Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell which is which.
“I think (Barack Obama) is a nice guy …” – Mitt Romney
“I’ll keep my own scorecard, thanks,” says Barack Obama as he prepares to tee off for 18 holes at the exclusive One Percenter Golf, Tennis and Yacht Club in Virginia Beach.
“Uh … OK, Mr. President,” says his host, Incredulous Jones, the birdseed magnate. “Let me introduce you to the rest of our foursome, my cousin, Mr. Invidious Johnson, of Goldman Sachs, and Dr. Harmless Donough, of Sloan-Kettering.”
They shake hands all around, and Jones says graciously, “Of course, you have the honor, Mr. President.”
“Thank you,” says Obama, “but call me Barry – during the round. Say, do you want to make things interesting? Let’s all pledge $50, and low medalist will take the pot.”
All agree. Obama takes his $400 TaylorMade R11 driver, tees up a Nike “Barack Obama” autograph golf ball and slices his shot into the trees on the left of the fairway.
“Golly! Gee!” says the president. “Better hit a provisional.”
His second tee ball lands in the fairway, but his next shot finds a greenside bunker.
“Phooey!” says the president. Two swings in the sand get him on the green, whence he holes out with three putts.
“I couldn’t help but notice you already have 17 clubs in your bag,” says Johnson.
The president gives him a hard look. “So?” he says.
“Well … well … uh,” Johnson stammers, “the rules of golf say we only get 14 clubs.”
This draws an icy smile and the reply, “This is just a friendly game, right?”
“Sure, sure,” says Johnson.
After 18 holes, Johnson declares himself the winner with a total of 85 strokes. As he is accepting congratulations, the president says, “Hold on, guys. I had an 84.”
“An 84?” says Johnson. “Mind if I see your score card?”
“You don’t need to see my score card,” says Obama. “I’ve added it twice.”
“Well then,” says Jones, “what did you score on No. 1?”
“I had a bogey five,” answers the president..
“A five!?” says Johnson as Donough and Jones blanch. “Look, I already contributed the maximum $5,000 to your campaign, and strong-armed my subordinates into doing the same. I’ll be darned if I’m going to cough up another 50 bucks.”
“We really want to see that card,” says Donough, and as he leans across the table to reach for the document, Secret Service agents emerge from the background, advancing protectively. Donough sits back.
“I worked hard to achieve that score,” says the president coldly. “The American people know how hard I work. I think you should pay up like good sports.”
The Secret Service agents take another step forward, and Jones, Johnson and Donough quietly extract $50 each from their wallets and hand the bills over.
Obama brightens. “Look,” he says, placing the edge of his card pensively to his lips, “just to eliminate any doubt, when I get back to the White House, I’ll have somebody from my staff put a photo copy of this card up on the Internet. That should ease your minds. And here’s an autographed golf ball for each of you!”
The other three grumble assent, and the president departs.
“Nice guy?” says Jones.
“Depends on what you ask him,” responds Donough, “and how hard you press him.”
Let’s all say, “Awww:” Former Iran hostage Shane Bauer has entered another kind of bondage, marrying his fellow hostage, Sarah Shourd, this month. California news media had no photos of the wedding, so they ran one of the pair taken shortly before the ceremony, participating in an Occupy Oakland event.
Their Occupy activity should come as no surprise. You’ll recall that Bauer took a shot at his homeland – which worked to arrange the $500,000 bail allegedly paid by Oman – after his release from Iran, saying he hoped “for the freedom of other political prisoners and other unjustly imprisoned people in America and Iran.”
The happy couple’s gratitude knows no bounds.