The subject came up around the tenth hole.
We were playing the back nine at Fresno's premier country club, Dusty Raisin Acres, with Elton John, Ben Harper and Neil Diamond. We had just overshot the green, with our ball eventually coming to rest in the bunker right next to the rattlesnake nest, and a king-size diamondback was coiling around our putter. That's when it happened. That's when the subject was first broached.
To tell you the truth, we really can't remember who mentioned it first. It could have been Neil. Or Elton. Or perhaps it was the foursome that we allowed to play through, the one made up of Tegan And Sara and Loggins & Messina. No matter, it was while we were teasing the snake away from our clubs that someone made that first remark.
But we ignored the comment. Then, on the eleventh hole, while Ben chatted us up about the upcoming Interpol tour, we completely bungled our tee shot when a vulture flew into our face, causing us to send our Titleist smashing through the windshield of Bob Dylan's BMW parked in the club's lot. Knowing Bob's reputation for having a bad temper whenever something happens to his Beemer, we quickly scribbled an apology note to stick under this broken wiper blade, and signed it, "Willie Nelson."
But the subject came up again on the thirteenth hole as we were fishing our ball out of the water trap, while at the same time fending off the wild boars that have been responsible for the untimely goring of at least three golfers this year. Ben mentioned the subject first, but an errant nine-iron we threw at the lead boar, missed its target, and ended up in Elton's mouth, resulting in two broken teeth, one bent iron, and us having to take a double-bogie on the hole.
It went downhill from there.
Everyone was talking about it by the time we reached the eighteenth hole. Ben was talking a mile-a-minute and even attempting to change the subject by asking him what he thought about the new Keller Williams tour didn't ruin his concentration. Neil chimed in, claiming that Ben was right, and that we should really listen to him. And Elton? Well, it sounded as if Elton agreed with Ben and Neil, but it's awfully hard to talk with two broken teeth hanging from your upper gums. Besides, we were trying to find our ball amidst the abandoned mobile homes located along the right side of the fairway, so we weren't really paying attention.
But we heard about it back at the clubhouse. What's more, Alanis Morissette and Eminem joined in, making five against one. Neil accused, Ben pointed his finger at us, and Elton mumbled something about "intense pain." Eventually everyone in the clubhouse, including Bowling For Soup, John Waite and Jeff Foxworthy, took their side of the argument, while we sat at our table and tried to Superglue our five iron back together. And, try as we might, we just couldn't change their minds.
That's right, everyone in the clubhouse, including Avril Lavigne, Gwen Stefani and Coldplay, agreed that we totally suck at golf.
But what could we do? Damn musicians. They always think they're right.