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DeWese--Revealing Handicaps And Other Impairments

August 1998
I am pathetic. I am impaired in so many ways. I'm house-painting challenged. I'm wallpaper-and-picture-hanging disadvantaged.

I'm chess and bridge incompetent. My mother-in-law tried to teach me bridge and laughed herself silly for the first 15 minutes. Then she got ugly mad at my ineptitude and made me pick up all the cards she'd thrown around the room.

Charles, a friend of mine, is a tournament-level backgammon player. I'm clueless when he talks about the game. Charles is also a single-digit handicap golfer and plays a great hand of bridge. (Guys named "Charles" are always smart and multi-talented.)

I'm also a fishing idiot. My brother-in-law, Roy, took me bass fishing last summer, and I lost nine lures. One got hooked on the shingled roof of a boathouse when I cast it. Since then, I try to confine my fishing to the vicarious excitement of ESPN Saturday morning fishing shows.

But absolute worst of all, I am golf-impaired. My friends and clients all golf. My friends and clients are mostly within 10 years of me, give or take a couple of years.

I'm not positive, but I'm pretty damn sure that men my age who don't golf are in violation of some sort of federal regulation. Even Slick Willy Clinton golfs, and he's s'posed to be some kind of off-the-wall Democrat. I've noticed that lots more Republicans golf than Democrats. Lots of printers are golfers and Republicans.

Every March, I attend the NAPL Top Management Conference at some fancy GOLF resort in Florida or Arizona. Every afternoon the attendees and their spouses go out to GOLF. I take a nap. Then at dinner, my companions talk about GOLF. At my age, my dreams are lousy. I can't talk about my nap.

I bet I get asked, "Do you golf?," about twice a day. My answer is usually an anemic apology—but sometimes I get a little hostile and I retort, "I may not golf, but you should see me plunge a toilet!"

Some days I come home and mope because I've been asked so often about my golf game. Last Christmas, my depression was so severe that my family went out and bought me one used left-handed driver and a cardboard box full of about 100 used golf balls. That's my golf set.

Last May, I snuck on a golf course with my set in one of those big black plastic yard bags. Shot an 83. Then I quit halfway down the sixth fairway. It was getting dark, my back was killing me and I only had 17 balls left in the bag.

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