I told him that I played occasionally. Frankly, gentlemen, I am interested in golf in spite of the fact that it is a sport indulged in by individuals who are so far to the right politically that their chatter in the locker room has often made me uncomfortable.
"Didn't you find the caddie situation terrible?" Mr. Plankton asked. "It's been the worst I've ever known it. Somehow kids don't seem to enjoy caddying any more at Happy Knoll."
I told him that I have never hired a caddie on general principles but always keep a folding golf cart in back of my car.
"If there weren't any golf carts, there would be more caddies," Mr. Plankton said. "What's the matter with hiring a caddie?"
Since the conversation had been most friendly, there seemed to be no harm in expressing my opinion. Also several other members had gathered around us and were listening with friendly interest.
Frankly, gentlemen, I have long taken a deep interest in the democratic potentialities of the game of golf. The number of persons now being introduced to it by our rapidly spreading municipal golf courses is to me a constant delight. Also, intending no ill will to certain entrenched individuals, it has seemed to me on the whole fortunate that the financial affairs of many golf clubs are now at such a low ebb that their grounds are now open to passing motorists. The country club, if it is to survive, in my opinion, must be a democratic institution and this intermingling of golf enthusiasts from other places is fast becoming another Canterbury Tale. I wished, I said, that I were a Chaucer so that I could put it into verse.
I observed at this point that the group around us had grown larger and I was not offended when my views were not accepted with complete agreement by everyone.
"O.K.," Mr. Plankton said, "golf is becoming democratic, but why don't you like caddies?"
I saw no harm in telling him that caddies were to me an embarrassing archaic survival.
"You're right on that one," Mr. Plankton said, "they get more embarrassing every year. They sniffle and talk and whisper, and pretty soon they'll be organized by the CIO, but how do you keep your head down if you don't use a caddie?"