And here we have the five remaining contenders in the original Dinah Shore Palm Springs Invitational Golf Extravaganza, which took place way before the musical talk show host took over the proceedings and spruced things up a bit. Back then, the newly-established event was simply known as “Something to Do on a Saturday Afternoon in 1926 Before the Stock Market Went to Hell and You Had to Get Serious About Life”. Little did anyone know at the time that a festive and orientation-inclusive tradition had just been established in the heat of the lusty California sun. Also unknown at the time, for most people? Exactly how to play golf or what it might be. These finalists had only become such because all other participants had grown bored and wandered off to find a real sport.
As the bevy of beauties awaited their turn at the final hole, they wobbled only slightly from the Sloe Gin Fizzes they had been gulping down since first arriving at the course. (Said beverages were chastely acquired from a bootlegger with the intriguing name of Hexom Breen, a name that only has relevance if one has read certain obscure posts on an obscure blog about obscurity.) The Wobbly Gals had a moment to reflect as they waited for a staff underling to do a bit of crowd-control maintenance, with this person running about and shushing people because you’re supposed to be really quiet at golf tournaments until somebody does something extraordinary or the Stock Market has a banner day.
Since it’s not easy to make the common folk stop talking about themselves as if they had any significance on the planet, the shushing took a bit of time, which allows us, dear future voyeurs, to eavesdrop on those personal reflections. To make things easier, since, if you’re still with our story at this point, you’ve probably sampled a few Sloe Gin Fizzes yourself this evening, or at least got a nice whiff of cooking sherry, we’ll make this simple by going from left to right as we intrude on private thoughts.
Player #1: “I’m pretending to lean on my golf club in a swanky manner, so that it appears I am trying to psychologically destroy my competitors with my confidence, but the reality is that I sorely need some stability right at the moment. The illicit alcohol we have to drink during this time of pseudo-piety is potent enough to give yourself a Brazilian wax, if one chooses to have one and the styling choice had actually been invented at the moment when we gathered around this stupid block of ice that the narrator has failed to mention up to this point.
“But more importantly, because there’s always something more important about me, as I obviously have the most progressive hairstyle for miles around, I really enjoy flying. You can tell this by the bold graphic on my combination bathing suit and hip-enhancing nightie. (A girl has to be prepared for all social occasions.) I love wings! Although, to continue the time-slip theme, if I had known that wings would eventually become a catchphrase associated with feminine hygiene products in a later decade, I probably wouldn’t have loved them as much. But I still have the best hair.”
Player #2: “I don’t have a golf club. Everyone else has one, but not me. I don’t even understand what I’m doing or how I got here. When I woke up this morning, I thought everything would be fine if I just hand-stitched some embroidery on the shoulders of my outfit. But then something went wrong with my flatiron and now I have too much presence on the right side of my head. And then that man with the fizzes showed up. I knew I shouldn’t have accepted any liquids from him, but he looked just like F. Scott Fitzgerald, and that made me kind of horny, even though I really think Zelda is dreamier.
“Wait. What did I just say? Zelda? I don’t want Zelda. Do I? This sun is really hot out here. When can we go home? Do I want Zelda? Does this make me Lebanese? Is that the right word? I’m so confused. Can somebody just find me a stupid golf club and a clever way to end my monologue?”
Player #3: “I am SO hungry. I haven’t eaten in days. I can barely stay upright. Why are we standing around whacking at a little ball with sticks? What’s the name of this game? I don’t like it. I don’t like anybody or anything, especially my hair, which apparently fell out of a tree onto my head. I just want somebody to find a cow and kill it and fix me a freakin’ steak.
“Hey, what am I holding in my left hand, the hand you can’t actually see because that oddly-thin golf bag is blocking the view? Is it a cricket bat? Are we in England? I know we drove really far to get to this dump out in the middle of nowhere, way before the senior citizens showed up and built retirement homes, but I don’t recall crossing an ocean. Or am I holding a bottle of moonshine? Maybe. Those things are everywhere these days. I don’t know. It’s so hot, I can’t even think straight. I’m about to straddle that block of ice and buck it until my toes curl.”
Player #4: “Why do those bitches behind me have to talk so much? I’m trying to concentrate here. Do they not understand how hard it is to hold a club up like this, act like I’m having the best time of my life, smile for the photographer who doesn’t want to be here and hates us, and suck in my gut, all at the same time? If I hear one more word from the Snatch Sisters about being uncomfortable, when all they have to do is stand there while I hold a pose that no other woman will hold until women are allowed to play baseball during World War II, I’m going to whack the hell out of every one of them.
“And my feet are completely frozen, standing on this asinine block of ice for hours, just another float in my pain parade. Who thought this was a good idea, doing something pointless just to get attention and win a competition? It’s not like I’m a candidate in a Republican primary. Idiots.”
Player #5: “I’m not wearing a bra and I’m the coolest person for miles around. That’s all you really need to know about me. Unless you have money. I could use some cash. That last gig I had sucked, with people getting shot and coppers running all over the place. Didn’t even get to finish painting my nails before I had to run for Jesus. This here is a piece of cake. I can stand here all day, beats having to use fake names and wash up after very customer.
“Hold the horses. Who’s that guy over there on the far left? He’s walking like he’s got something lodged, so he’s probably got some bucks. All the rich guys have anal issues. Bet I can show him how this flapper flaps and then get my hands on some of Captain Anal’s compounded interest. I just gotta wait for Annie Leibovitz to wrap up this photo shoot and then I’m off to bait and switch. Momma always said there’d be plays like this.”
Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 08/01/12. Majorly revised and updated with extra flair for this post. (I must have been on extreme painkillers when I shoved the original post out there, as it was an embarrassing mess of gastric disturbances, and I’m still not sure that I have performed enough triage.) And yes, this one feels like it should have been a Past Imperfect, but it wasn’t, and I feel behooved to pay homage to my legacy of past indiscretions.