Five Suncoast-area women, not ones to let the bandwagon of financial opportunity and, perhaps, their last best chance to claim their fifteen minutes of fame, pass them by, have told anybody who would listen--and even those who wouldn't--that they all had dalliances with the King of Golf, Arnold Palmer. The scorned tarts, all currently living in the Right Handy To Heaven Rest Home on State Rt. 72, tell a sordid tale of steamy secrets, licentious liaisons and naughty nights spent with the famous linkster in days gone by.
Berea Cowpens, 82, said they had never come forward before to tell their story out of a deep and abiding respect for Mr. Palmer and his family. Upon hearing about the outrageous sums of money that some of the alleged mistresses of fellow golf legend, Tiger Woods, are getting, Mrs. Cowpens opined, "I worked for 43 years as a high-school librarian in a little hick town in Georgia and when I found out how much those cocktail waitresses were raking in for a People Magazine interview, my support hose started to roll up and down. Our deep and abiding respect for Arnie doesn't pay our bingo tabs, now does it, girls?"
Added 91-year old Clover DeBordieu, "I'm about due for my third artificial hip and this will help me afford the JRC-77 model, instead of those generic pieces of Japanese plastic-and-cardboard crap they used on me before. I'm ready for an upgrade."
"You know that Harry Maguire movie with those two boys, Dom Cruise and Cutie Gooding, Jr.," chimed in 88-year old Hilda Gaffney McBee. "Well, we say "Flow us the honey!" I wasted the best years of my life married to that blowhard, Mr. Braswell McBee, and what do I have to show for it, God rest his soul. Three ungrateful kids and a bunch of snotty grandkids who never come to visit their old grandma. Who needs 'em, anyway? Just 'Flow us the honey, sonny!'"
"Well, back in the day, I was quite the catch," reminisced Monetta Smoaks, who is a spry 98-years young. "I knew Arnie when he was just a boy growing up in Latrobe. He used to work at the country club there and I would play a round weekly. Once he and I got to know each other a little better, though, we played around a lot more, if you catch my drift. And, I can tell you that it was never weakly, either!"
"I can assure you girls that I was his favorite," gushed her younger sister, 89-year old Augusta Smoaks. "We would just laugh and laugh when the newspapers would write about my Arnie playing the Masters, with headlines like 'Arnie Takes Augusta' or 'Arnie Pounds Augusta' or 'Arnie Has His Way in Augusta.' He was such a scamp, my Arnie was."
"And that famous line that his wife, Winnie, used on the Tonight Show about "kissing Arnie's balls for luck," that was my line, except that I wasn't talking about his Titleists when I said it. And, yes, it certainly did make his putter stand up...."
"Ah, dear, dear Winnie," said Mrs. Cowpens. "My stars, could she be a spitfire. Don't you think for one minute that Tiger Wood's wife was the first jealous woman to beat out the windows of a car, trying to put a divot in her husband. That Elin Woods doesn't hold a candle to Winnie. Driver, sand wedge, irons, didn't matter to her; she'd whale away until they broke, then just go get another club out of the bag and keep on swinging."
"Don't get us wrong," explained Mrs. DeBourdieu, "we don't begrudge these bleach-blonde, no-account Las Vegas floozie cocktail-waitress-and-hostess tramps for whatever they can shakedown poor Mr. Woods, but things were a lot different in golf, as well as in life in our day. We all had respectable lives and some of us even had semi-respectable husbands, but this was Arnie. We all just knew he'd be big someday."
"But, back then, we didn't just jet off to Australia or even Vegas. When the tour would come to our towns, we'd meet up with Arnie in some very strange places. Sometimes it would be in a motel, sometimes it would be in a deserted locker room, sometimes it was in the back of that rickety old 1958 Plymouth he drove around in. One time, we even did it in a sand trap. That was pretty awful. Do you know how long it takes you to get sand out of your..."
"Did I ever tell you girls about the time Arnie's wife broke the windows out of Braswell's Buick?" interrupted Mrs. McBee.