Mea culpa, you a golfer

So, anyway. In February 2010, three months after I wrote my letter to Tiger Woods, he issued a televised statement apologising for his behaviour. I’m not saying this was in response to my letter, but I’m not saying it wasn’t, either.

Here’s the column I wrote at the time.

 

THE image of golf has suffered terribly as a result of Tiger Woods’ breach of marital etiquette. Yes, I can see how that might happen. I was thinking of taking it up but then Tiger ruined it for me by making a billion dollars a year and sleeping with dozens of beautiful women. I, for one, will have no truck with such filth. Instead, I shall take up a sport in which I stand to make no money at all and get to sweat so heavily that I attract stray dog rather than hot girls.

You have to hand it to the Americans. You can get caught pimping underage immigrants to support your heroin habit, but if you squeeze a drop of glycerine into each eye and go on television and apologise and say that you’re taking gender sensitivity classes and checking yourself into rehab, the nation will applaud you.

This applies to celebrities more than it does garbage collectors and other members of the proletariat whose mea culpa is generally described as a confession rather than a courageous admission of their human frailty.

It only works for Americans, though. When British actor Hugh Grant’s willy accidentally fell into a prostitute’s mouth while the two of them were discussing the Middle East crisis in a side street off Sunset Boulevard on June 27, 1995, he never tried to “rehab” his way out of it. His laddish grin on the LAPD’s mugshot said it all. What happened in the car that night – that wasthe treatment. Let us be clear on that. Suffering from a prolonged dearth of fellatio, Mr Grant had his ailment treated by the nearest qualified person, who in this case happened to be nurse Divine Brown.

Tiger Woods, on the other hand, speaks for thirteen minutes and convinces the world that he is a very sick man deserving of our sympathy.

Halfway into his statement something strange happened. I began feeling as if I had done something wrong. As he spoke, the burden of guilt lifted from his shoulders and settled on mine. He was pulling some kind of weird voodoo stunt and getting away with it.

Tiger blamed the media for daring to suggest that his perfect Swedish wife, Elin, had clubbed him like a baby seal on that terrible Thanksgiving evening. “It angers me that people would fabricate a story like that.” I hung my head in shame. “Elin never hit me that night or any other night.” Brenda snorted. “Some Viking she is.”

There has never been an episode of domestic violence in our marriage,” Tiger insisted. Well, maybe there should have been. You’d be surprised at how sexual tension can be relieved by smacking one another around for an hour or so. It certainly works for Brenda and me.

I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. Thanks to money and fame, I didn’t have to go far to find them.” And the problem is what exactly? This is precisely why fame and fortune are a tad more in demand than, say, obscurity and penury.

What is the point of being rich and powerful if you’re going to be like the rest of us and go home to a cold, hostile wife who puts your dinner plate on the floor and expects you to get down on all fours and eat it like a dog?

We are only the way we are because we’re too goddamn lazy to work relentlessly at something until we are so ridiculously good at it that people line up to throw money at us to watch us do it or even just write or talk about it.

Tiger apologised to parents who had once used him as a role model for their kids. What rubbish. Show me one teenage boy who spent weeks sobbing in his room after hearing that his golfing idol’s idea of relaxation was to check into a R40 000-a-night hotel, drop a little A-grade ecstasy and lick Beluga caviar off the quivering thighs of naked porn stars while cocktail waitresses vibrating with lust queued in the corridor.

My loinfruit, Clive, showed no interest in golf until Tiger got bust. Now all he wants to do is get his hands on a bag of clubs, a bankie of Ambien and one of those Thai girls who work in the house across the road. That’s my boy.

Instead of being lauded for making golf the aspirational sport that it should be, Tiger was forced to grovel. Shocking, really, and a scathing indictment on what kind of world we are bringing our children into.

It’s hard to admit that I need help, but I do. For 45 days from the end of December to early February, I was in in-patient therapy receiving guidance for the issues I’m facing. I have a long way to go.”

And right there, the attitude of millions of people watching Tiger beat himself up went from self-righteous disapproval to a weird mix of empathy and pride. You fucked up, Tiger, but you’re dealing with your problem and we’re proud of you for that.

It’s black magic, I tell you. Not only does he manage to convince us that he has a problem, but he has somehow convinced us that his problem is different to the problem experienced by all men – that of wanting to sleep with lots of different women but not being able to because we are too ugly, too poor, too stupid or too fearful that some supernatural being might be judging us.

Tiger has already been through 45 days of hell. Therapy for sex addiction is no walk in the park. It involves role playing where women brutally rebuff your advances, group sessions where everyone points and laughs at your privates and being strapped down and forced to watch videos of women giving birth. Or so I have been told.

Stupidly, he said, “I have a long way to go.” In other words, “I still want to tear my clothes off and jump on anything that isn’t nailed to the floor.”

You used to have a great grip, Tiger. Don’t lose it now. Why didn’t you just say that the six weeks of therapy worked? Tell us you’re cured, for god’s sake. Nobody would even know the difference.

Actually, it doesn’t matter what you say. From now on you’re doomed to live the life of a Buddhist monk. I’d suggest you work on your chanting because your days of shrieking and whooping are well and truly over.

Talk about blowing it on all fronts.

Golfing For Rats

Tiger Woods says he’s “blessed” to be back after winning his first PGA Tour event in over five years, following a long and painful return to form from a back injury.” – news report.

But it was this quote – “All of a sudden it started hitting me I was going to win the tournament” – that reminded me of a letter I wrote to the maestro almost nine years ago. I reproduce it here in the interests of, well, nothing, really.

Dear Tiger,

It is absolutely outrageous that the filthy, lying dogs of the media are saying you came home smelling of some Yiddish tart called Rachel and that your wife scratched your face to bits then chased you out of the house, and when you tried to escape in your Cadillac you ploughed into a tree because you were whacked on painkillers and your eyes were full of blood and Elin caught up to you and smashed the window with a nine iron and dragged you out of the car and continued to maul you right there on the lawn in front of the neighbours.

This kind of wild speculation makes me sick. Your version of events, even though you haven’t given it yet, is far more plausible. Let me guess. You woke up in the middle of the night desperate for one of them damn fine Dunkin’ Donuts and you got up quietly so as not to wake your beautiful wife whom you love more than life itself and just as you were pulling away a dog, no, a pack of dogs, ran in front of you causing you to swerve and hit a fire hydrant and then a tree. Alerted by the noise, your beloved awoke and upon seeing you trapped semi-conscious inside the vehicle after your terrible accident she grabbed the nearest implement which in your house would obviously be a golf club and came to your rescue.

My wife says I am a gullible fool and that you were clearly up to your elbows in un-American activities. I find it easier on the kidneys if I agree with her, so I am changing my story.

You idiot! What on earth were you thinking? Whatever possessed you to marry a white woman? Did your mother not warn you about this? I know white women. Trust me when I say they are almost always more trouble than they are worth. Out here in the bush, many of our politicians have dozens of wives each and you never hear about marital problems. Why? Because they marry black women.

Look, I’m also a sucker for Swedish babes. Who isn’t? But as you have discovered, it’s not all hot monkey sex in the sauna and rolling about naked in the snow beating one another with birch branches. These people are Vikings, for heaven’s sake. They are natural born rapists and pillagers. Cross them and they will be at your throat in an instant.

If, on the other hand, this is a publicity stunt, then I have to say you have outdone yourself. Many of us have long suspected that you were some kind of robot or alien from another galaxy. Nobody could be that perfect. My racist friend Ted always said your only discernible flaw was that you were black, but after you made your first billion nobody even noticed that any more.

Perhaps you decided to do something outrageous to make yourself seem human. Unlike Britney Spears, you could hardly dismount from your golf cart at the US Masters and give the paparazzi a clear shot at your gentleman’s region. So you did the next best thing – staged an affair with a sultry temptress from New York City. Classy. I like it. Did it slip your mind to tell Elin that the entire business was a PR hoax?

Whatever you do, don’t speak to the cops. Look what they did to OJ. Next thing, you know, you’re up on charges of murdering half the neighbourhood. You can come and stay with us for a while. I instructed Brenda to get the spare room ready but she threatened to disembowel me with a screwdriver. That’s white women for you.

Anyway, good luck with whatever the hell it is you’re up to.

Yours at the 19th hole,

Ben Trovato