Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Scott Baio Incident

This is a story that goes back a few years. A lot of years, to be exact.


I had taken up a healthy enthusiasm for golf and was playing frequently at the Studio City Golf Course on Whitsett Avenue out in the Valley. One of the really cool things about playing this course was that, because of its location and closeness in distance to major film studios, you sometimes got to see celebrities playing there. Sometimes you even got to play with them.

There were months where I was playing there four or five days a week, and playing four or five rounds a day.
I saw a lot of interesting people come and go.

I got to play quite often with Dweezil and Ahmet Zappa, the sons of legendary rocker Frank Zappa. They had inherited a lot of money from their fathers estate, and they could play golf all day, everyday. They were good guys and I enjoyed their company.

I once watched Damon Wayans play a round right in front of me with an instructor giving him tips all the way around the course. He really sucked at golf in 1997, and I doubt he even plays it at all now.

Another time I played a round with actor Richard Kind, who was starring on the television series "Spin City" at the time. He was another one who wasn't too good. I remember playing with him one time and on the fourth hole he shanked about four straight tee shots into the L.A. River. His buddies started laughing about it and he stormed off in a huff and didn't finish the round.

But by far the clearest memory I have of Studio City Golf Course is what I have come to describe as "The Scott Baio Incident".

One day I was playing a round with some guys I knew and we were walking off the 7th green. Suddenly a ball comes whistling past my head and thumps onto the green about three feet away from me.

I saw a guy with a green polo shirt walking off the 7th tee. I thought "that son of a bitch. He hit into me. On a par 3 course!!"

I decided I'd have a little talk with him on the next tee. I waited until they caught up and told him he had recklessly fired at a green that wasn't empty. He didn't really apologize and made some excuse about "Hey, we are just trying to hurry up and finish."

I went up and got in his face and told him if he did it again there would be trouble. When I got real close to him, I realize, hey.... this is that little prick from the TV show "Happy Days".

Chachi Arcola. Yeah.. Scott Baio.

Anyway, my group hits to the 8th green and Baio gets up on the tee box right behind us as we walk away and says "OK if I hit now?" to taunt me a little bit.

Now, I should be very clear about describing what happened next. In my younger years, I had both served in the military and I had also been a two year letterman on my wrestling team in high school. I'm not the biggest guy in the world, but I haven't lost a fight in over 30 years -- and I've been in plenty. In fact, my brother thinks I'm one of the meanest guys in the world. Anyway....

This retort by Baio doesn't sit well with me. I start taking a few aggressive steps in his direction with the express intention of punching him right square in the mouth for being a smart ass to me. Luckily, a few of the other players realized what was about to happen and they grabbed me before I could get to Baio.

No punches were thrown, but Baio was a little nervous as he saw me struggle to get to him. He didn't say another word to me after that.

It was 14 years ago....and I still don't like him.

Why do I bring this story up now? Well.... as it turns out....

I doubt that I will be in attendance.