I spent last week in Florida, writing in the mornings on a balcony overlooking a golf course.
One morning I wrote this:
Watching golf from above, it’s not hard to see why so many people despise the game. George Carlin, for instance, railed about the vast space golf courses take up, putting his thumb and forefinger an inch apart, “The ball is this fuckin’ big!”
In fact, you strain to see it, from five stories above. So that impressionistically, it appears that the players are actually doing nothing at all.
And slowly. Golf carts crawling, golfers slogging, as if in waist-deep water.
Futilely, too. How many times you see those little people lining up those long putts and taking all those practice strokes, only to miss the hole. And often, to miss it again. They usually wind up slapping it past the hole, and picking it up.
And stupidly. Once in two or three hours of watching these morons trudge by, one of them makes a putt of some length. You’d think they discovered a scientifically valid and politically possible solution to global warming. Whoooooooppppp!!!!!!!!!!!
And finally, pointlessly and desultorily. When I run a Turkey Trot or the Chicago Half Marathon, I’m always so heartened by all that motivation and energy and human pluck that I don’t visit the existential questions the ultimate purposeless of it all. But watching these golfers slump past in a constant procession of haplessness and boredom, I think this must be the grimmest metaphor for life that I have ever seen. I think Nietzsche himself would leap from this balcony.
Maybe I would too, if I didn’t have a tee time this afternoon.