“I’ll pick you up at quarter to seven, Shag.”
I nod gratefully.
“Why does he always call you Shag?”, Mrs Blazing enquires. I remind her that Oddjob calls everybody Shag.
So I am outside, golf clubs, shoes, and lounge suit ready and packed when the big O rolls up, as expected, at twenty to seven. Luckily it is a beautiful morning, the sort that is a real pleasure to experience despite having to get up just a few short hours after hitting the sack.
Ten minutes later we are knocking on Fester’s door.
“Seven o’ clock you told me”, he mumbles. The start of the day’s banter ensues. We are all fat, old, bald, too early. Why do fellas rib each other like that?
We reach the Golf Club to be greeted by another sixteen or so mates, and once again we are all tight, piling on the pounds, losing the hair, etc.. We grab three coffees and Fester pours a little supplementary brandy into his and mine. Good lad.
Oddjob goes out early, and is entrusted with looking after the youngest of our number. The big fella is a good influence. He gets round the course quickly and encourages his partners.
Fester will have a bag full of goodness knows what in one group. I have some WKD in mine for the morning round. We meet again for the lunchtime pints. Oddjob has his coke and chuckles with the rest of us. Another eighteen holes follow in the afternoon. I have a bottle of Pina Colada for refreshment, Fester has more beer in his group, I think.
It is too hot to go straight in the shower when we complete the day’s sport. A Guinness is in order first. Oddjob chucks the keys to the car at Fester and I. “Put your stuff in the boot when you’re done.” Showered and refreshed, we do just that.
Guinness and a delicious roast dinner are enjoyed before the prizegiving. That is over at about nine in the evening. As the bulk of the guests start the fifty minute drive home, Fester and I exchange rounds. He is on gin, I am on Glenfiddich. Oddjob has coffee.
“You ready then, Shag?”
Oddjob has once again shown the patience of a saint. Four times a year he ferries us to these golf days. Always it is a fifteen or sixteen hour day for him, and since the heart doctor told him to stop drinking he is always the ‘designated driver’.
That’s ‘designated’ as in ‘expected’, or even ‘taken for granted’.
His last remaining vice is the odd decent cigar on the golf course. I must remember to hunt down a Cuban for him. It’s a small price to pay for the friendship he shows us.
He’s still a fat old sod though!