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A Caddy's Diary


I write all these columns under an influence.

Sometimes the influence is musical. Columns written while I'm listening to Tom Waits sound different from columns written under the sway of Jimmy Buffet.

Sometimes the influence is cinematic. I'll have just seen some classic 1940s musical on TCM and a languid pianist suspiciously resembling Oscar Levant sneaks into my next column. Last month, I watched Sweeney Todd and was afraid go near my computer for days for fear of what I'd write.

Sometimes the influence is literary, and that's the most dangerous. For a writer, being influenced by another writer is all about skirting the shoals of envy, plagiarism, and the horror of producing yet another Hemingway parody.

But this month, I happened to be reading 1930s stories by Ring Lardner alternating with news stories about the Dow in free-fall, and the influences became a confluence. So here is my rip-off, er, homage to Ring Lardner.

Thrs. Oct. 9

I am 16 of age and a caddy at Almaden Country Club but only temporary as I expect soon to land a good job in IT.

But first will put down how I come to be writeing this diary, we have a member name Mr Swain who writes articles in the technology magazines and I hope he is a better writer then he plays golf but any ways I cadded for him last week and we got to discussing this in that and I inquired how much did he charge for writeing one of his columns.

Well you could of knock me over with a feather its more than I make on a whole day cadding which is real work and harder that some of these golfers think. So I figured I would write a diary of my experiences and sell it to a magazine wile I wait to break into IT.

Fri. Oct. 10

I and Joe Hobie was cadding for Mr J and Mr S the other day and they was discussing the fanancial crisis which they indicated was going pretty rough on them.

The dow is cratering Mr J says, and HP is cutting three thousand jobs in England and Dell is off and Mr S said PC sales was off everwhere because hardware was always where the belts got titened first.

I took that to mean they was both in the hardware biz but I was shone to be wrong when they took off on software.

SAP and Oracle are down Mr S says, and Mr J ups him by saying software sails are tanking across a board.

Mr J was my meat and Joe had Mr S and Mr S was ahead when Mr J had took six shots to get into the rough on the fifth hole and looked like he might match that getting out. But when he finally finished the hole he asks me, did I have a 5 or a 4 on that, Bob? I of coarse said a 4 but it didn't set right as I dont generaly like shaving more than a point or two a hole as it makes me look like a crook and dumb to.

I said to Joe maybe Mr J was off his game because of his fanancial worries but Joe said he cadded for him before and he was just as lousy when the dow wasnt cratering.

Sat. Oct. 11

I cadded for one of the big swells from Sandhill Road which I cant reveal his name as that is the code of the caddies but he has a steak in a lot of the big Silicon V cos. He was playing against a banker who was drinking from a flask the hole time and they was talking about IC firms mostly.

My customer said AMD was smart to get out of chip production and the banker said everybody should get out wile the getting was good.

Thats not what I meant the swell says and he talks some pretty sharp stuff about IC gloom and foundry doom. The banker just gets glassy-eyed and says gloom, doom, boom, the last which he says while putting his finger against his tempel and the swell took his flask away from him then.

Sun. Oct. 12

Some of the ladys which we caddy for is really into high tech and the dow and such. This one was saing to her frend we will soon all be selling our fillings on ebay out of hobo camps by the river but who would buy I wandered.

Her frend said they should get on rails as a hetch against bad times and I thought she meant going hobo also but it turned out she ment the development framework.

Cadding is hard work like I said but they is times when the customers is talking stuff like that you can sometimes slip away and I stepped behind a tree and took out my iPhone and called my broker to see how bad things was. Relax he tells me as I am heavily invested in recession-proof tech service not to mention technology tax credits was extended so I guess I'm OK there.

Which is good as this writeing dont seem like any respectable way for a man to make a liveing.

Michael Swaine

Editor-at-Large

mike@swaine.com


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