Yesterday Gary Woodland and his MAGA-friendly spikes held off golfing Terminator Brooks Koepka and won the U.S. Open. It was a classic example of a formerly unknown player revealing himself as a bloodless, stress-proof killer over the course and spending four days fending off all comers for a first major win that will later prove either fluky or a portent of more to come. I don’t know which it will be, and frankly I don’t give a crap. I don’t want to talk about how Woodland doggedly tore through a back nine that gave top players fits. Nor do I want to talk about how he was able to land his approach shots with so much spin that the ball seemed to be yanked toward the hole on a string.
I just wanna talk about how fucked up Carmel is.
This year’s open took place at scenic Pebble Beach, located due north of Carmel-by-the-Sea, near San Francisco. You might remember Carmel from Clint Eastwood’s stint there as mayor, and the ancillary novelty t-shirts that reign produced. You might not be shocked to learn the median home price in the village is just a shade below $1.5 million. You might also know that Jim Nantz lives in the same area and has his own Par-3 hole in his backyard. And that’s perfect because, in the middle of their coverage Saturday night, FOX took a moment to air a whimsical profile of Carmel, which turns out to be The Jim Nantz Of Towns. It is all very genteel and soothing and deft at portraying its inherent and profound fucked-upness as a charming quirk. It is, in every way, the American equivalent of the psychotic village in Hot Fuzz.
“We pride ourselves on having a variety of ordinances that are rather … odd.” That’s current mayor and Not Clint Eastwood Dave Potter, extolling the virtues of Carmel’s antiquated bylaws. We all love those, do we not? Here are some of those delightful eccentricities:
· No addresses on houses. You’re encouraged to name your estate instead: The Hope Orchard, Whale Meadow, Molly’s Pink Log, and thus and such. Judging by all the Fuck You mansions overlooking the beach and surrounding the Open course, I think residents of this area are more than happy to name their land like it’s a thoroughbred that’s running at Santa Anita.
· No mailmen. You have to go to the post office to get your mail, which is framed as an “opportunity to meet your neighbors.” Excited for AirBnb executives to latch onto this and create MailHub: a bold new innovation in social messaging and disrupting the letter-carrying paradigm.
· You need a fucking permit to wear high heels. Again, this is framed as cute, and also as a way of protecting women from the town’s uneven sidewalks. Cypress Inn owner Denny LeVant says, “It’s bizarre. It’s funny!” Sure is, Den! Unsuspecting tourists dropping into town are politely directed to the mayor’s office should they dare to buy a pair of Louboutins. Efficient.
· Eating ice cream was always technically legal in Carmel, but Potter explains that there used to be an MLB-style unwritten rule that doing so was, “discouraged for many years, because there was always the fear that you’d make a mess.” God forbid.
· The town loves dogs! That’s actually fine, although I kept waiting for the esteemed Mister Potter (convenient last name) to say, “BUT we do not sell dog food in town, for many of our residences don’t care for its odor.”
Again, this FOX segment painted all these idiosyncrasies as essential to the character of Carmel, and suggested that you’d be a fool and a decided outsider to contest them. Well I very much AM an outsider to town, so my apologies for falling off the apple cart, watching this segment, and judging it to be fucked up, and emblematic of the kind of NIMBY shit that bored and fussy rich people engage in because they have nothing better to do than to make outsiders (me!) feel stupid, unclassy, and unwelcome.
Potter closes this segment by saying, “The tradition of golf and the community of Carmel go hand-in-hand.” He appears to have no idea how damning that sounds. I’m gonna put on a pair of Easy Spirit pumps and go dump a DQ Blizzard onto his fucking desk.