In Pete's garage is there some evil ball,
Snow white and dimpled, hard and kinda small,
With psychic powers poorly understood?
I fear that there might be – and that's not good!

When I invite him for a ride on trikes,
An avocation which I know he likes,
Does that demonic, wicked little sphere
Begin to emanate and interfere –
The power that the rounded totem yields
Convincing him he'd rather trudge through fields
Than go with me on satisfying rides?
If so, I wish I knew where that thing hides!

I'd sneak it out and whack it down the street,
Although with some concern that I might meet
His fate – to be enraptured by its spell,
To find I'm also captured in the HELL
Of wanting – maybe needing – to get dressed
In silly golfing knickers and a vest,
Then go out whacking other dimpled spheres,
With strange-garbed men through our declining years.

Pete's life, I know, has never been the same
Since he became involved with that dumb game
Of aiming small hard balls at distant holes,
Then making bad excuses when one rolls
Out into weedy thickets or a lake.
Why not just give it up, for goodness sake?
Why suffer in a sport that makes men drink?
[Or might that be its charm? Now that I think...]

No, no, it's hoodoo magic, I believe,
Which somehow makes grown men think they'll achieve
That blissful state, utopia, called par.
They strive to drive those spheroids straight and far,
But grimace as they watch one hook or slice,
And mutter words that aren't very nice.
A few more strokes (not all of which they count)
Will make them more depressed as mishits mount.

A well-hit ball flies straight, then on a whim,
Decides to hit a tree or take a swim.
With countless acres green and neatly mown,
Small balls eschew a landing on the lawn,
To wind up in a bowl-shaped, sand-filled pit,
Or disappear entirely when they're hit...
They fly off course, and won't again be seen,
Their mates dropped, subtly, closer to the green.

Until – at last – just inches from the hole,
A careful putt toward that final goal
Results in sheer amazement as we see
The ball take off on its own little spree.
Instead of going where one thought it might,
It deviates off to the left or right,
And rolls some forty inches, maybe more,
To leave a shot much harder than before.

Long years of practice, lessons, yoga, prayer,
Most golfers seem to think might get them there,
To take them to that high, exalted place,
Where ev'ry stroke is swung with poise and grace.
With confidence and certainty, Pete's skill
Is steadily improving, though he still
Might offer up his soul or give up beer
To be somehow named Golfer of the Year.

But till he gets an offer, he'll buy things:
A club whose shaft is hinged so when he swings
It folds, and other golfers turn to stare.
But, hey, I think those outfits that they wear
Are equally alarming: pompommed caps
That let red noses sunburn out in traps,
Or tasseled sissy shoes with argyle socks –
Unlike clothes made for cyclists [Spandex rocks!]

But, anyway, this ode's just SOUR GRAPES;
Until Pete wises up and he escapes
That power which keeps holding him in thrall,
The psychic grip of that demonic ball,
Though he will get frustrated and may swear
He's had it with the whole damned GOLF affair,
If you believe it... well, you don't know Jack.
Tomorrow or the next day he'll be back!

Now I, of course, can't absolutely swear
That Pete's affliction, since it isn't rare,
Is caused by some disgruntled poltergeist,
Some little rounded demon who's enticed
Him into wasting his remaining days...
Sometimes he might enjoy it when he plays.
Has GOLF staked out its claim on his poor soul...
Or is the real appeal that nineteenth hole?

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Last updated 3/31/2010