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Golfing With Woodward

From my Sunday "Rough Draft" column:

    One day some years ago I somehow found myself playing golf with Bob Woodward. It's just one of those things that can happen in Washington without warning. Your first thought when you see someone like Bob Woodward is: "Bob [freakin'] Woodward! Holy [freakin'] [stuff]! Wait till I tell my buddies from [pathetic hometown]!"

    And then social pressure takes over, and you force yourself to act as though playing golf with Bob Woodward is something you do routinely. You can't make a fuss! You can't badger him the entire time about Deep Throat. You're just a coupla buddies, whacking around the dimpled ball. Indeed, the social pressure to be nonchalant is so great you find yourself treating Woodward as though he's your caddy. ("Bob, hand me my 3-iron.")

   It's hard not to be in awe when in the presence of Washington royalty. Like you're at a party, and suddenly there's Ben Bradlee, with the gravelly voice and the big forearms, the testosterone fogging up the room, and he's always saying something manly and witty, like, "Yaaarrr, but nothin' clanks when he walks!" And you nod your head, and laugh, and squeeze your own forearms when no one's looking, wondering what it would take to be like Ben.

[I am a horrible name-dropper, so while I'm at it: Once I was at a party and saw Alan Greenspan....



By Joel Achenbach  |  June 28, 2005; 12:01 PM ET
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I saved the picture of Bradlee, Woodward & Bernstein as the background for my screen desktop. I've always appreciated what the three and others were able to do to improve our country.

Golf with a legend would be a lot of fun. Beating him at golf would be even more fun.

Posted by: Wacked Without an H | June 28, 2005 2:49 PM | Report abuse

This is my very first EVER blog posting, so be nice!

I'm delighted to admit that I spent a good 3 hours (yes, I know it is suppose to be spelled out) reading this blog. I laugh, I cried....

Ok, ok...I didn't exactly cry. But I couldn't help but notice that golfing with Sir Woodward did cause the Achenblog rebel rousers to get roused, so I thought I would let you know that I thought it was brilliant. I'm telling ya, it's premiere online water cooler stuff, yet no one is paying much attention. Why is that?

By the way, presumably you're on your porch to write a Sunday "rough draft" column. How about calling your column "Notes from the Porch" or "Porch Notes"?

PS - What is the "15" something or other I keep reading? Also, I bought your book, "Why Things Are & Why Things Aren't" at a yard sale -- good stuff!

Posted by: DCer-in-exile | June 28, 2005 8:17 PM | Report abuse

If there's one think we should take from this (and there isn't) it's that no one who reads this blog gives a fig about golf. Grammar, on the other hand, is quite popular. Quite the demographic.

Posted by: jw | June 28, 2005 8:17 PM | Report abuse

In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a grammar problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire TSA-15.

It is amazing that not only is my post and DCer's post complimentary in a strange way, they were posted at EXACTLY the same moment in time. Weird.

Posted by: jw | June 28, 2005 9:29 PM | Report abuse

No doubt TSA-15 would consider my grammar hideous. I've survived my first foray into the blogosphere unscathed with all those errors - whew! I doubt I'll be so lucky to avoid the grammar goon squad next time.

JW, here I was thinking your blog was in response to mine. Weird indeed...

Posted by: DCer-in-exile | June 29, 2005 12:55 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking that the bloggers didn't comment here because they are really elitist and in a way are cranky that Rough Draft is read by the general public, and not offered exclusively on the blog. Plus, we read it on Sunday (sometimes I read it on Saturday)so by Tuesday it is old news. I thought this one was really funny, though (even though I have no interest in golf.)

Posted by: kbertocci | June 29, 2005 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Regarding "the 15": Joel once said, "Ideally the blog will have only about 15 readers, but very intellectual, refined, sensitive readers between the ages of 18 and 35 and with large amounts of disposable income." NOTE: Sometimes Joel uses a slightly tongue-in-cheek approach in his writing, so please, please, people, don't take this statement literally or personally.
As for grammar, I have a policy that it's OK to (very sparingly) correct JOEL'S grammar (after all, he once said that he welcomes such correction) but that it's not really very nice to correct the grammar of fellow posters.

Posted by: Tom fan | June 29, 2005 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Nixon played golf.

Posted by: nottamember | June 29, 2005 11:41 AM | Report abuse

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