|Posted on July 16, 2010 at 5:51 PM|
The other day we got a referral from someone to go and look at this new house that a woman had purchased about an hour from our store. This isn’t that unusual, but the customer doing the referring was one of my biggest (here’s a feature story I wrote on his job) so I definitely wanted to give this referral the full-court, John-on-nicest-behavior treatment. (This actually requires several days of prep time, like training for a space launch or something.)
So I call the woman, and it turns out that she is the sister of PGA Tour Professional, Raymond Floyd. Now, Ray Floyd is a hell of a golfer. He’s won three of the majors (Masters, US Open, PGA Championship) and tied for 2nd in the British Open. So, he’s what my old pro Bud would have called "a good stick."
Now since Dana knows almost nothing about tour players that aren't named Tiger or Phil (actually, she knows that Davis Love III used to be my favorite) it would have meant absolutely nothing to her if I would have said, “I’m going to Raymond Floyd’s sister’s house!” So, instead I pulled out the one fact about Ray Floyd I thought she’d know. “Remember that golfer who made those comments about Tiger after he won the Masters tournament.”
“About eating fried chicken or something?”
“Actually it was about serving fried chicken, but yeah. That was Raymond Floyd. I’m going to spec out a job at his sister’s house.”
“Oh. That’s nice.”
Then a couple of days later I told my partner Allen a similar story. “Hey, remember that golfer who made those comments about Tiger after he won the Masters?”
“About eating collard greens and fried chicken?”
“Actually, it was about serving them, but yeah. That was Raymond Floyd. I’m going to spec out a job at his sister’s house.”
“I you sure that was Raymond Floyd. I thought was somebody else.”
"No, it was Raymond Floyd. It was a huge deal. I remember."
"Really? That name doesn't sound right..."
Now, this had all the makings of another “It is so on!” challenge, so of course I didn’t back down. “Look. It was Raymond Floyd. I’m positive.”
“I'm just saying, I thought it was someone else. A big pastie, white guy."
Here, I elevated the rhetoric from mild jerk to maximum dick with the comment, “Look. I was in the golf business for 8 years, OK, so I think I would know what I’m talking about.” (You might think that it takes a lot of practice to be that much of an arrogant bastard -- Damn! My brother was right!!! I should have bought that shirt! -- but it actually comes surprisingly easy.)
Now whereas Lady Phone (whose color I have found out is actually not “pink” but rather “Mauve/Berry” a fact that I’m not sure makes it more or less gay) let me down on my Google search to vanquish Pizza Man, Allen happened to be sitting right at his computer, tethered to the mediocre-speed which is HTC's DSL service. No sooner does he type “Tiger Woods Masters fried chicken” does the name “Fuzzy Zoeller” appear. Damn!!!! DAMN!!!! You know on those animal shows where the bird does that giant mating dance with his feathers all plumed out and then the bird picks someone else, and you just watch the one bird just completely whither and deflate? That's pretty much what it looked like.
Without a word, I walked over and presented my arm for a well deserved double-punching. And if I were man enough to take a sack-tap, I’d have ceremoniously presented them as well.
So, Raymond Floyd, I apologize that I besmirched your name. Twice.
For the record, the Master’s winner selects the menu for the champion’s dinner the following year. Zoeller’s exact quote at the 1997 Masters was, “He's [Tiger] doing quite well, pretty impressive. That little boy is driving well and he's putting well. He's doing everything it takes to win. So, you know what you guys do when he gets in here? You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year. Got it? Or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve.”