I CAN ONLY HOPE

Death may be several years off for me, but I find I’ve been thinking more frequently lately about what I’d like to come back as. That is, what I’ll be in my next life. I assume that when we come back, as I’ve been assured we do, we take some sort of human form, and don’t end up as an inanimate object like a lamp, an iceberg or an Audi. I suspect my wife would like me to come back as a Mongolian yak herder, just as long as I’m as far away from her as possible. Assuming, of course, that she doesn’t return as a Mongolian yak herdESS.

As I ponder this Great Unknown, I try hard not to succumb to flights of fancy, like hoping I come back as Peter Nygård, with a little circle above my A. Owning a huge piece of the Bahamas and having lots of silicone-infused bikini models at my side would be nice, sure, but in my book, a guy has to earn a living. Of course, I can’t come back as somebody already alive, anyway.

To get to the point, I think I’ve narrowed my choices down to two. Number One would be to come back as a great classical music composer, like my main man, Maurice Ravel.
However, one assumes that there should be at least SOME musical DNA or talent that you’d have to bring forward from your previous existence, and every indication to this point is that I have none in that particular sector. Actually, I have no talent for anything, which makes it far more likely that Choice Number Two will come to fruition:

I will come back as a Golf Course Marshal.

No talent required there, as I have deduced from nearly six decades of observation. No, it’s probably not that long. I don’t think the term, or the need, for Golf Course Marshals existed before the 1980s. But it certainly didn’t take long for the template to be accepted at nearly every course that employs these Fine People.

From what I’ve seen, the job description of Your Average Golf Course Marshal consists of the following:

• must be able to sit on a gas or electric golf cart for several hours, without moving the vehicle
• when not sleeping, or pretending to view smartphone messages, must be able to say “good morning”, “good afternoon”, and ideally “how ya doin’?” to most groups of players who pass by
• must have some knowledge of weather patterns, to be able to answer golfers’ questions with a good guess as to whether it might rain, or whether it might stop raining
• without moving, must be able to assess blockages in traffic flow on the golf course, and then do nothing about them
• must be able to consume up to four (4) hot dogs and six (6) Diet Dr. Peppers each day; these will be provided on a complimentary basis
• must be willing to move from one location on the front nine, to one location on the back nine at three hour intervals, to give players the impression that he is actively assessing traffic flow; must not allow course traffic slowups or jams to impede his movement from one location to the next
• course flow problems should be ignored at all times; however, Marshal may stop and chat to grounds crew and halfway house personnel along the way, for up to thirty minutes at a time
• if in the rare event of a player complaining about the pace of a group ahead, Marshal will drive up to the group ahead, watch them for roughly thirty seconds, ask “y’all having a good time?”, then return to his station, assuring the group behind that he has spoken to the group ahead
• if addressed by a non-English speaking golfer, Marshal should be comfortable responding with “Sorry, bud/ma’am, no speaka de language”, and advising them to speak to the Pro Shop after the round is completed, at which time they will be charged for an extra hat
• if addressed by an irate golfer complaining about traffic flow, Marshal must be comfortable with shrugging shoulders and stating “hey, there’s nothing I can do” or
“hey, I’m just trying to do my job”
• under no circumstances should the Marshal advise groups that they are playing too slowly, unless there is a clear gap of two holes behind them

I know what you’re thinking. This is an incredibly demanding job, especially for someone with no talent. Well, I fully expect to enter my next life with the same level of ability as I leave this one. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be keen to accept the challenge, and hopefully, to get a bronze badge that says “Marshul”.

And I hope that my last name will be Dillon.

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