Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Driving Tiger, Hidden Hydrant

A little while ago I was given further consideration to the subject of nobility, and started making a short list of people who acted - to my mind, anyway - nobly. Nobley? Tiger Woods was in my list. Now, however, it seems he's just been a knob. A knob who's been nobbled.

When the whole so-called Tigergate (sigh) scandal broke, I was vaguely surprised by how unsurprised I was. It was, I suppose, bound to happen. The Greeks had a word for it: hubris. The self-delusion if infallibility, and being certain of your invincibility.

When you spend more than a nanosecond on deep thought about Tiger's self-ordained dilemma, you have to acknowledge how inevitable it all was. Here's a good looking, really, really wealthy young man who is away from hearth and home for great stretches of time. And he fell to temptation. He wouldn't have had to expend any energy whatsover in finding a beautifully skinny woman whose first instinct is to get horizontal when a good looking, really, really rich young man swings into view. Especially if he's also (apparently) unattainable. He faced temptation, and lost. Take into account his name, and the fact that he is an alpha-male, one who is driven to have things his way...and you'll see that

he never stood a chance. Why we built him up to be the person we all wanted him to be rests in our consciences. He has enough problems of his own without having to carry the can for our expectations. There's some justification in the argument that this whole media bunfight tells us more about ourselves than it does about Tiger. Let's leave the poor bastard alone.

Blog to read:

LISTENING TO: Mark Knopfler, "Kill To Get Crimson". Track One is ridiculous: lachrymose, saccharin. The rest are OK.

READING: I made a start on the new Dan Brown book. Gave it a good shot: 16 of his 3 and 4 page chapters. It's crap. So I read a Doctor Who book, instead. Huge fun. I have the new John Connolly "kid's" book waiting for me. yum yum yum.


More Rats:

every day Arthur saw the object of his heart’s yearning, he would gaze, and simply sigh.
Weatherby’s triumph was complete. “I signed the King’s commission, yesterday, coward.” He spit the word. “I am to be made Colonel, and I shall be going to peril against our King’s foe alongside the real men of this Province.”
Arthur bowed his head. So, he thought. This is the taste of defeat. He would never have thought that the blustering bully Weatherby would have found the pluck.
Arthur turned away, to the laughter of the crowd, and, blushing scarlet, picked up his hammer again. Grampa Smith had been working angrily at the bellows, and the horseshoe was cherry-red. Arthur lifted the hammer, and beat, and beat, and beat at the metal, cooling it with his tears of rage.
It was late in the evening, and the two men had eaten well of mutton, potatoes, and cabbage. At the back of the smithy was a ponga lean-to, and Grampa Smith had spent the past few years attracting a colony of glow-worms into it. The creatures flickered their love-messages to each other in the deepening night. The old man made a pot of tea, and sat a can of condensed milk beside the enamelled tin cups. Arthur punched a hole in the can with his pocket-knife, and dribbled a sweet spoonful into his cup, then poured the strong brew over it. He sighed, and took the mug in his hands. The heat poured through the metal, but Arthur’s thickly calloused fingers and palms protected him from being burn. All he felt was a pleasant warmth.
The old man, Grampa Smith, sat on the bench opposite him, took a breath, and growled “I’m sorry, lad.”
“Sorry?” Arthur was astonished. “You’ve nothing to be sorry for, Grampa. It was me who spoke out, and I’ll accept the consequences.”
There was a long companionable silence before the old man spoke again. “You’ve made me very proud, lad. You were, what? Five. Yes, five when I brought you in, when your folks died in the house-fire. Otherwise it would have been St James’ Orphanage, up in Hamilton for you.”
“Aye, Grampa. You did me a good deed that day.”


  1. I must be a loyal follower. Somehow I've managed to be in there twice and I even look different!

  2. P.S. I want to be Tiger Woods (up til a month or so ago).