Before I tell this story I need to set the scene…
People who have read Eclipsed will know that I am not a boastful person and nor am I a particularly confident person – and especially so given my choice of profession.
Golf is a game that requires lots of things – skill, guile, guts and above all else confidence.
Keeping these two things in mind, let me share with you a fantastic anecdote…
Recently I found myself at a very posh golf club playing in a match against a better golfer than me. In fact my opponent was pretty much better than me at everything in life. He was a judge no less and so wealthier, taller, older, cleverer… At the turn I was three down and feeling pretty miserable. Naturally interested in people who I meet, at this stage I had established that he was a public school boy (of course), that he had been at Oxford (where else?), that he had two kids who had also been to Oxford (where else?) and that he has a London city flat, a house in Cheltenham and a gaff in the Caribbean. And at this point he knew precisely nothing about me at all aside from I can’t putt and should never be conceded anything. (I get nervous).
He did know that I was a comedian but having never heard of me, he didn’t bother with any further questions – supplementaries I guess he would call them.
Four down and the game over – we are now just completing the round for the ‘fun’ of it. I am thoroughly fed up and I start to imagine which club I would like to shove up his arse. If this sounds vindictive, then I make no apologies because by now I really want to hurt him somehow and so I begin to throw some information at him.
I announce that I have four kids. So I’m more virile at least, or more foolhardy perhaps? Nowadays having four kids is usually of interest and so at last, he chucks me a crumb. His first mistake…
What ages? He asks, barely interested.
My eldest is 20.
‘Oh, which university is he at?’
And now I can sense an opening.
No. He’s not at university. He decided not to apply and chance his arm working.
‘And does he?’ He asked ‘Work?’
Yes, he’s an actor.
At this I could sense his disdain; my kid was just a deluded wannabe. Or perhaps he was thinking that like his own profession, it seems nowadays that acting is dominated by public school kids and therefore my oik of a child stood no chance.
But no matter because I had him hooked now…
‘And is he working at the moment or is he resting?’
For the first time all round – I am now enjoying myself.
Yes. He’s in America… making a film…
At this, I could see his demeanour change; his interest definitely piqued.
‘Oh, anything I might one day see?’
No, not really your thing. But your kids might see it and your Grandkids definitely will. He’s in a forthcoming film called Homecoming. He plays a character called Peter Parker.
What now follows is a thing of beauty because at this very moment ‘your honour’ has just teed up his ball – as if for me to smash it down the middle when he adds – ‘Peter Parker. I’ve never heard of him.’
No, how about Spider-Man then? You heard of him?
And on the 17th, for the first time all day, he hit a shit drive.
I lost the golf but won the war.