Dear Prime Minister:
Considering that I haven’t sold all my obscenely substantial stock market holdings in the wake of the disastrous Brexit vote, I think it’s fair to say I’m not a panic-driven kinda guy. However, on a different but equally important front, I noted that Adam Hadwin has expressed “second thoughts” about going to Brazil as part of the Canadian golf team scheduled to compete in this summer’s Olympic Games. If Mr. Hadwin pulls out, he would join several other PGA Tour players, including Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel on the “Brazexit” bench.
Notwithstanding my disappointment to hear that Mr. Hadwin is fearful of being on the receiving end of a South American mosquito bite, I’d like to offer my services in his place, and play golf for Team Canada at the Olympics.
I will grant you the fact that my golf game is not in its best shape. While I did manage to claim 4.5 out of a possible 9 points in an interclub competition last week at The Thornhill Club, my short game is abominable and clearly needs work, as does that of my potential teammate, Graham DeLaet. However, were you to decide in my favour, and use your influence with both Golf Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee, and were they to agree to put me on the team, I can assure you I would spend more than adequate time working on my chipping and putting, in advance of the Games. That “work” would include major psychoanalysis and, yes, hypnosis.
If it was determined that a change in religion was necessary, I’d be willing to consider that as well, since I’m not a religious person anyway. The God that I swear to when I chunk a chip or three-jack a green is a non-denominational Being. By coincidence, his son’s name is also “Jesus”, and I speak to him often in these situations as well.
As I predicted in this space last week, it appears that the Olympic golf competition may erode to a meagre sideshow by the time the first players tee it up in Rio. Brooke Henderson is apparently having similar second thoughts to those of Mr. Hadwin. I suspect all others on Team Canada are as well. Indeed, Prime Minister, you and I may be the only Canadians left who are willing to go and play for our country. (I’m assuming you’re up for it. By the way, do you actually play golf?)
Having spent many summers in the Ontario wilderness known as Muskoka, I can assure you the sight, sound and tactile nuisance of mosquitoes does not bother me in the slightest. As a child, I used to test my intestinal fortitude by occasionally watching as a mosquito sucked blood out of my arm, then casually flew away like an overloaded scow… to do what with my blood, I have no idea. But I endured the excruciating pain, willingly, as I assumed many of my boyhood heroes would have… fine and strong men like Spiderman, Batman, the Flash, Captain America, and of course, Clark Kent.
The threat of Zika virus is real, and I don’t deny it. But all the Brazilian officials are claiming it’s a mere bagatelle, and as I assume they have no ulterior motive in making these statements, I am prepared to take the risk, and go and represent my beloved Homeland.
If it means I shall die for my country, then every three-putt I shall make will have been worth it.
(To be honest, though, I do keep a small spray-bottle of Deep Woods Off! in my golf bag. I’m confident that this, plus a small Portuguese phrase-book, enabling me to shout loudly at the mosquitoes in their native language, will be all the protection I’ll need.)
I’d appreciate it if you’d let me know at your earliest convenience, whether you will support my offer. If I do go, and make it back alive, I will also pledge to donate 5% of my subsequent media appearance and speaking fees to a worthy cause, which we can discuss at the appropriate time.
You may not be aware, but I have also – albeit unsuccessfully – volunteered to play for the U.S. team in the Ryder Cup on two previous occasions. I did so publicly, through this fine digital publication. Neither offer was accepted, admittedly, although I strongly believe they were discussed at the highest levels of the PGA Tour and USGA before being rejected. My point here is to say, my selfless largesse in this Olympic matter is not without precedent.
In the name of George S. Lyon,
Yours very truly,
James Deeks (known to my grandchildren as “Bubba”)