"You kiddin'? Six dollars to learn something to get your wife all crazy?"
The golfer stood up and grinned. "O.K.," he said. "I'll come back maybe when I can catch hold of somethin' with my hands without it making me yell...." He gestured with his hands. "Wow!" He pushed open the screen door with his elbows. "Man," he said, "I'm a hospital case."
The manager shook his head when he had gone. "You get some crazy ones. He's a good fellow, that guy—crazy, but funny crazy, y'know, not nuts crazy. He comes out of Argentina, I think, when he is maybe 9 or 10, and he has this big business of bringing cowhides in from down there. Import business."
"He's something," I said.
"You get some crazy ones.... I mean the other kind, the nuts kind. You want I should tell you about the strangest...."
"Sure," I said, and the manager hitched himself around in his chair.
"It didn't happen in this place I got here. This was when I had a smaller place down the coast, way down, Southern California. Little place, just when I was starting out. Big field in front, couple of archery targets out there, lights for night, maybe 20 mats—and the best thing I had was this jeep with a wire covering like a cage for protection from the guys hitting on the range, and you drive out on the field and it picks up the golf balls, like those hay things, y'know? Hayers?"
"Yes," I said. "I've seen those things. You got one here."
"That's right," he said. "I used to drive the one down there myself. I'll tell you something. When you're getting low on balls and you got to drive out and collect a big batch while you got customers on the mats, I'll tell you there isn't a golfer on the range that is not going to try and hit you with his shot. You get that jeep out 50 yards in that field and you can see them back there on the range reaching in their bags for two-irons to drill those shots low at you. 'Course you got this wire cage around the jeep which is supposed to keep you protected, but a ball can get through maybe, and for sure it makes you a mite uneasy about human nature. They really pepper you. Know what I mean?"
I said I did.