My Usual GameDecember 27, 2014

Major breakthrough: a better way to watch golf on TV

My wife's college roommate's son got married recently. Before the wedding, he and his fiancee were interviewed at length for an episode of a reality show called Something Borrowed, Something New, on the television network TLC, which is to women what the Golf Channel is to men. Three years ago, during the summer before my daughter's wedding, I inadvertently watched parts of quite a few TLC programs, because during that period the TV in our kitchen was permanently tuned to it. For example, I saw parts of several episodes of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, a British reality show about the weddings of gypsies and Irish travelers. From it, I learned that, in planning our daughter's wedding, my wife and I had made many mistakes, including allowing our daughter to marry a non-gypsy and failing to rent any stretch Hummers or horse-drawn carriages:

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Something Borrowed, Something New is about wedding dresses. The episode featuring my wife's old roommate's son and his fiancee aired shortly before Christmas, and my wife suggested that our own son, whose name is John, and I watch it with her. John and I consented, out of loyalty to her and her old roommate, whom both of us know, but we worried that sitting through an entire TLC show might permanently harm us in some way. Luckily, we were able to protect ourselves, by viewing the episode through long cardboard tubes from two used-up rolls of Christmas wrapping paper:

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Watching through the tubes enabled us to make it all the way to the end while suffering few if any ill effects, and it occurred to me later that the same technique might be useful in other fraught television-viewing situations, such as nerve-wracking parts of important golf tournaments. If a golfer you were rooting for in one of the majors faced a critical putt on the final day, for example, you could use a tube to focus solely on the hole, potentially even helping the ball to drop. Or, during one of those web.com commercials featuring Jim Furyk and his wife, you could use a tube to focus on a blank part of the screen (after first hitting the mute button).

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In other golf news, Jed, a member of the Sunday Morning Group, became a father on December 20. Here he is with his brand-new daughter, whose name is Louisa. As you can see, she already has a healthy interest in golf:

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My granddaughter, whose name is Alice, is thirteen months older than Louisa. I don't have a recent picture of her playing golf, but I do have one of her doing a pretty good imitation of most of the guys I play most of my rounds with:

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