Slice of Live
Sorry but I can't wait 'til September when I usually compile my annual list of "rants," inspired and patented by comic Dennis Miller. So sit back and let me vent.
Rant No. 1: Driver distractions. No, I'm not talking about your golf pal Charley ogling the cute cart girl. I'm talking about the terribly unsafe state of our driving habits on American roads and highways. Is anyone really focusing on just driving anymore? Federal auto safety officials estimate, in a recent Associated Press article, "that driver distraction- eating, using a cell phone, fiddling with the radio- is involved in 20 percent to 30 percent of all crashes." In particular, cell phone abuse while driving is rampant and dangerous. You can't tell me that being engaged in a phone conversation with a hand-held cell phone while driving is a safe practice. At minimum, these car yakkers should use a hands-free attachment if the matter of setting up next Saturday's tee-time is so pressing. Better yet, let's follow the lead of many European countries and ban cell phone usage while driving altogether.
Rant No. 2: Not paying one's bills in a timely fashion. I'm not talking about your golf pal Dwayne screeching out of the course parking lot to avoid forking over a fin for the Nassau. No, I'm talking about too many golf concerns, businesses and individuals neglecting to pay for services rendered and goods delivered. For example, I've been told by one golf rep that if normal business policies were applied today probably only a handful of Michigan courses in certain parts of the state would be approved for credit. Far too many people in this slow economy think it's permissible-in some "guerilla business war ethic"-to stretch out, delay, and ignore invoices and statements. Admittedly, times are tough. But too many late payers use the lame excuse of "I'll pay you as soon as I get paid by so and so." That's only espousing a wider and more vicious circle of mutual indebtedness. Can the circle be unbroken? Yes, first only order or approve purchases that one can pay for. And secondly, remember along with Harry S. Truman that the buck stops (and starts) with you.
Rant No. 3: Lockjaw over simple compliments. I'm not talking about your golf crony Donna not responding to your request to pass the salt and pepper at the turn. Besides, that's condiments! I'm talking about people not taking the time and effort to pay someone a compliment in person or in writing for a job well done. When did we all get so ironic and smart-alecky and so reserved with our compliments? Have we all been terminally infected by the radio and TV-talk-show bombast and venom? Yes, I'm as guilty of this as anyone-we all get caught up in criticism and gotchas and ifs and buts. On the golf course, is it really that much of an effort to say "Good shot" or "Shot" or even "Sh" after witnessing a nice play? OK, so you agree. So carry that over off the course too. See someone work hard, do a good deed, earn an award? Congratulate them and wish them well. You can't ever go wrong in adhering to the adage: "Praise in public; criticize in private." (Please no thank-you notes on this rant.)
Rant No. 4: "Who's got the flagstick? No, I'm not talking about the young course worker Moe forgetting to put the pin in the cup after mowing the green. I'm talking about even seasoned golfers wasting time on busy days by not having the pin in hand, ready to put it in the cup after the last putt is holed. I remember once playing with one prominent amateur who never took charge of a single pin. Several times I carefully examined the pin for signs of any voodoo marks that may have bewitched my fellow golfer from laying a hand on it. No such evil etchings were found. Exasperated, I finally said, "Hey, let's play a new game: first in, grab the pin." That didn't work either. He must've thought I said, "First in, evade the pin." Thanks for letting me vent these rants. It's cheaper than psychoanalysis. MG
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