Country club: (n) a club offering various social activities
I grew up in a town of fifteen hundred people, and that’s fourteen hundred and ninety-nine if you deduct me.
It was small.
Yet it yearned to gain the respectability of another town ten miles away, which had just become a city, and by the way, in becoming a city was desperately trying to keep up with the metropolis ten miles south of it.
For you see, it’s not so much that the “grass is greener on the other side of the fence.” It’s just that often we’re envious that our neighbor has a fence.
My little town wanted to have a golf course. We didn’t need a golf course. There actually was a greater demand for a teen pregnancy center. But I digress.
Yet some investors from the medium-sized city in between came together with the small-town folk surrounding me and built a golf course on the only land available at the time—which was a hilly piece of property that ran right alongside a major road.
I will not get into the fact that the golf course was not exactly ready to host the Masters. But shortly after it was constructed, those who were playing golf realized that they didn’t have a country club on the grounds.
Where were you to go after slogging your way through eighteen holes, lying about your score, to sit with some friends and enjoy a cocktail while discussing the finer points of your pointless activity?
I was convinced there would never be a country club.
Matter of fact, I was hoping it wouldn’t come to be.
There were two reasons. The first was that our small town did not require a golf course, let alone a nineteenth-hole watering-area for the few golfers who could actually climb up and down the hills.
But the main reason I didn’t want us to have a country club was that I knew we didn’t have much money and it would be really shitty.
But it was voted in and it was built. It was just a little bit bigger than a Dairy Queen, and only contained four booths. It looked like one of those small-town diners that stays open because twenty-five people go to church with the owner.
It was embarrassing.
Matter of fact, after a while, people stopped calling it a country club and referred to it as “the place.”
“After we get done playing golf let’s go to the place.”
The name was so ambiguous that it fit our small-town country club just jim-dandy.