The commercial for the “Girls Gone Wild” video collection flashed across the television screen as I was switching channels, and all I could do was cringe. Not, mind you, because I am particularly prudish about that sort of thing. Rather, it was the result of my 15-year-old daughter sitting right beside me as images of those drunken, “You want me to take it all off?” college girls played before us.
Suddenly I was struggling with visions of spring breaks yet to be taken and thoughts of my little girl recklessly frolicking in the bars – and on the beaches – of, say, South Padre Island.
So I did what I thought was the most sensible thing as a parent. I turned off the TV and instigated a quick discussion, the theme being: Under no circumstances should you ever lift up your shirt, or any other article of clothing, for a cameraman.
No matter how many Hurricanes he buys you.
We had what I would describe as a productive conversation, and my daughter concurred that there was little upside to such behavior. I felt pretty good about the situation when she headed up to her room. But then, I began to think of all the other things a father does not want his daughter to do. And it took me no time to determine that No. 2 on my list, right after a starring role in one of those “Girls Gone Wild” performances, was working as a beverage cart girl at a golf course.
My concerns about that form of work for my only child are rooted in the knowledge of how almost every man reacts when the cart girl approaches on her E-Z-Go.
First, there are the inevitable odes about the virtues of slim, tan college girls. Then come the shameless – and unintentionally hilarious – flirtations once the cart pulls to a halt. Otherwise gruff and taciturn duffers turn into sweet-talking Don Juans, falling over themselves as they drown generally innocent and hard-working women at least half their age in gratuitous compliments and insipid asides.
Apparently they believe their wit, such as it is, will impress the cart girls so much that they will suggest meeting after the round for dinner and dancing. Ditto the blatant over-tipping and the requests to “take care” of that group again.
Of course, things do not improve once the drinks and snacks have been served, and the cart girl drives away. For that is when the players start pausing between sips and bites to discuss how much better they would like to get to know that person, and in what ways.
Now I like a good lewd laugh as much as the next person. But each time a scene like that plays out, I take one look at the cart girl and see my daughter. And the thought of her ever being subjected to such lascivious banter – no matter how playful or innocuous the intention – is too much for me to handle.
Fortunately, I don’t have a cart girl in my family. And mark my words: I never will. But I know some people who do, and the consequences of such employment can be difficult. Consider, for example, this tale of a foursome playing a course near where I live. Every few holes, a beverage cart driven by a local college student stopped to fill the golfers’ and caddies’ orders. And every time, one of the players made graphic comments about her rather stunning looks, and his fervent hope that she, like Lacy Underall in “Caddyshack,” had a certain “zest” for life.
That nonsense went on for a couple of hours, and as the foursome was about midway through the back nine, the cart girl appeared again. This time, the man who had been so open about his feelings called over his caddie and asked if he would like something to drink. The caddie ordered a Coke, and as the server handed him his soda, she said, “Oh, I forgot to tell you earlier, Mom wants you to call after your round.”
I know a man who got into even hotter water with cart girls, but only because he did not do his due diligence before hiring them to work an annual men’s-only tournament at his club. It was a tony, if staid, New England retreat that usually relied on a halfway house for refreshments, but needed more mobile purveyors of beer and other treats for what traditionally was a thirsty field. The fellow who had run the event in previous years recommended an agency to call for cart girls. But my friend should have instantly known something was awry when the voice on the other end of the phone asked: “Is that all you want them to do?”
“Yes,” he said, but he quickly discovered that the four girls assigned to work the tournament were ready, willing and able to do
a whole lot more. You know the rest of the story: The agency employed strippers, and my friend recoiled in horror as play backed up throughout the course as his scantily clad temps demonstrated brave new ways of serving sandwiches and Sam Adams. He imagined several marriages breaking up as a result of that action, and maybe even the expulsion of a few members, including him.
But at least he could be sure that his daughter was safe.