Friday, September 5, 2008

How to be an Instant VIP

I enjoy the sport of golf, and really do appreciate the amazing ability of the guys who play on the PGA Tour. If you've never played the game, you probably think it looks pretty easy - Hit a little round ball with a stick until you get it in a hole in the ground.

The ball isn't moving when you whack at it, the hole is perfectly stationary, there is no goaltender protecting it, nobody is trying to separate your head from your shoulders while you're swinging; how hard could it be? Then you actually step on to a golf course and try to play and instantly get a lesson in humility. It's almost impossible to hit the damn ball straight and sure, you'll get it in that little tiny hole eventually, but in three or four shots? Not freakin' likely!

I mention all this because the PGA Tour comes to this area once each year; on Labor Day weekend, for the Deutsche Bank Championship, and for the second consecutive year, my son and I traveled an hour and a half down to TPC Boston to watch the professionals play. By the way, TPC Boston is nowhere near Boston, it's located in Norton, Massachusetts, which is a lot closer to Rhode Island than it is to Boston.

Anyway, the way they do it is you park in the huge lots at the Comcast Center (Formerly known as the Tweeter Center, and before that it was called by its original, pre-corporate sponsorship name of Great Woods, which for my money is a lot cooler name than either Tweeter Center or Comcast Center, but that's another blog entirely) and they bus everyone via huge motor coaches to the site of the tournament, which is like two minutes away.

I paid ten bucks for one day's parking, which seemed a lot better than the forty dollars it would have cost to get "VIP" parking. It seemed like a no-brainer at the time.

So there we are, my son and I, walking around the course with thousands of other spectators, watching the best golfers in the world do their thing, when we pass by a table set up under a big tent, where an old lady is handing out brand-new baseball caps with the Tiger Woods "TW" logo on them. My son says something like, "Those are awesome." to which I reply, "Let's get you one!"

We approach the table and I see people handing the old lady cards which they've filled out, which obviously contain information like their email address. So the tradeoff to getting a Tiger Woods hat is having to be bombarded with spam for the rest of your life. I start to get a sinking feeling.

But I told my son we'd get him a Tiger Woods hat, so I approach the lady, smile, and say, "How do we go about getting a hat?"

She looks down her nose at me, no mean trick considering she was about five feet tall and sitting down, while I'm close to six feet and I was standing. I don't know how she did it either, but she did. She looks down her nose at me and says, prunely (Yes, I know "prunely" isn't technically a word, but there's no other way to describe how she answered me, so there it is), "You go back out to VIP Parking and ride over in a Buick."

She then erased me from her consciousness and went on to the person behind me, who apparently WAS a VIP. So there you have it: Had I only spent an extra thirty bucks to ride ninety seconds in a Buick (A Buick, for chrissakes, not a Mercedes or even a Lexus. A Buick!) I too could have gotten a free Tiger Woods hat.

Are you kidding me? A Buick? Sheesh.

I learned two things from this experience:

1) I will never, ever buy a Buick, just on general principles, thanks to this old lady and her snotty attitude, and,

2) Nobody does class distinction like the sport of golf.

No comments: