The golf cart got a flat 20 yards past the eleventh hole, and three-quarters of a mile away from Frank’s now warm vodka Martini waiting for him at the clubhouse bar. They were only supposed to play nine, and Shirley always had his drink out of the shaker and fogging up the glass at 12:15pm on the nose, not a second before or a minute later, not even if she had to stop mid-pour, leaving some luckless bastard’s Black Label

(usually Bernie’s, who always played one hole ahead, as if teeing off a quarter of an hour before Frank was evidence of superior mental hygiene and the clear reason he’d amassed three hundred and eighty million dollars in wealth at the tender age of twenty-six by coming up with the idea for a micro-sprocket made of titanium and a high density polyethylene plastic alloy that keeps one of the thing-a-ma-jigs from touching one of the whatchamacallits inside every iPhone 5 that caused all those problems with dropped calls in the previous generation, rather than the simple fact that it was a legacy timeslot filled by every Bernard T. Tiglington since the Club first opened in all its sticky antebellum splendor, and never minding the fact that this Bernard T. Tiglington pissed away every penny of his early-amassed wealth along with 82.7% of his trust fund—figures available to the public courtesy of campaign finance laws requiring candidates to disclose where their money comes and goes, even candidates throwing their bespoke hat into the ring for School Board Treasurer, District 4—on Thai Lady Boys and a penthouse, country house, couture latex wardrobe and the promised discretion of a Dominatrix named Mistress Magic 8 Ball)

                                                                                      nothing but an empty promise over a high-ball, to pour two shots of well from a Ketel One bottle

(her own private fuck you to the 1%-ers

who could, and would, whether you gave a whiff of a dead rat’s asshole or not, tell you the ever-fluctuating value of their portfolio within one-hundredth of a percentage point at any given moment, but had the tastebuds of a tongueless sommelier and apparently hadn’t a clue how to calculate a tip at any percentage point at all, though she mighten’d’ve granted Frank more of a fuck and less of a fuck you if she’d known that he swam in the community pool with the other 99% and was holding onto his membership privileges by the skin of his yellowing incisors, and if he couldn’t shake 2.5mil from Mister Eleventh Hole’s evergreen VC tree to pay the fabricator to release his hostaged prototype and the manufacturer to actually start manufacturing so that he can get his baby, The Brilliant Product the World Has Been Waiting For®

[proprietary information redacted]

, on the shelves in time for the Lenten and Easter rush, Frank was

fucked but good)

                                                                                      into a shaker along with a handful ice, and waft an open bottle of Vermouth over the works, but with so much on the line, Frank had had to go with Mister Eleventh Hole’s flow, only to take a mulligan on the tenth after he’d birdie-d, birdie-d, double-eagle-d the third, fourth and eighth, and now they were at the furthest point from the clubhouse with a flat and Frank two-over, flop sweat and sand from the trap he’d just chipped into grotting his pores, rummaging his golf bag for the contract he’d spread flat behind the clubs and watching Mister Eleventh Hole open his sweatless face in a smile and press the tip of his tongue to his upper palate to form the “n” sound that begins sentences like, No or Not in your lifetime, buddy or Never in a million years. Frank considers, with a few fresh cubes and a quick shake in the shaker, Shirley’d have that Martini fixed up like new, goes with the 5-iron and its satisfying thwack, slides the club into the bag between the 4 and 6, and starts the seventeen-minute walk back to the clubhouse

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