Barrel Victory


Following the recent election of our president, Preswatch Golf Club is in utter disarray.

As with any major decision, there’s been an immediate reaction of inevitable derisive mutterings from the chattering caddies. In November 2016, we elected a barrel as head of Preswatch Golf Club & (Golfing) Association.

Before it comes up - no, I do not believe that everyone who voted for the barrel were crazies - the blanket term for people who want to shorten the courses, add moving obstacles and encourage low-skill and family participation in the course.

The people were hankering for a significant change. The Hamilton family have run Prestwatch Golfing Association since the late 1930s (before then their legal names were Mr and Mrs Lebensraum) and have continued their dynasty through each and every democratic process, running solely on a platform of knowing where everything is kept. After a generation of stifling inertia, a new ultra-conservative element of the golf club emerged which demanded that the status quo be actively preserved, as opposed to merely not being changed. This grassroots movement rallied their support around an outsider candidate.

Is it possible the barrel’s lack of experience will impair its ability to run the club? Potentially. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. Is it possible the barrel will prove unfit for office? The checks and balances of the golf club’s day-to-day organisation are predominantly handled by staff. The barrel would merely act as a figurehead.

Is the barrel empty, or is it acting as a container for some kind of substance or resource? It’s very hard to say. There’s a conspiracy theory circulating that the barrel may actually contain a human person, as it has spoken quite eloquently during the pre-election debates and on the campaign trail, but only time will tell if a grown human is willing to live inside a barrel for four years.

Under Our Roof: Discipline In The Age Of The Sharing Economy

Every Sunday I have a routine.

I roast a few Colombian beans and read or write a broadsheet colour supplement column. Then, allowing the empty coffee pot to cool, I smoke a few cigarettes while languishing within the warm pool of my own internal monologue.

Occasionally the kids play up a bit, but I tolerate it here and there. But last Sunday, the kids started really bombing and diving into my internal shallow end and I was forced to trot out the line I use as the ultimate threat: 'I’ll put your bedroom on Airbnb!'

In a pattern all parents will recognise, the line started off as a genuine threat, then with repeated use mutated into a hollow threat and eventually became a joke: a collection of vowels and consonants bereft of all original meaning; a line the children took ownership of and would say to each other in mock anger with wildly exaggerated versions of my mannerisms; a new language forged in the spiteful mouths of over-privileged progeny, the gibbering primal howls of a generation aping, then eating, their forebears.

But one day I did it. I put their bedrooms on Airbnb. Finally, they would learn to appreciate the luxury they took for granted.

“Look,” I said to the oldest one after placing the advert, “I could get £86 a night for your bedroom. A Swiss backpacker could be sleeping in your Marvel comic bedsheets this evening instead of you.” I showed him my phone. With a withering look he said, “That’s a picture of the dog, Dad.”

He was right. I’d somehow closed the Airbnb app on my phone and couldn’t locate it again. Loathe as I was to ask for tech help from the very children I was trying to chastise, I was forced to abandon the plan. If you’re reading this, Florian, I'm sorry. I hope you found alternative accommodation.