastic layout that gets pretty regular use by the public. How many damn football fields does the football team need? It’s not like they’re any good. Sure glad they spent all that money adding seats at the stadium that sit empty.
High Handicappers Who Play From the Tips: Oh, you want to see all of it…great. Turn what should be a 4-hour round into a 5+hour slog and grind the course to a halt. Check your ego, and play from a set of tees more in line with your game. You’ll have fun and you’ll finish sooner.
People Who Use Poker Chips as Ball Markers: You sort of destroy the point of a ballmarker. Use a dime. Save the chips for the casino or your poker night.
The Golf Ball Picker-Upper: Take a minute or two to find your ball. If not, drop and take a penalty stroke. Stopping to pick up balls…seriously? Balls aren’t that expensive. No, I don’t want one. By all means, sneak back once it’s dark and help yourself.
The Caddyshack Guy: Look, when I played beer league hockey you’d have Slap Shot guy. And once or twice a game it’s funny. Same goes for Caddyshack guy. When we’re at the turn and you’ve made a dozen references nobody’s laughing. We’re all hoping a grizzly bear comes along and eats you.
May your Festivus pole be bright and shiny! And remember- when you tell someone how they’ve disappointed you in the last year, it’s because you care.