I am exhausted. Or still a bit traumatized, maybe. Whatever it is, all I’ve been doing is sleeping and sleeping since the weekend, and I’m not much of a sleeper. I’m all whacked out.
Yeah, I know what it is — or what it was. It was that goddamned golf tournament, the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, that I drove up to over the weekend. I caught the third round on Saturday.
That’s what did it. Lord, I have never seen such an ugly collection of Republican assholes in my life. I had no inkling of the bad scene gathering at the tournament, otherwise I would have skipped it. But once I got there, I saw all the nastiness, and I had no choice but to push on through all of it. It wiped me out.
Not that I didn’t expect plenty of right-wing-ishness from my brother, The Republican, whom I love. But, hey, he’s just one guy. Going to the event with him, I certainly anticipated his bit of it.
When it turned out his big plans for us to drive to Monterey meant going in his Hummer H3, I wasn’t too surprised. My ’87 BMW was still full of musical hardware and doesn’t sport his satellite radio or beloved radar detector, so there was no point in arguing. I threw in my bag and got in.
And a half hour into the drive, somewhere around Ventura, when my brother told me that FDR ruined the Great Depression economy with his imbecilic gold policy, our first inevitable argument got underway. He followed that up by reminding me how Obama raised everybody’s income taxes, to which I reminded him he was completely wrong, and he could look it up.
And I felt bad about bitching at him, again, so I wanted to avoid arguing any more. Man, did that end up being a weekend sentence. How are you supposed to argue with complete asshole strangers? They were everywhere, they became something like the wallpaper. You can’t ding ’em, not all of them. Especially when you realize they’re barely aware of the shit that comes out of their mouths in public.
Some guy spots a curvy black woman in a sexy dress at the restaurant bar, sitting alone. She’s the only black human in the place. “I think she’s a pro,” he mutters.
It was a weekend full of this sort of garbage. And, believe it or not, I was trying not to remember much of any of this because this is exactly the stuff I don’t want to post at my little place. It’s off target and too easy. This crap has little directly to do with the Conservatives’ twisted policies and public philosophies that kill Americans’ lives and futures. Therein lie the real dangers, that’s why I started this blog in the first place.
But I can’t seem to get back on the internet roller coaster without first puking some of it up, so, here we are.
Saturday morning, the big day, starts nauseatingly. Crammed into a large shuttle van to get us to the course, we’re all bundled up in jackets in anticipation of the cool 54-degree weather, which is normal for the area. With the engine running, the heater way up and the driver screwing off, I get overwhelmed with the acrid stench of creams and after-shaves. Even though they were still drunk, they got up early enough for a close shave, every stupid one of them, just to drown themselves in menthols and man-perfumes and alcohols, violent fogs of antiseptic neon greens and blues.
On the course, the affronts continue. Standing at the ropes on the ocean side of the 12th fairway, I am watching the early-going pros hit their tee shots and walk down to the green when a husky dude behind a bushy mustache and black shades walks up next to me. Standing almost motionless except for the robotic motion of feeding his elephant face with sunflower seeds, he spits the shells on me over and over. I begin to think about punching the guy to wake him up when a teenage girl pokes her head between us, and so he spits on her.
I move down the line. A threesome, a couple and a man in their late forties, inexplicably split to either side of me and carry on this conversation:
(couple:) “So how’s it going with Sharon?”
(man:) “It’s going ok. There’s some tension there with the oldest, Elise, but it’s not a big deal. It’s not like she’s some sort of wicked step-mother, y’know?”
Nobody around for 10 feet on either side, they choose to settle 10 inches to my right and my left. So they’re cocking their heads to either side of me, or trying to lean around me, to continue catching up.
“It’s frustrating with Elise, though, y’know? Throughout this, she’s been a little bitch. I don’t know, maybe she sees Sharon as competition for me, or something. I just wish she’d cut the act. After about the first 30 minutes or so, everybody settles down and then it’s okay. ”
I quickly back out of our little foursome and leave. They get one syllable of an apology out but then get really pissed. They have to move away from me. Hey, tell Elise I said hello.
All of these people, incidentally, even at 9 a.m. in the morning, are at least halfway in the bag. So much booze and cockishness and smirking stupidity, they are everywhere. So many brutal hangovers. There was one guy that we helped light his cigar because his hands were shaking too badly to light it himself. A cigar.
The golf tournament is no longer golf, it is piles of vomit-stenched charm, you bet, yes sir. The people ooze with it:
— “She double-wanted my schwanz — what am I supposed to think?”
— “Tom Watson? He’s a cock-tease, he’ll never win.”
. . as Robert Allenby lines up a 2 footer for birdie: “GET IT CLOSE!”
Laughter. It’s clear there are two things this fat mob of douchebags planned for the Open: getting slobber-drunk and basking in each other’s giddy company. They are succeeding. The belly-laughs are everywhere, they are Pebble Beach’s resounding vuvuzelas.
Not that their disappointments don’t surface as well. In this instance, the visitors are still seriously pissed off: a couple complain to two friends. They’re all in their mid-thirties, carrying soft accents from somewhere:
— “So we took a limo back to our place last night.”
— “We told the driver we were hungry, so he says ‘Oh I know where to go.’ He took us to ‘El Pollo Loco.’”
. . and that chunk of Latin would be ‘EL PAWL-OH LOH-KOH,’ for you readers.
— “‘El Pollo Loco?’”
— “‘El Pollo Loco!’ Jeezus!”
— “I think it’s some kind of chain.”
SEE, ESS OON CHAIN. Maybe they’re from ‘ARR-KANS-ESS.’ Perhaps ‘ILL-UH-NOIZE.’
It goes on and on and on like this. I don’t want to recall any more than these few blips, they’re enough.
That Saturday night, dressed in a button down shirt and decent jeans, set for a night on this temporarily ugly, crimson-polluted town, I just conked out, went to bed. I’m glad for having missed whatever shittiness I’d have been assaulted with on the ultimate night of stubble-free chimpanzee puke fest. Could’ve been bad. Glad to have just piled everything in that stupid tank and headed home.
OH, forgot — we’re driving back, through the town of Gonzales. I notice the huge light stanchions over the high school’s football field, and I think, “Didn’t have anything like that back at Palos Verdes High, that’s for sure.”
My brother: “How’d you like to go to Gonzales High School?”
What’s wrong with Gonzales High?
“Wouldn’t want that on my resume.”
Still tired, but I’m getting over it.