austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Games people play, you take it or you leave it

There's a good reason the guy I bought my car from gave me a set of golf clubs, though I'm not sure I know what it is. This guy, in his 80s, was ticketed a while back for failing to stop for a school bus, which is the sort of thing prosecutors do not take in as lighthearted a fashion as they take minor collisions, and he has to re-pass his license exams. The trouble is he looks at the new computerized exams and curls up under the table in horror, although that's probably not literally true. He came within one question of passing the first time he took the test, but he's gotten worse every time since then. My father, originally hired for odd construction and repair jobs, now happily takes him to the Motor Vehicle Commission every week.

Now, the reason he gave me a set of golf clubs was that my father pointed out months ago that the guy was freaking out largely because he never touches a computer and hasn't taken a multiple-choice exam since the Dieppe raid. My father asked if I could offer test-taking advice, and I can certainly offer some on multiple-choice exams (``Guessing is better than leaving answers blank'', for example). So I called and offered, and he answered in such a confused manner I had no idea what he wanted, so I let it go and trusted if he wanted me he knew where to find me. So he wanted to thank me for the help I was might theoretically have provided.

The reason he had golf clubs is he started a decade plus ago buying golf clubs cheap at garage sales, and then selling them through a local newspaper's free classifieds. The newspaper noticed he listed new golf clubs every week for months and told him as a business he had to use the paid classifieds. So he stopped advertising, but didn't stop buying used golf clubs, so a month ago one-eighth of his garage by volume was golf clubs, golf bags, and golf balls. My father's been helping him organize these into his own garage sale, and the guy designated a set of golf clubs for me (and another set for my brother, who's done nothing for him I know of except not file a lawsuit for the return of a picture he gave the guy a year and a half ago to frame which he hasn't touched but does keep in the basement in front of the water heater).

Even laid out like that it doesn't quite make sense to me either.

Trivia: The first Project Moonwatch sighting of Sputnik 1 was by teams in Sydney and Woomera on 8 October 1957. Source: Something New Under the Sun, Helen Gavaghan.

Currently Reading: The Fabric of America: How Our Borders and Boundaries Shaped the Country and Forged Our National Identity, Andro Linklater.


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