When Clowns Play Golf

I always enjoy myself when my friend The Clown stops by to hit a few balls. For one thing, she doesn’t speak, at least not in words, and that’s refreshing after a day of pie shop chatter. For another thing, she is cheerful, but not unbearably cheerful, like The Morning Guy’s Stepford Girlfriend. No, The Clown has a confident glow about her, a delight in every little thing she encounters, whether it’s an imaginary dog or a bucket of confetti.

The other night, The Clown came by with a golf cart full of her friends. I’ve known for some time that one of her primary interests in golf has been to drive the cart, but I don’t for the life of me know where she got one, or how she was able to fit so many other clowns into it. Apparently, clowns do believe in safety in numbers.

I could hear them coming down the road, from the direction of Pancho Villas, the radio tuned into the all-clown station: “Kathy’s Clown,” “Bozo Theme Song,” “Send in the Clowns,” “Bandy the Rodeo Clown,” and other big-top hits.

I’ve got to say, once the clowns arrived at the driving range, pretty much every one else suddenly looked very well dressed, no matter what bizarre get up they might have been wearing. Knickers, berets, argyle sweaters and matching socks? All those items seemed so conservative compared to polka-dot pantaloons and gigantic bow ties.

And by the same token, some of the super-sized drivers that I’ve see out here seemed tiny when placed next to the clubs that the clowns trotted out.

I noticed, too, that the clowns seemed to have more trouble with lost balls than most golfers do. I found this especially strange here at the Slice of Heaven 24-Hour Pie Shop and Driving Range, where it doesn’t really matter where any one ball goes. Joe Sparkle Jr. will find it eventually when he makes his painfully slow sweep of the range with the E-Z cart picker.

The clowns also tended to scrutinize each ball very closely — sometime with magnifying glasses or randomly assembled jurors — before they’d place it on the tee, with great exaggerated gestures. Sometimes they just juggled the balls and never hit any at all. Sometimes they hit joke balls that performed odd tricks such as boomeranging back toward the pie shop. I was not especially fond of that one.

I read recently about “Divot the Clown” who performs at golf events. I’m sure my clowns would never do that. I could tell that they hated to mix business and pleasure. They worked hard at being clowns, and for them, golf was sheer pleasure, especially since they could play just outside of a pie shop. Think about it. Clowns and pie? Yes, I do keep a lot of whipped cream on hand, just for them.

You, on the other hand, may want to come by some other night if you see the clown-car golf cart parked out front.