McKeithan Column

Published 7:15 am Sunday, June 29, 2008

By Staff
Stimulus check inspires selfless act
Money buys man competitive edge
My stimulus check has yet to arrive, but I’ve already decided how the money will be spent. I’m not sure whom to thank for the largesse I’m about to receive. Oprah, probably. Surely, it is she … who else can afford to send everyone in the U.S. money for no apparent reason?
I checked one of those fancy Internet dictionary sites and learned that the money from Harpo Productions is “intended to boost the U.S. economy and ameliorate a recession.” AMELIORATE? What does THAT mean? I scrolled down to the “A’s” in the dictionary and read the definition: “Verb — to buy new golf clubs.”
Further research on the Web reinforced my impulse to buy a set of lightning rods with grips. If I upgrade to the custom-fit clubs “that Tiger uses” I will lower my handicap by 10 strokes. GUARANTEED! My average golf score is going to plummet to 104. (No more cheating required!)
That is just the edge I’ve been seeking! Do you realize what sacrifices other world-class athletes make just to get a slight edge in competition? I’m no different. Sure, the steroids experimentation didn’t work out, but I gave it a shot. (Get it, “shot?”) I hired a sports psychologist to instill “positive swing thoughts.” He quit after weeks of “negative swing results.”
So, I’ve decided to go the “best equipment” route. I will make up for what I lack in skill, athleticism, coordination and ability with the biggest driver, longest balls, coolest head covers and best-looking-pro-style golf bag in the entire state!
But first, I had to clear it with my beautiful wife (MBW):
ME: Scrumptious, I think we ought to spend our check from Oprah on something practical.
MBW: I couldn’t agree more; the AC has been out for weeks now.
ME: Well … I’m thinking … golf clubs.
MBW: Well, then … I’m thinking … divorce.
ME: Don’t you want me to get more exercise?
MBW: I sure do. Go mow the grass and burn off a couple of pounds. Besides, it makes no sense to buy expensive golf equipment when you only play three times a year.
ME: If I get these nice clubs, I’ll play three times a WEEK. Isn’t that great?
MBW: How is that good for THE FAMILY? You are being selfish and stupid, like usual.
ME: Selfish? You can use them anytime you want! In a few years I can give these clubs to Ben (our youngest, who likes golf).
MBW: Hello — “Father of the Year” — Ben is LEFT-handed. I think it’s kind of tough to change hand-dominance now … he’s nine already, for crying out loud.
ME: Nine? Gosh they’re growing up fast, aren’t they, Hon?
I continued to divert the “healthy conversation” away from golf clubs, thereby winning the “discussion.” (Definition: Any argument between husband and wife that ends without the wife having the last, declarative statement is considered a de facto victory for the husband. It’s true; look it up.)
My clubs are now on order and being custom-built to fit my troll-like swing. They will soon be delivered to me here at the newspaper — my new residence. (Where’s the SHOWER in this joint?)
Thanks a lot, Oprah.
Ray McKeithan is associate publisher of the Washington Daily News. He can be reached by phone, 252-940-4205 or by email,