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A SCENE FROM THE MASTERS

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THERE IS COLLEGE FOOTBALL IN THERE WE PROMISE

[Tiger Woods sinks his final putt to clinch victory in 2019 Masters Tournament, completing a stunning return to form many had thought impossible mere months ago, and dons the green jacket for the first time since 2005]

[a golf dad weeps]

GOLFDAD: It happened! It actually happened! This is the greatest non-boat-purchase-related moment of my life! I’m so glad we were able to share this.

SULLEN TEEN [snapchatting]: muh

GOLFDAD: It’s been a heck of a rough time for the ol’ Tiger this last decade — and for me! Ever since your mom left, I’ve been kinda down, son, but this changes everything! I’ve got a new outlook and a new hope in life!

SULLEN TEEN [instagramming]: gleh

GOLFDAD: It feels like it’s 2005 all over again! Gosh, I wish it was 2005.

[leaves on the trees quiver in a magic-seeming breeze]

GOLFDAD: C’mon, let’s go get dinner, son.

SULLEN TEEN: [looking at phone, suddenly frustrated] murph

GOLFDAD: I’ll call us a cab. [pulls iPhone from belt clip, attempts to dial] Huh, this durn thing isn’t workin. Battery must’ve died when I was takin’ all those pictures of the magnoias. Ah, well, let’s just go in the clubhouse and see if we can use their phone.

SULLEN TEEN: [can tell something is gravely wrong, is working to express this to his father] febh

[they enter the clubhouse]

GOLFDAD: Hey there, buddy, seems like my ol’ smartphone died out on the course.

BARTENDER: the hell is a smartphone

GOLFDAD: Anyways, I was wondering if you could call me a Lyft

BARTENDER: Buddy, if you want a lift, you’re gonna have to go to a moderately tall building in Britain and press the button and wait like everyone else.

GOLFDAD: No, come on, you know, like, an Uber

BARTENDER: [narrows eyes] a what?

GOLFDAD: An Uber.

BARTENDER: [leans over, whispers] who told you about Augusta National’s secret Ubermensch development program

GOLFDAD: Pal, I don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m just tryin’ to get us back to our AirBnb in time for my boy here to watch his Game of Thrones on his iPad.

BARTENDER: Alright, pal, are you drunk already? You need to get on out of here, spouting all these nonsense words that I’ve clearly never heard.

GOLFDAD: I’m just trying to-

SULLEN TEEN: [taps dad’s arm, alarmed, points to headline of newspaper lying on bar] “POPE JOHN PAUL DIED LAST WEEK, BECAUSE IT’S 2005”

GOLFDAD: [passes out]

SULLEN TEEN: [beginning to fade to transparency, senses a deep danger to the space-time continuum] plerm

———

[later]

GOLFDAD: What- what happened?

BARTENDER: You fainted, and just kept writhin’ around on the carpet, jabbering about 2019 or something. Anyways, this foursome was passing through, and I figured they could help you. Augusta National has some of the best and brightest minds from society and industry, so if you’re in some kinda pickle, you’re in luck. These are the best of the best, too — America’s greatest minds. College football coaches. Alright, I’ll leave y’all to it.

PETE CARROLL: Hi, I’m current reigning national champion Pete Carroll of USC.

TOMMY TUBERVILLE: Hi, I’m the beloved head coach of Auburn, fresh off an undefeated season.

MACK BROWN: Hi, I’m Mack Brown, I coach at Texas, who is consistently good at football and has never lost to Maryland. And, uh, my pal over here’s the up-and-coming head coach of Navy, Pa-

PAUL JOHNSON: Don’t you worry about who I am.

CARROLL: So I understand you’re in some kind of mess here, buddy.

GOLFDAD: I was here... my son and I... the Masters... Tiger Woods...

TUBERVILLE: Aw, heck, buddy, that was last week. Tiger won, sure thing. He’s gonna break Nicklaus’s record any day now.

GOLFDAD: No, you don’t understand. It’s 2019.

CARROLL: Oh, come on, now. If it’s 2019. are the Chicago Cubs mediocre?

GOLFDAD: Well, yes, but-

TUBERVILLE: Are we still at war in Afghanistan?

GOLFDAD: Yes, but-

CARROLL: Is Mack still coaching college football?

GOLFDAD: Yes, but-

BROWN: Can you imagine me still coaching in 2019? [chuckles] Alright, I’ve got a flight to catch, I’ll see y’all later.

CARROLL: Is the President in way over his head?

GOLFDAD: Yes, but now it’s Donald Trump, and-

TUBERVILLE: Wait, you’re saying just any jackass can run for federal office now? Alright, I’ve gotta go make some calls, I’ll see y’all later.

CARROLL: Buddy, I think you’ve just got Augusta fever. Happens to all sorts of dads the first time they come here. They see the pines, the flowers, the Amen corner, and they enter a state of mild delirium. Usually we just put ‘em in an ice bath with some books about World War II and play Springsteen acoustic sets until they calm down.

GOLFDAD: Haven’t you considered that there’s a much more complicated explanation for this? Like a conspiracy?

CARROLL: Hmm, you’re saying conspiracies can provide much more complicated explanations for things that are seemingly rather straightforward? Alright, I’ve gotta go make some calls, I’ll see you later.

SULLEN TEEN: [nearly faded out] flerf

GOLFDAD: Can’t someone help me? I need to get back to 2019!

PAUL JOHNSON: I have an idea.

——-

[14 years later]

GOLFDAD: [groggily coming to] I had the strangest dream. I dreamed I was in 2005, and I was at the Masters, and—

DOCTOR: Sir, you’ve been in a coma for 14 years.

SULLEN TEEN: hey

GOLFDAD: Wait, how did he get back? Aren’t there a number of unresolved paradoxes left in this story?

PETE CARROLL: [setting up whiteboard] I think I can explain, you see, the Knights Templar—

PAUL JOHNSON: [lurking with pillowcase full of doorknobs] You good now or you need me to put you back in?