'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
BUSINESS AND GOLF: A COUPLE OF MIND GAMES
So I’m sitting in a conference room waiting for a sales meeting to begin. It’s a sunny Friday morning and I have a tee time in exactly 24 hours. From where I sit, I can see out the window. As the other folks shuffle into the conference room, balancing cups of coffee and large computer printouts, I notice that a small patch of grass near the parking lot is about the same size as a tee box. I envision myself teeing up a ball on that grass. Without warning a monologue starts to run in my head. “OK, first hole, Fairview Farms, very narrow, lots of trees. Let’s go with the 3-wood and stay out of trouble.” I see myself taking a nice smooth swing, under control, balanced, good follow through, and the ball fires out on a low line drive, splitting the fairway in half, rolling to a stop 240 yards away. “Yeah,” I think to myself, “got all of that one.” A smile spreads across my face.
“You look like you’re in a good mood today, Bill,” my boss bellows. “Excited to review these sales reports?”
“Isn’t everyone?” I reply.
The room becomes quiet and everybody looks at the boss. He starts talking. I listen — for a bit. Then I see the patch of grass. The monologue resumes. “OK, about 155 yards to the center of the green. Let’s go with a 7-iron, swing easy, hit down on the ball.” I hear a crisp “thwack” and the ball jumps off the face of the club and makes a majestic arc toward the green. It hits the front of the green, bounces twice, and then stops ten feet from the pin. I nod my head and say in a stage whisper, “Nice!”
“Exactly right, Bill!” the boss says. “It was indeed a nice month for the Beeterman 5000 model. Up 22-percent compared to the previous month. If it continues to trend in this direction, it could become one of our most valuable products.”
The boss puts down one pile of paper and picks up another. I peer out the window at the patch of grass, and try to read my putt. “Kind of slick, with a little break to the right,” the voice says in my head. “Just get it started, aim about four inches left of the hole.” I take my hands off the top of the conference table and drop them into my lap, forming the classic overlapping-finger grip. My shoulders shift imperceptibly from one side and then to the other. I see my ball begin to roll, slowly, slowly. Will it reach? Is it enough? Then it picks up speed as gravity takes over, and now it moves to the right, a little more, and at the last moment it slides by the cup, just missing. I cringe and mutter, “Ooh, dammit!”
“You’re darn right, Bill!” the boss says. “The Finster-Flocker 26-P should be doing much better. Are any of our salesmen pushing it? Do they even know we sell this product?!”
The other people in the room grimace in unison and murmur vows to get right on it. I tap in for par. The voice says, “A birdie would’ve been nice, but par is a good start.” I nod in agreement, then as I walk in my mind to the second tee, I say quietly, “Just stay focused. There’s a long way to go.”
The boss says, “Good point, Bill. It is a new product. We’re in this for the long haul. Now listen to me, people, it’s time to get serious. Why can’t the rest of you be as focused as Bill?”
Bill's suspense novel "Purge the Evil" now available for Kindle download. For info, click here: http://www.boomertrek.com/PurgeTheEvil.htm
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