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I HAVE ONLY one thing in common with Phil Mickelson. The golf gods hate us.
I've played golf for 35 years and never had a hole in one. Been handed more bad breaks than the Wallendas' family doctor. Play only on cloudy days, wearing wide-brimmed hats, under assumed names, but the golf gods always recognize me.
So on Sunday, when my drive bounced off a fairway sprinkler head, a cart path and into a lake, I shook my club at the heavens and screamed, "Just give me 10 minutes alone with you!"
Next thing I knew, I was standing in a kind of heavenly airport control tower, with people you could see right through, all of them watching thousands of tiny TV screens.
A little man in green Argyle socks, a green Hogan cap and a green handlebar mustache walked up. He was wearing a button that read BE NICE TO MONTY. (PSYCH!) He stuck out his hand and said, "I'm Tripplus, God of Three-Putts. Welcome to the Parthenon! You get it? Par-thenon? Anyway, you got your 10 minutes. What can we do for you?"
I was dumbstruck. Well, O.K. Uh, are all these people golf gods? I asked, looking around.
"Sure!" he said. "Each god has a specialty. There's Maxus, God of Very High Scores. There's Asis, God of Holes in One. There's Stan, he just screws people for no reason. There's ..."
Wait! What's the deal with Asis anyway? I'm not a horrible player. About an 8. I've never made a single hole in one! Yet I read about this woman from California who's made 12 this year! And she just took up the game!
"Oh, yeah. Sorry about that. Asis has a crush on her. Let's see, who else? See the guy over there, with the big grin? That's Celebrinterruptus."