Teeing it up: It all works out

tee-upMy son told a funny story at brunch at a lovely restaurant in the West Village the other day–it was so funny that we found ourselves being “shushed” from neighboring tables because we were laughing so hard.

The story is this:  Once upon a time Jim was really in a tough spot financially.  He wasn’t going to be able to make his rent.  He had no food.  He had no income on the horizon.  All he had were the hopes of winning a golf tournament that he was presently engaged in.   This was the kind of golf tournament that most people do for fun, but he was playing for a mission:  to win the prize money and pay his rent.  Others were joking around, drinking from the bar cart–Jim was laser-focused on one thing–winning that money.

After the banquet, they were giving out the prizes, and the first prize went to the person with the second lowest score.  He was the kind that participates in golf tournaments as a diversion–not because he, like Jim at that moment, had a driving need to pay bills.  No, au contraire, he was a golf philanthropist, and as such, when he was awarded the prize money, he walked up to the microphone and said, “I don’t want to forget who we are doing this for,” and he motioned towards the young disabled children lining the stage.  “Therefore, I want to give this back,” and he handed the envelope with the prize money to the M.C. amid applause and cheers of the audience.

“The next prize goes to the guy with the lowest score,” said the M.C., and he proceeded to announce my son’s name.  With that announcement, my son, Jim, saw a million worries flitting away… saw his short-term financial crisis being put to rest.  He imagined a worry-free night of sleep.  But when he got to the podium, and accepted the cash-filled envelope, a person’s voice from the crowd rang out:   “Give it back!!”  “Yeah!” said another.  “Give it back!”

There was my son, torn between his rent and a chorus line of needy kids, and the pressure of the previous winner’s generosity.  So he approached the mic, and, not for entirely altruistic reasons, buckled under the pressure and said, “I’d like to give this back to the kids.”

Whistles and cheers followed… But I’m not sure that at that moment they made up for the prospect of the looming late rent check in my son’s mind.   But it was done.

So, in telling this story, after we had been shushed and wiped the tears of laughter from our cheeks, my son said, “You know, it worked out.  It seems like when you think about the times when you didn’t think things are going to work out, no matter what it they may be, they really do in the end.”

I don’t know how Jim paid his rent that month.  But he’s still among us, laughing and sharing our company.

He’s up-to-date with this rent today.

A worthy organization is slightly better off.

It all works out.

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