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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Wait a minute...did you say "The Masters?!?!"

I just realised we haven't said a single smart-arsed thing about Augusta National's showcase tournament this week. Our brains were only melted to the telly by the dramatics the entire weekend.

At the finish, a very nice bloke with a gangster's nickname ("Lefty") won the whole thing. Blokes nicknamed "Tiger", "The Big Easy", "Freddie", "Rocky", and the most outlandish of the bunch, "Retief" fell behind, in all likelihood wary that Lefty wasn't just carrying a lob wedge in his violincello case.

Chagrined at my negligence in covering all this sooner, I rang up Augusta National Chairman Hootie and the Blowfish Johnson. (Yes, I realise that people have made that joke hundreds of times, but how can you not laugh at someone named "Johnson.") Anyway, using my powerful skills of persuasion, I was able to convince the Hootster to sit down for a short chat in historic Butler Cabin.

Earl: Good of you to speak with me Hootie.

Hootie: Anything for a friend of Tiger.

Earl: Erm... right... I'll tell him and Ellie you said hello.

Hootie: Isn't her name Elin?

Earl: Erm... she changed it. She thought Elin Woods sounded a bit too much like a department store.

Hootie: (Laughing) Those Swedes! As unpredictable as an Amen Corner breeze...and hootchie mama hot!

Earl: Yes, quite. Anyway Hootie, how do you feel the tournament went this year?

Hootie: Earl, once again the members of Augusta National Golf Club were proud and honored to welcome the world's finest players to our course and to continue the finest tradition in golf, The Mas... (Hootie goes on with The Masters boilerplate speech for another 15 minutes - I down several glasses of highly caffienated sweet tea to keep from going into a coma.) ...and Phil is once again a deserving and upstanding champion.

Earl: Right. Well said... I suppose. I lost you at the part about how Bobby Jones shaped the 16th green with his bare hands while Cliff Roberts lashed him with a hickory shafted mashie niblick.

Hootie: (Laughs) Tiger always falls asleep at that part too!

Earl: You don't say. Let's go on, as I have a couple of more questions. First, I was wondering whether there were any problems in hosting the tournament this weekend.

Hootie: What did you say?

Earl: Did you have any problems... Was there anything that went wrong?

(A siren sounds in the distance.)

Hootie: I wish you hadn't asked me that.

(Voices can be heard shouting in the distance. Some of the shouts are screams. The sound of guard dogs, probably Dobermans, can be heard as well. Aeroplanes and helicopters fly closely overhead. Gunfire crackles over the grounds. CBS's Jim Nantz walks in and paces angrily in the background with a baseball bat. Slowly a large metallic cage rises up around the three of us.)

Hootie: I really, really wish you hadn't asked me that.

Earl: Erm, you mean the question about how you are all able to pull off the greatest tournament in golf without a single, solitary problem year after year?

(The sounds fade away immediately. The planes and copters vanish, Nantz flashes an unnaturally white smile and departs, and the cage sinks into the ground like Rocco Mediate's 2nd shot into Rae's Creek at Number 12 in the last round on Sunday.)

Hootie: Nice save.

Earl: Thanks. The cage thingy was quite impressive, though.

Hootie: We had it put in, just in case Daly wins one of these years.

Earl: I should have guessed from the built-in ashtrays.

Hootie: What was your other question?

Earl: Any chance I could get a membership here?

Hootie: Want me to call back the dogs?


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