Although my reputation as golf?s most gifted writer may be slipping on life?s wet surface, so my standing as ?The Rain God? soars way above the clouds that have pursued me these past few months. Having brought much needed precipitation to southern Spain (see ?Polaris Apart?) and then arid Arizona (see ?Desert Rains?), I have now worked my magic on one of the driest spots on earth, the United Arab Emirates.
Here to report on the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, I flew in early on Monday morning on, wait for it, the same flight as Ian Poulter. Tastefully attired in understated slacks and dark blue top, he was up front with the well-heeled while I travelled in steerage with the Great Unwashed. After securing my long overdue first major and resulting megabuck sponsorship deals, I vow never again to turn right when boarding an airplane.
As the golfing road to riches is taking rather longer to materialise than I had originally estimated, I am obliged to seek alternative routes to fame and fortune. Though infinitely preferable to hard work, I have discovered that writing isn?t sufficiently lucrative to enable me to fly first-class, consume dollops of caviar or be relaxed about losing a practically new golf ball. Instead of scribbling around for a couple of hundred pounds a time, I need to be thinking and talking in six figures.
Anyway, back at Abu Dhabi airport as Poults and Darren Clarke (in brown leather jacket and daft highlights), who had just flown in from Joburg, stepped into their waiting limos, your blogger was making embarrassing enquiries about possible bus services into town. And then, to the delight and astonishment of everyone but me, it started to rain.
Having failed to locate a cheaper alternative and now thoroughly wet, I was obliged to take a cab. As the meter ticked on, my driver wasted his time and my money searching for the switch to start the windscreen wipers. After turning on the almost equally redundant fog lamp and various vestigial devices like the heater that are never normally needed in the desert, he gleefully started the wipers, which proceeded to groan backwards and forwards as if they were powered by an almost flat battery. Turning round to reveal half-a-dozen brown and broken teeth, he yelled ?Rain!?
I?m writing this in the Press tent the day before the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship tees off and the rain is still hammering down and will almost certainly continue to do so until I board my plane home on Sunday evening. Meanwhile, if you hear of a drought-stricken region of the world willing to pay top dollar for a heavy downpour or two, kindly put them in touch.