His name was Richard, not Dick, Rick or Ricky – with an air of arrogance as he tilted his head back, he announced, “My name is Richard.”
Richard was a retired government worker who was looking for a way to play “free golf”. He had applied for a job as a Ranger. At our golf course Rangers were really “Player Assistants”. Their main job was to keep play moving by helping golfers find lost balls. In Richard’s mind he was a cop! He spent his working hours doing two things: getting paid to look for golf balls – for his personal use, or finding some golfer who had broken a rule so he could exert his authority and chew out the player. Richard loved the power!! He loved using the two-way radio to contact the pro shop and check starting times or number of paid green fees in a group.
Before we could find a really good reason to fire this unappreciated civil servant, the following scene played out.
Across the road from the 6th green, a 160 yard par 3, was a home owned by a Native American family that had become the unofficial foster home for several troubled Indian kids. These kids were full of energy and could not always avoid the temptation to harass the golfers. On this particular day a few of these kids were hiding in the underbrush behind the green. After the group had hit their balls to the green, the kids would rush onto the green and steal the balls and run home.
Word got back to the pro shop and the pro called Richard on the two-way radio. Richard’s blood pressure surged with excitement, he could see himself getting an accommodation for meritorious service. The kind of award he never received working for Uncle Sam. He would show those little bastards.
As he approached the foursome on number the 7th tee, they waved him over and explained that three little kids about ages 6 to 9 had taken their balls. New Titleist all. Then they ran into the house across the road. Richard puffed up his chest and said, “Give me a minute or two, I will get those balls back for you. You will have them before you finish playing this hole.”
The golf course cop raced across the road driving his Ranger cart onto the toy and bike cluttered yard. He leaped out of his enforcement vehicle and banged on the door, “Come on out, I know your in there. I want all those balls you guys have stolen today. Give them back right now or I’ll have you all thrown in jail.”
Nothing! Not a sound!!
“God Dammit I know you are in there, now open this door,” Richard screamed as he beat on the door with both his fists. Richard’s face was flushed and he was sweating. Is there another door he wondered as he backed off the front porch and went around the side of the house? There was a side door near the garage. As he peeked through the windowpane he saw one of the little thieves. This really set him off. He beat on the door and screamed and cussed. He even tried to open the door that was locked from the inside.
Finally, exhausted and frustrated he headed for his Ranger cart. He would have the pro shop call the Sheriff and would wait until they arrived. Then he, Richard, King of the Rangers, would assist with the arrest. He dreamed of being a key witness at the trial, he might get his picture in the newspaper. “I will frame the clipping,” he thought.
He hopped onto his cart and reached for the two-way radio that he always kept in the beer can holder. NO RADIO!! Where could it be? He then put his squad car in reverse. He would look for the radio as he drove to the pro shop to call the sheriff. He stepped on the accelerator…. Nothing! He looked at the key holder. NO KEY! “No!!!” Richard screamed!! “Give me back those keys you little shits.”
Richard approached the clubhouse walking fast, his eyes never left the ground. One of the cart boys asked, “Hey Richard did you get those balls from those kids?”
“#&%@ you!” Richard spit out as he got in his car; never to be seen again.