Bookie (Pronounced Boo-Key)

        The best thing about my writing is all the new friends I’ve met. Someone read the golf passages in “The Mandolin Case,” and wanted to introduce me to a character named Boukie (pronounced Boo-Key) Murdock. “Doc,” they said. “I promise you there ain’t but one Boukie in the world. There ain’t another one like him.”

        They were right. Boukie is 6’1′ and about 230. He walks with a limp after a scaffolding collapsed at a construction site in the 80s. He lost his left eye years ago. (It wasn’t a fight; he got hit by golf ball.)

        Here is my warning. Do not be fooled. Boukie is past Medicare age, but still can drive the ball 260 yards. He holds scores of course records and has 13 hole-in-ones. Unless you have played professional golf your entire life I would not play Boukie for more than a  hot dog and I would only do that if you just want to see a good game and buy the man’s lunch.  That swing is as sweet as maple syrup.

        He kinda reminds me of Snookers Molesby. My matches with Snook were just one extended golf lesson for Doc punctuated by a perpetual cheeseburger plan for my old buddy.

        Before I met up with Boukie I did my usual background check. The last time I played the choose-up at River Run I went out to the practice range and asked the boys, “You guys know a cat named Boukie?”

        Snook stopped mid-swing. “Boukie Murdock? Doc, you ain’t gambling are ya?”

        “Naw, Snook. I know better.”

        “Well, it’s a good thing. You’ve got some game, but you can’t hang with Boukie. He’s the only cat within three counties I gotta play straight up. Used to run with that Crump fellow out of Charlotte.”

        “Yeah, I remember Crump. Heck, Trevino only gave him a shot a side when he was in town at Quail Hollow.”


        Boukie is a gambler, but he’s not a hustler. There’s a difference. A hustler tries to sandbag you, and get shots he doesn’t deserve. A gambler will tell you straight up; he wants a money game and he can play.

       Again, don’t bet more than a hot dog. Boukie’s been known to play for a house. And by the way, I wouldn’t play gin with him or shoot pool either. I haven’t seen him shoot pool, but I can just tell. His nephew used to own a pawn shop and pool hall before he retired, and I understand Boukie always hung out there when he wasn’t on the golf course.

          I don’t know everything, but a man is best off to stick to what he knows to make a living. A doctor ain’t gonna whup a guy with one eye named Boukie. I’m glad he’s my friend. 

Dr. B

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4 Comments on “Bookie (Pronounced Boo-Key)”

  1. Billy Says:

    Love the ethics of golf. If he tells you straight up that he is good and he wants to gamble then he is honest. Only your own greed with sink you.

    BTW, stopped by Smokin’ Ed’s in Chattanooga, where you had your book signing. They have changed their name to “Whistle Stop BBQ”. I don’t know if it was all the TV, Radio and Newspaper coverage you gave them that made them do it or what. But they had high praise for your book.

    • drtombibey Says:


      Bouk won’t lie to you. He’ll tell you straight up he’s good, and he is.

      Glad they liked the book. ‘Tis fitting ’cause I sure loved their cue.

      Dr. B

  2. bloowillbooks Says:

    I have a story for you that’s similar to this. One of my favourite old mates is ninety-four years old. His name is Cliffy Pepper and he was a founding member of the Stockman’s Hall of Fame (here in Australia…you can google it). I didn’t know that the day he rescued me off a snorting, rampaging horse. I was stuck on this beast when an old man pulled up in his ute (pick up truck).

    “You all right Sweetheart?” he asked.
    “Ummmn…no.” I can’t help being honest, besides I thought it was obvious.
    “Why don’t you get off that animal and let me deal with it?”
    I looked him up and down and thought about how he’d sue my backside off if he fell and broke a hip. Then fear and my intuition that he’s not of a ‘suing’ generation kicked in.

    I swear he got on that horse and it stopped misbehaving instantly. He galloped it for a while then came back to me saying “This horse just needs to know who’s in charge!”

    We went riding together three times a week after that (until I had to move back to the city) and I have to say, while my job description might read ‘academic’…there is absolutely nothing I would presume to teach Cliffy!

    • drtombibey Says:


      Thanks so much for visiting and for your story. Like you, I’ve have found one should never underestimate these country people whose education was from living a long time. Many of them have learned a lot along the way.

      Dr. B

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