GRABBING THE TIGER BY THE TAIL
By Bill Franklin
Lenny Bruce said that when your wife comes home and sees you in bed with another woman, deny it. Have the woman get dressed and walk out the door and then deny everything. Because, according to Lenny, eventually your wife will begin to doubt what she saw, but she will remember forever your confession. Oh Tiger, what have you done?
There were so many things Tiger could have said. He could have taken the Clinton approach: “I didn’t have sex with that women.” Tiger would have had to modify it a little to read, “I didn’t have sex with all those women.” I would have advised Tiger to change it just a bit more to: “There must be someone I didn’t have sex with.” Oh Tiger, what have you done?
Most guys when they get caught don’t feel compelled to go run into trees. What’s with the tree, Tiger? Go slam a door or break a dish or something. Break golf equipment even. But don’t do penance by tree.
Tiger said on his website that he wasn’t living up to his values. I of course think he was. Just because Tiger has this sort of Quaker Oats way about him, we shouldn’t confuse that with the young dude with a billion dollars.
So what are Tiger’s real values? Now, we can look at them in different ways. Karl Marx would say Tiger was just throwing his class consciousness around, finding pretty laborers to exploit. If this is true, Tiger made a big mistake. Hell hath no fury like a jilted exploited pretty laborer armed with voice mail recordings and her own sense of social justice. Oh Tiger, your class stripes are showing.
Or we can look at it as Freud might. Instead of Tiger fibbing about not living up to his values he could have just said, “There sure are a lot of women who look just like my mother.” We, as a social group, don’t really know if the Oedipal Complex runs particularly strong in golfers. Freud, by the way, wasn’t living up to his values. Instead of helping mankind, he pretty much did his part to ruin our sex life.
I, of course, like the way Italians would handle it. They, robustly, would remind Tiger’s wife that she is lucky she got a guy who is so attractive to other women. Oh, Italians! You dudes make me blush with shameless guy pride.
Or we could look at the question of values from a statistical perspective. What is the ratio of artless philanderers with a billion dollars to the portion of humanity that also has a billion dollars and remains true to the spouse? To answer that we’d need to do a field study.
“Warren Buffet, do you have a billion dollars?”
“Well then, do you cheat on your wife?”
“Have you seen me running into many trees lately?”
“Thank you, Warren.”
“Bill Gates, cheat on your wife?”
“Have you seen my wife? My wife scares me senseless.”
So OK, Tiger, this sampling may not be statistically significant but we can say that two out of three billionaires think you blew it.
But because I am modern and only think in terms of evolutionary psychology, I would say Tiger was just being used. Used not by these women but by Nature. Nature got in there and started ripping Tiger off. Nature, and I think Darwin, would agree with me here, Nature just absolutely yearns for good golfers. So the Universe, in its infinite wisdom, realized it had an alpha male here (who could putt) and who didn’t know what he was doing, and plied him with offerings of cocktail this and waitress that.
But of course Nature, like the Devil himself, is sneaky. Nature can’t just demand folks read Origin of the Species. No, Nature has to convince our Tiger types that romance is the order of the day and so, funny thing, Nature had Tiger tell all these girls that they were special and first-rate candidates to be his second, third, fourth and fifth wife.
Tiger, you make me long for the days before the instant recorder. Emmanuel Kant must have looked into the future and had cell phones in mind when he said you should act as if your every act becomes a universal law. Or, in other words, act as if your particular show is going to be around forever. In our New Brave Digital World, the wisdom of Lenny Bruce only helps if no one is taking pictures. We’ve got something worse than God watching us these days. Cell phone cameras bring small-town morality to the big city and have Tiger (and us) by the ever-lovin tail.