Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A Menace To Society

A guy asked me last week, “So are you a freelance journalist?” When I’d finally stopped laughing at the notion of me doing hard work like research, interviews, and fact checking, I thought it was about time I actually delivered a hard hitting, exposé. So check out this quality, investigative “journalism” from yesterday’s Daily Record – it’s a shock sensation exclusive!!!

If you ask me, (although frankly, no-one ever does) teenagers get a bad rap these days. They may have questionable taste in music, fashion and each other but listening to some commentators, you’d think they’re solely responsible for all of the world’s ills.

“Decimation of the English language? It’s those hoodies and their infernal text messaging.”
“Instability in the financial markets? Surely down to the fickle spending habits of the young."
“Decline of the monarchy? Must be those binge drinking youths and their irresponsible parents. (Actually, that last one might well be true.)

What these commentators fail to recall from their own shady pasts is that the teenage years are ones of great change and confusion. Don’t they remember how exhausting it can be moaning about the unfairness of, well, everything and wishing they’d never been born? Don’t they appreciate the physical effort it takes to adopt a permanent slouch whilst still maintaining a running performance of farting gags. Now that my friends, is true multi-tasking.

No, the teenage nuisance element comes in an altogether more subtle package and none is more intimidating and frightening than the specimen I encountered last Thursday evening. I’d been picked to play in a league match for my golf club (there were a lot of call-offs) and was standing on the first tee sizing up my opponent. Tall, articulate and well dressed, he shook my hand with a vice-like grip and said, “Hi, my name’s Fraser. How do you do?” (I swear he almost added the word “sir” on to the end of that sentence but stopped himself in time in case I keeled over in shock.)

As I watched him prepare to send his opening drive into the next county, a teammate sidled up to me and whispered, “Eh, you realise that guy’s only 14? Oh, and he plays off a handicap of 1. Good luck mate.”

“Cheers pal,” I gulped as my shaking, forty-something hands wiped the beads of cold sweat from my deeply furrowed brow.

The match started steadily enough as I quickly adopted my hanging-on-for-dear-life strategy – an unhealthy combination of chain smoking and sadistic prayer, willing every one of Fraser’s crisply struck shots into the trees. The grand plan seemed to be working as I found myself only one hole down at the halfway stage.

Summoning depths of courage and adventure not seen in a Sutherland since my Viking ancestors landed in Shetland, I managed to battle back and square the match with only two holes left to play.

By this time however, all the other matches had finished and a restless crowd of some 20 or 30 players and officials had gathered to watch our tee shots at the par 3 17th. Fearless and unphased, Fraser sent a majestic 8 iron to within ten feet of the pin. Fearful and very phased, I managed to miss the green entirely and found myself one down with one to play.

The bowed and shaking heads of my colleagues told me I had to win the last hole to secure victory for the team. A miracle was needed and it arrived on cue as Fraser’s booming tee shot ran a bit too far and toppled into a burn. Knowing a par four would probably be good enough, I reached for the Imodium and ended up with an eight foot putt for team glory. I shut my eyes, swung the putter and heard the ball drop in the hole and was promptly carried shoulder high to the clubhouse by my teammates for large tankards of ale served by buxom wenches. Okay, so that last bit probably didn’t happen but that’s how I remember it.

As for the teenage menace, he was gracious throughout and when he wins the Open in 2014 I’ll be able to say, “You know, once upon a time…”


At 24/8/05 4:23 pm, Blogger carl said...

You mean he didn't curse like say...Tiger Woods? Egad, what is this gentleman's game coming too. First, plastic balls, then metal clubs, now not a foul word from the youth...

At 25/8/05 4:45 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jaysus yer some bucko!

At 25/8/05 5:39 am, Blogger Green Glass Beads said...

Sorry that was the unlogified in me, above.
Burreh,hearlissin, I will write ye a proper email soon it´s just in work I don´t have access to email despite the friggin blogs workin grand!
And i found a luvverly scots bar called the Clansman, where yer man is a big blue celtic supporter like yersel!Only not as handsome, of course.Or single as yer dear Dougie would have it...x


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