Thursday, October 27, 2011

I present to you, Golfpunk

This shot lands in the fairway, and you let our hostages go.

I was discussing the concept of literary "-punk" genres (cyberpunk, steampunk, etc.) with one of my best friends in the whole wide world (cue audience "awwww"), let's call him Lucius (because that's his name). It seems that new sub-genres of fiction are being invented daily lately, with marketers are overzealous readers attaching a -punk to everything. People in the Arctic? Icepunk. People on a boat? Sailpunk. The extent of this strange sub-categorization is out of control. But Lucius and I, always looking for the next big financial windfall (we're super wealthy), have decided to jump on the punkwagon and are going to corner the market on the next big -punk.

Trying to define what constitutes a "-punk" was difficult, because, really, it's just fiction and it usually doesn't need to be categorized to the point of absurdity. But we settled on the definition of a -punk genre as a story in an otherwise drab or unknown setting that is surprisingly gritty and badass. Cyberpunk transforms 14-year-old nerds playing World of Warcraft for 12 hours a day into tense international hacking escapades (nothing gritty about the word escapade, but you get it). Steampunk takes the stuffery of the olde Victoriane erae and adds guns and airships and sexy ladies. Normally boring locations or people, now kaboomed for your entertainment. After considerable debate about what our genre would be, there was one true standout amongst the crowd:

Golfpunk.

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President Kennedy lined up his tee shot on the second hole of Augusta National. The wind was warm and breezy that day, not out of the ordinary for a summer in Georgia, but the President knew his way around a gust. He stood with stoic confidence, the confidence only a man of his position and power could carry, and gazed out into the green ocean before him.

He pulled back a hefty wood driver and-

"Sir!" his top aide interrupted.

"Dammit, Johnson!" President Kennedy pulled a lightly-chewed cigar out of his mouth. "I thought I told you never to interrupt me during my back swing."

"But, sir," Johnson said panicked, "the Russians ... they've just launched their nukes."

The President turned around, his mere presence bringing the aide's eyes down.

"Where?"

There was a pause in Johnson's response. He looked up slowly at the President, afraid to answer the monumental question. Los Angeles? Would they dare hit the heartbeat of America and nuke New York City? Or would it be somewhere unimportant, like Nebraska. A distant bird chattered away, and the sound of a faint lawnmower filled the anxious void.

"Everywhere," Johnson finally gasped.

Kennedy placed the cigar back in his mouth and reset his taut body over the white ball. He waggled the driver and bounced his knees to settle in for his shot.

"Sir? What shall we do?" Johnson whispered.

"Hit them back; hit them back hard."

THWACK!

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In our next issue: Mutated giant nuclear gophers, a Russian spy with a surprisingly-high handicap, and an international crisis brews on the icy 14th green at Siberia's most notorious country club.

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