The weather conditions were unsettled that day my friends – like an anxious mother outside a teenage son’s bathroom door.
Two Sundays ago our tee time was at 11 as my partner Ryan Brown and I prepared to do battle against nephew Jay and Lincoln Reese to settle an on-air challenge made on the wildly popular Sports Nuts of the Round Table radio show. Show director Margaret and Jay’s boy Trey live-streamed us with random interviews for the legion of loyal listeners watching with bated breath.
Before tee-off, Trey did a short interview, asking how I rated our chances. I answered simply, “We’ll be just fine; I have a new caddy, ya know.” The identity of that extremely knowledgeable caddy shall be revealed later.
The stakes were menacingly high. It had been decided on-air if we lost, my hair would be styled and dyed yellow, exactly like Joe Exotic of the Netflix hit “The Tiger King.”
If you’re unfamiliar, Joe ran a wild animal refuge, is serving a 22-year, murder-for-hire prison sentence and has been married to four different men. He was actually married to two at once, illegally known as Polygamy Guy. “I neither promote nor condemn same-sex unions, but two at once falls into the “Fool me twice, shame on me” category.
Since “Doug Exotic” was pushed upon me, I set the other loser fees. Lincoln must grow back his mustache, which he’s stubbornly resisted ever since his uncanny resemblance to cartoon character Ned Flanders gained widespread traction. My boy Ryan would wear long pants for a month, which may not sound like much, but the man has never been seen in public wearing long pants.
I was particularly proud of my creative, designated penalty for Jay. I decreed the roofing magnate must wear women’s high heels to the office for a week. Should he decide after that time he actually feels free and prefers wearing stilettos, it’s totally up to him whether to make the wardrobe alteration permanent.
Everyone began with respectable drives and it was back and forth with Jay and Lincoln (and his distinct advantage of having been tutored by club pro Matt) holding a 2-hole lead after nine. Nerves were raw as we approached No. 16, needing to win the last three just to tie.
That we did, in dramatic fashion on No. 17 when defeat appeared imminent after Ryan’s out-of-bounds incurred a penalty stroke. But after a short conference with my caddy, I chipped onto the green from 20 yards out and my yellow Slazenger found a secure home inside the cup. Ryan rushed me with a big hug – an embrace I probably held a bit long for a man trying to shake Joe exotic comparisons.
After 18 holes, we were tied heading to a one-hole playoff, which Matt decided to follow and record himself, and his grounds crew protégé Reese drilled his tee shot 40 yards short of the green. The mammoth drive in spite of pipe-cleaner legs and Beetle Bailey frame was too much to overcome; we succumbed by a stroke.
You’ll soon see a more exotic Doug, but as God is my caddy, the rematch will end differently.