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The Unfinished Symphony of Big Sal
I have found myself identifying to the fictitious character, Roy McAvoy, who was introduced to us on the silver screen in the cult classic “Tin Cup”. I have gained an unmatched talent in quoting the film from beginning to end and now watch the film as if I’m staring into a mirror where in the past I would indulge for 135 minutes for a few chuckles and a cheap way to kill a Tuesday night. McAvoy is a lazy golf driving range pro from West Texas who has the potential to be great if he could only manage to stay out of his own way.
I’m a 36-year-old single male employed at a dysfunctional, yet extremely successful restaurant/bar in Claremont, California. In my spare time, when I acquire the ability to pull my head out of my ass, I moonlight as a part-time blogger for a little known website on the East Coast titled “La Sportsa Nostra”. Like Mr. McAvoy, I tend to drink too much whiskey and eat too few vegetables and we both have this tremendous knack for making excuses of why we can’t achieve what we’ve envisioned in our heads.
The reality is that the answer is simple but we’re too chicken shit to confront the issue. We’ll get to that later. Heck, I’ve even been called out by a random guy at the bar who overheard me quote the sorrowful line, “…here I am in pursuit of my mythic destiny and I can’t even get the time off work to do it!” This gentleman slurps down the final sip of his fourth Hendrix & tonic and whimpers to me, “big “Tin Cup” fan I take it?” Geez Louise, I thought to myself with a quizzical look on my face, it really was time to look in the mirror and start evaluating some things.
Until now, I’ve lived my life by a quote in the movie that not necessarily a mantra that fills me with pride. When explaining why he has a short back swing to his love interest Dr. Molly Griswold (Renee Russo), he eloquently states, “well some say that’s the easiest way to play through the winds of West Texas and some say that’s because I’ve never finished anything in my life…you can decide, but the point is every finishing position is unique.
That’s what the golf swing is all about. It’s about gaining control of your life and letting go at the same time”. Suddenly the hysterics had vanished and the palpability had become large enough for me to suffocate. What had I finished in my life?
Lucky for me I have a real life Romeo (Cheech Marin) and Dr. Molly Griswold in my corner to help me sort things out. They somehow managed to pull of their own rendition of “good cop, bad cop” without me even being cognizant of what was happening. Smash Richmond, my toughest critic and also one of my closest mates’ made it about as transparent and painful as possible.
He basically articulated to me that I had the writing chops, knowledge of content, and comedic ability down but was lacking the one thing, that if I didn’t develop, would be impossible to succeed…work ethic. Uggggh!!!! That’s pretty impressive that a lad from Dublin could kick a guy in the nuts all the way over in California through a telephone call but Smashey managed to accomplish that task. Truth be told, he was right.
Shannon from Toronto, my Dr. Molly Griswold, had a contradistinctive approach compared to Smashey’s abrasive yet effective advice. During the times I would be struggling to get my articles out or was having a hard time trying to one-up my last piece, I’d joke with her quoting “Tin Cup” exclaiming, “perhaps I’m chalked full of inner demons” knowing damn well she’d finish Renee Russo’s line, “perhaps you’re chalked full of inner bullshit!” We’d laugh like only she could make me.
She visited California last December and we were lucky enough to catch dinner a few times. We grabbed a high top table with her sipping her red wine and me satiating in my Old Fashion. She gazed over with her piercing blue eyes and gave me this peculiar yet recognizable look. It entailed that something extremely smart was about to be said and it was probably in my best interest to pipe down for once and let her finish without interruption because she was trying to help me become the best ME. Impressive right? Trust me, I know.
Anyways, she challenged me to pursue my writing career vigorously and actually treat it like a profession. She elucidated to the fact the she had never met a guy with a stronger support system including family and friends and that she was proud to be affiliated with me as a person. It was my “Waffle House” moment and all I could envision were faces of loved ones and me smiling from ear to ear captivating that magical line with a cocky tone, “these are my people!”
These two events also led me to my current state in which I’ve decided to “qualify for the U.S. Open and kick your boyfriend’s ass”. Now, I’m not literally going to do either of those things but metaphorically speaking I plan on committing to this writing obsession and putting out more quality pieces without a six month sabbatical in between.
Get ready for some additional intimate pieces such as my “Finding Fifi Baiden” article as well as a 2016 NBA Finals Preview come June. So there it is ladies and gents, it’s Sunday at the U.S. Open on hole #18 and I’m lying 11 and hitting 12 with no more PRO V one’s left in the bag.
I just knocked it stiff from 250 yards and the tightly wound, multi dimpled golf ball is sailing through the air. It’s a “defining moment” and the definition was…(to be continued).