The first day of the fourth month of every year is a time when strange happenings occur, and this year is no exception.
At Bushwood Golf and Country Club in Farfaraway, New York, sides have been taken with regard to the club's lone mime member.
Yes, I said "mime." Gerard Pardoo is a student of the late, great Marcel Marceau and a long-standing member at Bushwood. The problem seems to be in that the other members at this prestigious club no longer wish to see Mr. Pardoo and his "antics."
"It started a couple years back when he petitioned the club to have a member/mime tournament," said Club President Joe Knowitall. "We have traditionally had a member/guest, but he wished to expand it to have mimes playing with every member. That was not acceptable to the rest of our membership."
Now, in court papers filed on the first of this month, the club is taking action to expel Mr. Pardoo and revoke his membership. The documents filed cite that he is a distraction when playing, that he never speaks to anyone and that his makeup scares the children of other club members.
Mr. Pardoo's response, sent through his attorney, states, "I have never been anything but the perfect member. Never have I voiced my opinions out loud. When I play I always hear the female members gossiping and interrupting the quiet others need to hit their shots. I do no such thing. I'm always quiet and respectful."
Bushwood's members offer a slightly different version.
"He used to be fun to play with, but now he is trying too hard," said one member who asked to not to be identified. "My daughter loved him when she was really small. Now, when he plays in the summer and his makeup runs from sweating in the heat, he looks very scary. He made my daughter cry the last time she saw him. She calls him 'the scary clown.'"
Mr. Pardoo's attorney responded, "A clown? Seriously? This just goes to show you the lack of understanding these people have for my client. A mime is nothing like a clown. A mime is a true artist, not a birthday party sideshow!"
However, the complaints are coming in from more than just one member.
"Our members are complaining that his act is wearing thin," Mr. Knowitall continued. "Every time after hitting his tee shot he will not leave the tee box without going through the whole 'I'm stuck in an invisible box' routine. He then makes someone from the group go to his cart, remove the key and come unlock the invisible door so that he can leave the tee box. It's funny on the first hole, but gets quite old about the third time."
Other complaints about Mr. Pardoo include having to use an imaginary rope to pull himself out of bunkers. Members say that he always requires one or more players in his group to help pull on the rope to get him out of the trap.
The court documents also state that Mr. Pardoo has become a hazard on the course.
"He never yells 'Fore!' when he hits a wayward shot," states the club's champion, Dave Shooter. "I was hit once by one of his many poor drives and he said nothing. He just stood there holding up four fingers and shrugged his shoulders."
"He also holds up play," said another member. "If his putt just misses and stops within an inch or two from going in, he will drop to the ground and use some sort of pantomime to get the ball to go in the hole. He pretends to pull on a string that's attached to the ball, or to use an imaginary pool cue to knock the ball in. He thinks it's darn funny that we're waiting to putt and he's going through this garbage. Soon I'm going to toss him in one of the lakes."
Mr. Pardoo's written response to these accusations was simple.
"I'm using mime telepathy. It's like mental telepathy, but better (smiley face). As for throwing me in a lake, I'm not scared, I will just put myself in an airtight bubble and stroll out of the lake. Besides, with all the balls these numbskulls hit into the water, it can't be very deep."
So the sides have been drawn in what could be a long and very nasty battle between the members at Bushwood. I'm unsure who I would side with, but I'm glad I don't have to be on the jury should it get that far. Stay tuned as I continue to watch this monumental case unfold.
Editor's note: Mr. Stammer hopes everyone enjoyed his April Fool's column.
James Stammer has been an avid golfer and golf enthusiast for nearly 40 years. He hosts the Thursday Night Golf Show on WSTU 1450-AM. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.