From the Pages of The Persimmon Pines Times
The Stonewood Room at Woodstone Country Club at Horehound Landing is darker than a mausoleum and twice as quiet. It's as if speaking in anything above a hushed whisper would offend the rich, walnut-colored plastic veneer pillars which dot the landscape in this haute cuisine Dining Room in the southwest basement corner of what, in one of his brochures, Developer T. Earl Gerbley describes as "The Mother of all Club Houses.”
Last Sunday afternoon, I had just played a complimentary 18 holes at what I believed at the time was Mr. Gerbley's expense. I happened into the restaurant while trying to find my way out of the massive 500,000 sq. ft. edifice. Lost, I decided to sit down with an oddly-brewed cup of lukewarm coffee and begin writing an article about the recent course renovations I’d just experienced, first hand. But, my plans changed when I looked over the rim of my cup at Wip Myazoff, Assistant Manager in Training, as he stumbled through the door, blood dripping from his nose. Confused and dazed - and, perhaps in the dim light, thinking I was a fellow employee, he came toward me. "Jesus! Jesus is that you?" He stopped when he recognized me. “Oh, Jesus!” He moaned when he realized I wasn't the Head Busboy. "Oh God," he said as he cover his face with his hand.
Too late. I’d seen the damage and he knew it. I waved him over to my table. “Hi Wip.” Busted. He sat heavily in the chair opposite me and waved the Waitress over for a cup of...coffee. His right eye was a swollen, reddish, meaty mass and his split lip made him spit, instead of speak.
"I never thought it would come to this...never." He blotted a spot of blood from the corner of his puffy lip while he used his other hand to hold ice to an ever-darkening black eye. "I think I got a mouse!"
The Waitress dropped the coffee pot. "Ohmigod! Mice? No mas!" She ran from the room, whimpering in terror.
Myazoff turned to me. "I've got the mouse...under my eye! There are no mice in the Stonewood Room. Ever. Really."
I opened my Reporter's notebook as Myazoff dabbed pitifully at his swollen, purplish cheek. “This happened here? At Woodstone?” The Manager in Training put down the ice cube and pointed toward the walk-out French doors.
"Right out there, on the veranda." My eyes followed Myazoff's trembling finger out through the broken glass to the twisted and bent umbrellas, the shattered glass tables and a slate patio littered with broken teak chairs and the dangling, tattered remains of colorful Chinese lanterns. "It looks so peaceful now," I said. "What happened?" I don't know if it was a tear, or simply a bit of melting ice, that ran down Myazoff's cheek from his swollen eye; but, he quickly blotted it away and plunged into the events of the morning.
"Nancy Neva showed up this morning with her friend Lucy Schmuckel. You know Nancy, she owns her own car wash on Castor Street -- 'Neva Clean Car Wash.'" I nodded. I’ve always had my cars nearly cleaned there many times. "She's a nice lady,” I offered. Myazoff nodded. "She is. But, she associates with some - how should I say it? Low-lifes? I mean, Lucy Schmuckel is always stirring up trouble."
For those who don't know, or remember, Lucy Schmuckel is the Wife of Lucky Schmuckel, the only man ever to beat the house at the Chockasoutauk Indian Casino. Lucky and his Partner, Dub Wheelock, were later arrested for gaming violations after a two-way radio was found in Schmuckel's ear and high powered binoculars were found in Wheelock's pocket. Both are now serving time in Old Fergeltowne State Prison outside Suckelberry Junction.
So, yes, Lucy causes trouble. But, still, I had to ask. "What did Lucy Schmuckel do?"
Myazoff bit his quivering lower lip. "She broke the Club's dress code for women. At least, I think she did." He pulled out a copy of the Woodstone By-Laws. "Here, you read it. See what you think."
On page 94 of this Season's Country Club Rules of Conduct, I found a section entitled "Women's Golf Attire" which states the position of the Club's Board of Governors clearly and concisely: "Women (those of the female sex) should always present themselves on the first tee in tasteful, proper feminine Golf attire. This includes, but is not limited to; shorts, pants, skirts, culottes and a top, usually not sleeveless (but, possibly so) with a collar, unless said collar would reflect poorly on the top's otherwise fashionable presentation. In the matter of shorts, skirts and culottes, length should be tasteful approaching the knee or midway down the thigh so as not to expose more flesh than others might wish to see."
I closed the book and looked at Myazoff. “What's the problem?"
"Ms. Schmuckel showed up in a pair of tight little red shorts and a pink, sleeveless, collarless top." He paused to grimace and reflect. "I think we'd have been all right, if she hadn't taken so much time flirting with the boys in the Bag Room. But, by the time Nancy got her to the tee, several other women members had arrived." The group of "other" women included Jewell Gasworth, Linda Curdlesbeak, Devilva Sputz-Demott-Turdball, Blanche Trent and several others.
According to witnesses I talked to later, Mrs. Sputz-Demott-Turdball had already complained about Schmuckel's attire on previous visits as Ms. Neva's guest. On top of this, feminine tongues were still wagging over the "look-the-other-way" leniency shown to Lissa Bresteson's sleeveless top by Assistant Pro Elrod Hubbard.
The two ladies began a furious verbal assault on each other. "In fact," reported Myazoff, "the vulgarities they were yelling at each other were so loud, we got complaints from caregivers at the nearby Holy Trinity Adult Day-Care." That, according to the Assistant Manager in Training, is when he got involved.
I asked if a situation like this called for the expert diplomatic touch of the Club's Golf Professional, D. Ray Yoinkers. Myazoff just shrugged. "D. Ray told me the stuff Lucy Schmuckel was wearing is sold in Golf shops across the Country. He wasn't going to get in the middle of a cat fight 'just because a bunch of middle-aged old biddies' butts are too big to fit in a pair of tight little red shorts.' And, then, he added, 'besides whose butt would you rather look at all day?'"
"Can I quote you on that?" I asked. "Go ahead. You're not quoting me. You're quoting D. Ray. Right? Anyway, that's when I decided I had to get involved. So, I headed down to the first tee."
"And, that's when Lucy Schmuckel attacked you?"
"What? No! She'd already teed off. She was gone. When I got to the first tee, Blanche Trent asked me what I was going to do about Lucy Schmuckel. I told her I couldn't do anything because the tight little shorts and formfitting top was considered 'Golf Attire' by the Pro. That's when Mrs. Sputz-Demott-Turdball hit me on the nose with her 7-iron."
This Reporter noted a red and purple spot on the bridge of Myazoff's nose, reflected the imprint of a Big Bertha iron. "So, how did things end up on the veranda?" Myazoff looked dolefully at the patio where Carlos and Eduardo were removing debris. "I tried to retreat with as much dignity as possible. But, after I turned and started running, they caught me right out there. They were surprisingly fast, considering the size of the butts they haul around."
For those considering looking for an account of this event in the Police Report section of this newspaper, don't bother. Aside from one report of someone "screaming hysterically like a little girl," there are no eye witnesses to corroborate Myazoff's account. Besides, Myazoff said he didn’t call the police because “I don’t want to bring any publicity to the mess these old biddies caused. And, I sure don’t want anyone to know they beat me up.”
In the meantime, this Reporter has it on good authority that a group of influential female Club Members will soon petition the Woodstone CC at Horehound Landing's Board of Directors to amend the Women's Dress Code with these words: Tight little red shorts that ride up in the crotch and hot pink tops that dip into the cleavage are specifically outlawed. This means you, Lucy.
Larry Caringer has been writing humor for broadcast for a long time. Now, he's writing it for you. The stories, here, are from a collection of short stories from his book "Golf Beat: A Year in the Life of Persimmon Pines."