‘It’s over, Muggsy,
so drop the putter’

Editor’s note: Gord has gone off on another mad road trip, the car crammed with beer, smokes, guitars and amps, to inflict himself on unsuspecting and long-suffering relatives and friends all over eastern Canada. To ensure readers don’t miss their regular Thursday morning fix, he has left behind a stash of classics—ancient re-runs that are actually brand new because they were never published back in the day (for good reason) and have not been updated. (This must stretch back to Tiger Woods’ debut if disgraced Hockey Canada Tsar Alan Eagleson was still in the joint.)


NEWS ITEM: Federal Solicitor General’s office says prisoners’ golf course at B.C. pen “no different than basketball hoops or body-building weights.”


‘It’s over, Muggsy, so drop the putter’

MISSION, B.C.–The Head Groundskeeper dashed into the office, totally oblivious to what his cleats and great gobs of Northern Dancer Natural Green-Gro were doing to the shag rug.

“Warden!” he yelled over the top of the Tiger Woods Fashions display case. “The inmates have taken over the 7th hole–and they’ve got hostages!”

“Oh, damn!” snapped Marvin Blandstock, 15-handicap warden of the Ferndale Federal Prison and Country Club. “Hand me my Jack Nicklaus Signature Bullhorn, then call Allan Eagleson to see if we can put our tee-off time back to 4.30…”.

The situation had already deteriorated by the time Blandstock joined the SWAT team huddled behind the tiny pine tree that served as the 200-yard marker on the 6th hole, a parr-4 uphill dogsleg with a water hazard near the green.

“They’ve drawn their golf carts into a circle around the 7th tee, warden,” reported Sgt. Turk Tungsten, a grizzled veteran of the 1992 pastry trolley riots that cost the Ferndale prison cafeteria its fourth star in the Michelin Guide. “There are two ball-washers on that tee, so they have enough water to hold out indefinitely.”

Warden Blandstock sighed, flipped open his cell phone and speed-dialed Star-G-O-L-F. A familiar voice answered: “Hi, there! You’ve reached Muggsy Maworski. I can’t come to the phone right now because I’m doing five-to-15 for fraud, burglary and not replacing divots. Why not leave a detailed message on my voice-mail, including your Visa Card number and the dates you’ll be leaving your home empty while on vacation?”

The recorded message hadn’t even finished before the real Muggsy cut in. “Sorry about that, Warden, I always screen my calls when I’m out on the links. I wouldn’t want the Parole Board to think I’m goofing off or whatever.”

Blandstock came right to the point. “Muggsy, give up this madness. We’ve got you surrounded. We’ve turned off the sprinklers so all your putts will overrun the green. Time is on our side–the batteries on those golf carts won’t last forever and it’s a long walk from the 7th back to the club house carrying four woods and 10 irons.”

“We’ve got hostages, Blandstock!” shot back Muggsy. “How are you going to organize the black tie dinner for next week’s best-ball tournament when we’re holding your Events Coordinator and the buffet table salad sous-chef? These are desperate men, warden. They’re sick and tired of surly caddies and scrub-grass fairways and getting up at 4 a.m. for a decent tee-off time! Warden, Bruiser Malloy had a 56 on the back nine last week, fergawdsakes!”

Blandstock replied with great calm. “Muggsy, there’s a little red dot dancing just below the alligator on your golf shirt. That’s a laser, Muggsy. And who do you see standing here to my left?”

Panic set into Muggsy’s voice. “Good Lord, you brought in Turk Tungsten–and he’s got a Spalding Laser 5-iron! You’re bluffing, warden–even Tungsten would need a number 3 and a following wind to take me out at this distance!”

“But are you willing to take that chance, Muggsy?” Blandstock shot back. “The Supreme Court has already determined that Tungsten doesn’t even have to yell ‘fore’ if he feels the life of a buffet table sous-chef might be in jeopardy.”

“Okay, warden, you win–we’re coming out,” said Muggsy. “But just tell me this little misunderstanding won’t affect my parole–if they kick me out of Ferndale early, I’ll be forced to play on public courses with all those other poor schmuks.”

“No danger of that,” Blandstock replied. “With Parsons gone on mandatory release, you’re the only guy I’ve got left to run the pro shop…”.


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