I am, of course, a man of business and leisure. And business being merely leisure in haste, I suppose that makes me a man of double leisure. As such, I have a tale for you, although it may restate many of the points I have previously made here and here. With any luck, this form makes it less tediously obvious and banal. You could consider it a part 3, if you would like.
It was a lukewarm summer day, and the breeze was neither strong nor weak. It was, in short, a mild day. Naturally, everyone was annoyed. They preferred their weather cool ranch Doritos. Pseudo-Erastothenes was first to triangulate the hole, being a frequent consumer of Doritos and therefore a master of triangles and all related shapes. But he didn’t get there first. Because he had to advance his right and left wing in tandem, he couldn’t flap very well, so he was beaten there by everyone else. The challenge in Incredibly Large Miniature Golf was not in getting the ball in the hole, but in operating the flying suits. Also, there were flying suits.
Should have mentioned that earlier, I suppose.
We were also wearing boxers with lobsters and anchors all over. Boxers, brief, and no pants. Never any pants.
Mixotec of the Discotheque was the first to get into position, and he was already in a sour mood. He had studied Physics in school, making him an Aztech, but he abandoned the field. It paid too much, and his real passion was in music. And that was a fatal mistake for him to make, for he was never able to gin up the requisite irony in dealing with song – he cared too much. And one should never care *too* much, unless you should. So he always lost. Last month, he had lost again. Franz Ferdinand Magellan had circumnavigated the globe while playing rock music, and donated his bankroll to the Green Movement while he was at it. It was an act both expensive and supremely pointless, which is the only kind which makes life worth living. Some had protested the act of going around the world by jet for environmental causes, which only added to Franz’s prestige. After all, who was going to stop him?
In retrospect, Mixotec should have abandoned his disk jockeying to join AztLAN, the Neo-Mexican telecomms firm. But it was too late now, which was less a statement about time and more one about the loss of face that changing course would entail.
“Electronic music is too popular for me to get big now,” said Mixotec.
We all agreed. After all, one could not make a name for one’s self if something was too widespread. That made it common, and therefore base. And contrary to what one might expect, base was the opposite of based.
Mixotec had begun his career in the 70s, when the field was suitably obscure. But time passed, and the Seventies were now the Oughts. It is what it is, but an is not an ought, though the Oughts are what is. It is what it Ought to be, but not what it ought to be, and therefore ought not be the Oughts.
Regardless, he was doing fine. He could sustain his lifestyle. They all had trust funds, because they did not trust funds. Accordingly, they could live the busy lives of the idle rich. They traveled around various social circles, because they were squares, the proper shape for nerds. It goes without saying that they were all nerds, which is why I am saying it. A nerd was not the same as a geek. Geeks had obsessions. A geek’s obsession dominated their identity, because it was fitting to their identity for idiosyncratic reasons. Nobody told them to collect stamps or molest horses or trim tiny trees. They just did it because it was their reason to be. Our caddy was a geek, a freak, and quite meek. He smelled because he did not bathe, but he did not bathe because he did not smell. The Caddy, Bobby, was a Wej. While Jews had large noses, Wejs had no noses at all. Or at least, it seemed like that. To be honest, I could never tell. And to be honest, I could never tell if he bathed either – it was simply an assumption.
Torwell said that the greatest gap, the one we could never bridge to the Wejs, was that they were dirty and we were not. And even if they were clean, they were dirty. Walter Lyle Jr IV was next to large minigolf, and he took his club without acknowledging the caddy, no matter how desperately the caddy wanted to be acknowledged. He took the club because he was in the club, the club with the clubs. A country club is in the country, and has the country, but despite this, it is not for one’s countrymen. Another case of bad naming. People invested a lot in names, which meant they were in a terrible, terrible bubble. But for now, it was yet another unicorn success story out of Sans Serif, the world’s font of innovation. The Most Distinguished Care-a-lot Bear hated that place. He called it Silly Con Valley. Frankly, I agreed. It was all puffery. That was why it was so tremendously important. Puffery was always the most important thing of all. We had picked the game of large minigolf because it was obscure. That too, was puffery. But to admit puffery as puffery would be to give away the game. Only a very serious man could wear a very silly thing in seriousness, and it served as further proof of his seriousness.
Right now, it was just us and the caddies. The caddies had been the original players of the game, and they played it because it alleviated their Weltshmerz by speaking to their Weltanschuung. The only problem was that it spoke to ours too. We were the green men, because we were on the putting green. How could they keep outsiders out? They would have to make their hobby unattractive to outsiders, not through their social behavior, but by making the hobby undesirable in its own right. And some did, which is why horse jerking didn’t work, though it did jerk. But so long as the hobby could demonstrate prestige in some way, it would one day be colonized. Thus, there could be no peace for Peacehammer, Peacehammer being too subversively interesting to a world of perpetual war. A warld, if you were. Peacehammer would one day even get a televisor show. We were on the Eastern tip of the Western half of Oceania, and the wind was blowing north-“Buy Southwest stock,” said Lyle. Then he swung, and with a terrible thwung, the ball were flung. It went east, towards Eastasia, our perpetual enemy except when it wasn’t, which was every other Tuesday.
It didn’t go very far. Lyle only liked local flights. Puddlejumper trips. Up and down, down and up. They were like us, the Wejs. They were more like us than the normies, which is why they hated us.
Familiarity bred contempt.
After all, how much difference was there between Memelord and Memepeasant, at the end of the day? Little, and they resented it. For, despite this, we had everything, and they had nothing. The Caddy looked at us with hateful eyes. But he was a Caddy, and that was all. For all he was was Caddying, for the hobby was everything for Bobby, Hobby Bobby, and Hobby Bobby loved large mini golf with all his heart. We didn’t. We came because large minigolf was hard, and being hard made it a good test of our nerd cred. It was a game of Cred Dead Redemption, but with less horse testicles. Calculating the trajectories of large minigolf would kick the trajectories of our lives into high gear. Did we do it because we loved large mini golf? Only some of us did. Lyle swore. He had hit the Mourning Chicken, which meant he had to take three penalty strokes from the Kinoplex’s roof, and that meant battling through the popcorn mines. We called that one a “double bogey”.
Hobby Bobby showed the duality of it all. Top and bottom together. Together playing large mini golf. There was a phenomenon, Schrodinger’s Catgirl, and it was illustrated well when Hobby Bobby and the Most Distinguished Care-a-lot Bear were side-by-side. The Most Distinguished Care-a-lot Bear’s ancestors had come over on the first sunshine cloud to Oceania, and they had won the struggle for New Jersey, genociding the primitive Carebear Cousins that used to live there. He was, in short, a very big deal, and very old stock, and the pinkness and plushness of his felt and fluffiness of his stuffing was a testament to his good breeding. As he would put it, “I am no half-rate Create-a-Cub.” And despite this, he was a lover of Japanimation. And that was the essence of the Schrodinger’s Catgirl paradox. If you picked a random anonymous Japanimation early adopter, it would probably be a basement dwelling pee-bottler. But it could also be Mr. Care-a-lot. A person buying a bit of bitcoin in the early years was probably a weird outcast, but it could also be the Ginklevoss Twins, cream of the crop. There were only two kinds of early adopters, top and bottom. We were all autistic, which set us apart from the brown people outside.
The Most Distinguished Care-a-lot Bear put a spin on his ball, which worked; because it, spinning that is, tended to work; spinning works because spinning is a good trick; he had learned the trick from a Colonel Ardenti, amateur occultist and professional Sandinista, who taught him to use the right force. Spinning was the lifeblood of Isis and her mysteries. It was also a good trick.
The tragedy of it all was that both the brown people and the other brown people desperately wanted to be with us. The first, in imitation of us, the second, to chase our prosperity despite holding us in contempt. And thus, large mini golf was a doomed thing as soon as we came to it. Now that we played it, it would slowly gain currency as a social proof of high class, and thus would spread to people who otherwise would have no interest in it. Thus, it would pass from the geeks to the nerds and finally to a kind of fake geek cargo culting the object in a vain attempt to gain status. And then we would abandon it for greener pastures. We were the green people, and we could only live in green fields. In the end, it would be the Hobby Bobbies alone in a desolate field, but at least free to pursue their passion, the end being like the beginning, the top being like the bottom, the black squares of a checkerboard being the same as the white. The only way to stop this decay once the ball was in our court was for the thing to be so difficult and costly that it would be prohibitive for the browns to partake. I looked outside. There was already a brown at the gates. Like most early browns, he was white, female, and shopped at Target. She/he identified as he/she, but mostly to impress other browns on Twatter. The browns made distinctions among themselves, but to me, they were all browns.
“You see that one, Bobby? He will never get in. He is not of our kind,” said I.
“I hate you,” hissed Bobby.
“I know,” said I.
I had hit my ball poorly, and it landed in a sand trap. Sighing, I trudged, alone, over to it. Unbeknownst to me, Bobby had followed me. Bobby fell upon me, and he was strangling me, and his hands were crushing my throat, and I was grasping, struggling, straining, and my arms were trying to wrest his hands away, and he was bashing his head against mine, and I was bleeding, and he was bleeding, and our blood mingled together in the sands of the sand trap, and my face was bluing and it was redding and blue and red were playing together, and then it was all going dark, and Bobby had killed me, and I was Bobby, and I was alive, and I was getting up, and all I was dusting myself off. And then I was fine, because existential crises and out-of-body experiences were something, like hard drinks, that a wise man only had once a day. And besides, it was 6, and we, the bank’s bank men, lived our lives by 3-6-3, so large mini golf was over.
In the morning, the greens would be overrun, and by evening, desolate.
Sic transit gloria mundi.
“Hi ho,” said I.
And that was it.
As subtle as a Kelly cartoon,
Monsieur le Baron