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Ben Trovato

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

My repulsive loin fruit, Clive, showed no interest in golf until Tiger got bust

The image of golf has suffered terribly as a result of Tiger Woods’ breach of marital etiquette. Yes, I can see how that might happen. I was thinking of taking it up, but then Tiger ruined it for me by making a billion dollars a year and sleeping with dozens of beautiful women.

I, for one, will have no truck with such filth. Instead, I shall take up a sport in which I stand to make no money at all and get to sweat so heavily that I attract stray dogs rather than hot girls.

You have to hand it to the Americans. You can get caught pimping underage immigrants to support your heroin habit, but if you squeeze a drop of glycerine into each eye and go on TV and apologise and say you’re taking gender sensitivity classes and checking yourself into rehab, the nation will rise up and applaud you.

This applies to celebrities more than it does to garbage collectors and other members of the proletariat, whose mea culpa is generally described as a confession rather than a courageous admission of their human frailty. It only works for Americans, though. When British actor Hugh Grant’s willy accidentally fell into a prostitute’s mouth while the two of them were discussing the Middle East crisis in a side street off Sunset Boulevard on June 27 1995, he never tried to “rehab” his way out of it.

His laddish grin on the Los Angeles police department’s mug shot said it all. What happened in the car that night – that was the treatment. Let us be clear on that. Suffering from a prolonged dearth of fellatio, Mr Grant had his ailment treated by the nearest qualified person, nurse Divine Brown. Tiger, on the other hand, speaks for 13 minutes and convinces the world he is a very sick man deserving of our sympathy.

Halfway into his statement, something very strange happened. I began feeling as if I had done something wrong. As he spoke, the burden of guilt lifted from his shoulders and settled on mine. He was pulling some kind of weird voodoo stunt and getting away with it.

He blamed the media for daring to suggest his perfect Swedish wife, Elin, had clubbed him like a baby seal on that terrible Thanksgiving evening.

“It angers me that people would fabricate a story like that.”

I hung my head in shame.

“Elin never hit me that night or any other night.”

Brenda snorted: “Some Viking she is.”

Tiger went on: “There has never been an episode of domestic violence in our marriage.”

Well, maybe there should have been. You would be surprised at how effectively sexual tension can be relieved by smacking one another around for an hour or so. It works for Brenda and me.

“I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. Thanks to money and fame, I didn’t have to go far to find them.”

And the problem is what, exactly? This is precisely why fame and fortune are a tad more in demand than, say, obscurity and penury. What is the point of being rich and powerful if you’re going to be like the rest of us and go home to a cold, hostile wife who puts your dinner plate on the floor and expects you to get down on all fours and eat it like a dog?

We are the way we are only because we are too goddamn lazy to work relentlessly at something until we are so ridiculously good at it that people line up to throw money at us just to watch us do whatever it is that we do.

Tiger apologised to parents who pointed to him as a role model for kids. What rubbish. Show me a teenage boy who spent weeks sobbing in his room after hearing his hero’s idea of relaxation was to check into a R40000-a-night hotel, drop a little A-grade ecstasy, and lick Beluga caviar off the quivering thighs of naked porn stars while cocktail waitresses queued in the corridor. Show me that boy and I will show you a pervert in the making.

My repulsive loin fruit, Clive, showed no interest in golf until Tiger got bust. Now all he wants to do is get his hands on a bagful of clubs, Ambien and one of those Thai masseuses who work in the house across the road. That’s my boy.

Instead of being lauded for making golf an aspirational sport, Tiger was forced to grovel. Shocking, really, and a scathing indictment on what kind of world we are bringing our children into. Hooking and slicing his way through the rough, he played a freaky shot that put him on the green and into the bunker at the same time.

“It’s hard to admit that I need help, but I do. For 45 days from the end of December to early February, I was in in-patient therapy receiving guidance for the issues I’m facing. I have a long way to go.”

Right there, the attitude of millions of people watching Tiger beat himself up went from self-righteous disapproval to a weird mix of empathy and pride. You did bad, Tiger, but you’re dealing with your problem and we’re proud.


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