It’s Friday night, and my sister Melbie wants to sing karaoke at the Swing Barn with some of the other girls. Normally, I don’t care that much for karaoke, but Sue Ten’s big screen really is big enough for me to see the words, so I’m thinking I should join Mel when I am done with my practice.
For some reason, there are more little girls on the the range than I have ever seen before. I am making a mental note to myself to have The Morning Guy check into ordering some of those wicked cute little pink golf sets so we can capitalize on this trend.
At the same time, I’m a little disheartened to see nine-year olds in pink shorts and wild, curly, uncombable hair driving balls almost twice as far as I can. Yet. As I listen and watch, I understand what The Morning Guy meant when he told me that some golf tips, notably Tip Number 2 and Tip Number 3, must be demonstrated. I hope some day he will get around to doing that for me.
I watch a dad with one of the little girls as he demonstrates again and again the rhythm that he wants her to mimic. She listens, she hits, and her drive is good. Then the dad says, “Now do that again three more times,” and she bursts into tears. Granted, this is after almost an hour of relentless coaching, but it breaks my heart. Her two younger sisters ignore the entire scene, and soon I see all three the little girls following Sparkle Junior around as he picks up empty ball buckets and takes them back to the shop.
The dad meanwhile hits a dozen or so balls before collecting his cool and gathering up his girls to go inside for some peppermint ice cream pie with an oreo-cookie crust. He wins me over once again.
My own practice seems odd since I am watching the clock, and that’s not something I normally do anymore. Typically, I take all the time I want to hit 100 or more balls: No one is waiting on me, no one is looking for me, no one is calling my name, and I love that freedom.
I find it odd to be rushing to meet Melbie, but I am compulsive about being on time, and the rushing, in fact, does not seem to have any great affect on my results. What I’m missing, I think, is not so much improvement in my game, but the leisure to enjoy the details.
I’ll also tell you that I’m looking forward to hearing Melbie sing. I know she’ll outshine everyone there, and will totally surprise the folks who don’t already know her. Sue Ten and I will warm them up with Benny and the Jets, but Melbie will knock them out with Desperado.
I’m remembering riding through Havana on the bus top with Little Peach, who wanted me to sing some blues for her. I had offered jug-band, but she said no no no. She grew up with jug-band music and could not longer abide it. I started to sing I Can’t Make You Love Me and she stops me on that, too. “I want blues, but not sad,” she says. And I am stumped.
As I finish up my last few hits, I know the song I should have sung, and I hope it’s on Sue Ten’s karaoke machine: Double-Bogey Blues. It’s a good night, and I am ready to sing. I hope you are, too, but remember what I always say: “Introverts with microphones: A dangerous combination.”