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.