Fat Tom was an ex-cop. He’d served in Korea and now he was a golf course marshal. The problem was that his previous jobs made him paranoid and racist. His wife divorced him and he had diabetes. He was also suicidal. Doing the job kept him motivated though. He’d hide in the bushes with binoculars and wait for “Orientals” to violate the etiquette of the game. He yelled at some Asian lawyers one day and the golf course got sued. He was shortly fired.

Tom still came to the driving range to hit golf balls and he would give me life advice. “Andy, if you choose to get married, be sure to take your wife on vacation. She won’t love you if you don’t.”

“Okay Tom, thanks.”

“And don’t marry an Oriental woman; they cost too much.”


“Think about joining the military; if you don’t, you’ll probably end up like Ryan and his cronies. They don’t do shit and they think they are going to turn pro one day.”

“Okay Tom, thanks.”

“You know Andy, you got one hell of a swing. Why don’t you try out for the UW golf team?”


“That is the problem with you; you just don’t do anything. If you did try, you would be great.”

“Thanks Tom.”

Our conversations usually went on like this until Tom got hungry and left to eat the buffet special. It was all you can eat, and Tom tested himself every time.

Tom had one good friend. Bill. And Bill liked me too. “I worry about him Andy. On these hot summer days Tom just sits in his skivvies and watches TV in his basement. He told me that he doesn’t have any reason to live after his wife left him.”

I nodded. I wonder if Bill realized that Tom had a good friend and good friends are difficult to come by.

6 thoughts on “Fat Tom

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