Ten ways to guarantee you will be found out when having an affair:
1. Have the affair with a cocktail waitress
2. Have the affair over an extended period, preferably several years
3. During this period, meet and have clandestine sex with the cocktail waitress often
4. Communicate regularly with the cocktail waitress by email, text and phone
5. When faced with likely discovery, leave a message on the cocktail waitress’ answering machine (asking her to delete her name from her voice message, because your wife has gone through your phone, found the name and ‘may be calling you’.)
6. Sound nervous and guilty and finish the message, ‘Do this for me. Huge. Quickly!’
7. Have other affairs
8. Be incredibly famous
9. Be a billionaire
10. Be incredibly stupid
Four ways to guarantee a young man will go off the rails eventually:
1. Make sure he doesn’t have a childhood.
2. Make sure his teenage is about getting ahead in life, not getting experience in life.
3. Hold this kid up as a paradigm of perfect behaviour.
4. Make sure this role-model image carries through to adulthood.
Tiger was a public phenomenon from the time he was a toddler. Check him out with his ever-present and over-ambitious father on the Mike Douglas show, where he putted against Bob Hope and beat him. At two years old he was in the spotlight; at eight years old he was winning world championships.
It wasn’t enough for this kid to be brilliant at golf, though. He was expected to be perfect in every way. In his own words: ”From early childhood I dreamed of being the world’s best golfer. I worked hard and applied my family’s values to everything I did. Integrity, honesty, discipline, responsibility and fun; I learned these values at home and in school, each one pushing me further toward my dream.” Not a lot of room there for Friday night cruising, chatting up girls. Not a lot of room for tantrums and heart break and hangovers and all the things that are part of life’s education.
It’s a bit like plugging up a volcano. If you’ve been forced to be a good boy all your life, if you’ve never been granted the freedom to run wild, to make mistakes, to learn the lessons only bad behaviour and its consequences can teach you, then one day you’re going to break loose and do something incredibly stupid – like having affairs with women who have everything to gain from kiss and tell.
However, when debating crime and punishment with my determinist spouse, who argues in mitigation for violent criminals because of their childhood experiences, my mantra has always been, ‘It may be an explanation, but it’s not an excuse’. So I suppose that applies to Tiger, as well. Just because it was inevitable, doesn’t make it OK. Bad boy, Tiger!