Monday, March 11, 2013


My brother, Terry, is a great golfer.  So good in fact that he still competes and often wins tournaments.  His interest started when he made the high school golf team which required a great deal of practice.

He liked to take his clubs up to the field near our house, pull out his driver and let those golf balls fly - one after the other.   Mom sewed two dishtowels together and made a casing for a draw string and that held all the balls.  I was his shagger.  My job was to run down each ball he hit, find it amongst the dandelions and put it back into the bag without getting bonked in the head.  Once the weather got nice we'd do this every day and he paid me handsomely for the job......a quarter a bag.

One day he decided that we should go to the field by the elementary school instead of the high school to hit balls.  We had never done this before.  He pulled out his driver and was whacking them pretty good when suddenly a ball sailed over my head, hit the asphalt and kept bouncing until it crashed through a classroom window.  He came running up to me screaming, "Why didn't you get that one??!!!  Look what you did!!!"

What I did?  

It didn't take long for the janitor to show up on a golf cart to investigate and Terry took off running like a perp on an episode of Cops.  Through backyards, gardens, between houses, out into the street and then back again.  Terry was no match for a golf cart and eventually the old guy caught him, bringing him back to where I was standing.  "You finally done running, son," he asked. 

He told me to get in the cart with my brother.  He was taking us home.  "No sir," my brother said getting out.  "I'm responsible for my sister and I can't let her get in here with a stranger or my Mom will be really mad at me.  No sir, me and my sister will walk."   I was a little confused by this protectiveness since I'd never actually seen it before.

We did The Walk of Shame down Rose Drive - the street that was behind our house with the janitor in his golf cart tailing us.  "Listen to me,"  Terry whispered.  "You're going to do everything I tell you to do."

Oh no, Terry.  We have to tell Mom and Dad the truth about what happened.  That we did it and that we're sorry and that you're going to pay for it.  We can't lie about it because that would be real bad and get us in more trouble.  The nuns say lying makes it worse.

"What are you talking about?   You're going to have to pay for half of it since you didn't stop it from bouncing.  Now shut up about the nuns and do what I tell you to do."

"Hey, you two, what are you whispering about up there," the janitor wanted to know.

"Nothing, sir.  My sister's a little scared right now, but that's okay cuz this here is our house."  But we weren't even on the right street.  

"C'mon Kath," he said and we walked up the steps and he jimmied the knob on the front door of the home of somebody who lived behind us and that I didn't even knowBut Terry knew.  Terry knew the husband and wife worked all day and that nobody was home until dinner.

"Sorry, sir, Mom's probably in the shower.  We'll just go around back and get her."

We strolled up the driveway like we'd lived there forever, admiring the lovely potted geraniums along the side of the house, and then Terry told me to run as soon as we were out of sight.  We ran like the wind, threw the clubs and balls over the fence and then ourselves, made a beeline for the boys' bedroom in the back of the house and closed the door.

We had evaded the law.

We sat on the bunkbeds laughing at what happened and Terry said, "That janitor was one crazy guy Did you see how he chased me in that golf cart?  That son-of-a-bitch could have killed me."

"Yeah," I said"If he killed you I would have kicked his ass."  I had become a lawbreaker and cusser in the span of thirty minutes and I liked it.

After awhile Mom yelled for us to come into the living room.   There was somebody she wanted us to meet.  Standing inside the front door, proud as could be was the janitor with his golf cart parked in the driveway.

The son-of-a-bitch figured out where we lived.     




  1. I have never heard that one before !
    Thanks so much for sharing ......
    I really needed to laugh.
    And laugh I did ! ! !