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Episode 8

"Oh Bugger!" The PFY cries as the Human Resources server switches into silent running mode (i.e.

OFF

)

"Damn!" he again cries as one of our large file share machines follows suit, "What am I doing WRONG?"

Sighing, I walk over and take the club from his hand.

"You're hooking the ball," I say, showing him for the third time how to hold a club in a more open position. "Close the club up too far, you'll hook the ball, Open it too far, you'll slice it, and it'll pull to the right. What you should be doing is >Whack!< >thud< >clatter< >clatter< just hitting THROUGH the ball like that!"

"You make it seem so easy!"

"It is - once you get the hang of it. Now while you're standing the beancounter's backup tapes back up, I'll draw you a quick diagram and we'll try again.."

. .

True, playing golf in the Computer Room is a little unprofessional, verging on the irresponsible even, but the high roof, heavy soundproofing and clear lanes between machines make in an optimal place for a bit of driving practice.

If you can hit straight, in any case..

The reason for our practice is patently obvious after one has rifled through the boss-snail mail to find the annual invite to 'Senior Data Centre Managers' Golf tournament, courtesy of some supplier or another who believes that everyone who's reached a certain station in life has the expertise to handle a stick and a couple of balls. (All true if past bosses are anything to go by, but doing it in polite company is a completely different rack of plastic-covered magazines)

Sadly, The Boss is unable to attend due to his being out of work at present, so The PFY and I have decided to stand in on his behalf and Networks and Systems Managers, respectively.

Mind you, The PFY's going to have to work on the handicap a little, and I'm not talking about his 10 word a minute typing speed.

- 10 minutes later -

"It's no good, it's impossible!" he cries, slinging the club across the room with the grace and air of a professional - which only goes to show that he IS improving.

"I think I know what your problem is" I respond, taking the softly softly approach. "You're crap. However, with a small incentive, you may find your game improves..."

I change the lie of the ball and The PFY's position and get back into coach mode.

"Now, take the club, and make a hefty drive in that direction."

"Towards the Finance Apps Middleware machine?"

"Correct. Now as you drive, I want you to visualise for me."

"A picture of the green and the hole flag?"

"No, the 17 pints of lager I'll be buying you if we take the pairs trophy."

>WHACK< >Clatter< >clatter< >weeeeeeoorrRRRRRRR.....r<</b>

"Amazing!" I yelp, investigating the damage. "You put it straight through the drive bay cover, the ball landing..... oh!.. right on the CPU cooling fan which is bound to cause a therma.."

>..rrrrrrrrr - click<</p>

"..l failure. You know, I think you may be ready!"

[The next day, after The PFY's called in on Bereavement Leave and I've called in Sick]

"Ah the SMELL of the freshly clipped grass!" The PFY burbles, recalling with a tear the life he never had, (living in the East as he does). "The lure of the fairway!"

"It's even better when you're out of the carpark!" I counter, nudging him gently in the direction of the registration tent.

"Can I get you a drink sirs?" a lovely young thing asks.

"Scotch and Sofa?" The PFY asks, in a manner unbecoming a computing professional.

"No, no," I interrupt. "We don't want to start off on the wrong foot. As official representatives of our company, we need to maintain high moral standards and a competitive edge in the holes to follow. Just three pints of lager please."

"Each!" The PFY adds.

A scant three pints later we're paired up with a couple of senior sales types from a large ISP venture who know about as much about computing as the Microsoft knows about adhering to standards... The PFY lines up for the drive just as one of them breaks into his spiel on the benefits of Application Service Provision..

. . .

One three pints after that we're on the second tee with another pair after an extreme slice from The PFY left our former speaker down with groin injuries. Damn shame.

"Ah, are you going to tee off with your putter?" one of our opponents asks The PFY helpfully.

"A putter!" he laughs, realising he may in fact be slightly overlagered. "I thought it was a zero iron. Back in a sec!"

He stumbles off in the direction of a large bush while I pop to his golf bag to retrieve a 2 iron for the shot. It's quite sad to see one so young make a complete arse of himself - and even sadder when someone my ages does as well, I reflect, as I find I'm relieving myself into his golf bag.

Still, it's all part of the game - and what a game it is. By the fifth hole, The PFY's given up all pretence of hiding the fact that he kicks our opponents balls into the rough, bunker or sand trap depending on which is closest, and just puts them into his bag as an investment opportunity. By the tenth hole, he's trying to sell their balls back to them.

"Five quid for threeee," he slurs.

"That's preposterous!"

"It is indeed!" I say, extremely clearly, despite the 15 pints I've had thus far.

"Beg your pardon?" "Preposterous!"

"Pardon?"

. . .

"RESULT!!" The PFY shouts, dragging himself into the office fairly late the next morning, slamming the pairs trophy on my desk. "That's 17 pints you owe me!"

"You stole it didn't you?" I ask, knowing full well we were kicked off the course shortly after The PFY started swimming the water traps. "When did you go back for it?"

"Never did! Slapped it in my golf bag while they were helping that boring bloke on the first hole!"

!

"There wasn't any... uh... Champagne... in it, was there?"

"Yeah, awful stuff. Flat as a pancake!"

Around about now, it occurs to me that some stories are best left unrecounted.

"So, did it taste.... beery?"

(Then again, what the hell) ®

BOFH T-shirts, caps, you want them, we got them

BOFH is copyright © 1995-2001, Simon Travaglia. Don't mess with his rights.

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