For most of my life, I have found ways to move life’s rules to my favor. It is just a fact. Some people are good at math, some are good at gardening, some are great with their hands. I’m best at ensuring I do as little as possible with maximum results and the most positive outcome possible.

I remember sitting at my desk in school and casually looking over to Stephanie’s paper to “double-check” my work and change 85% of my answers. I have taken a receipt from a gas pump and turned it in as a travel receipt at work. Nearly every weekend I go to the movies and tell the ticket dude that I left my phone in my seat and go watch a movie for free. The last time I showed my receipt at the Costco exit was in 2004.

This isn’t cheating the system as much as it is, gliding past the rules of the system. If you tell somebody you didn’t know, then typically you are giving a free pass and everybody moves on with their lives.

Except when playing golf with a certain dude.

It was a crisp Saturday morning and I’m playing golf with my boss, his son-in-law and his neighbor who owned a pawn shop and 18 tanning salons. Do you know how I know the number? Because he told me on hole one that we were going to play as many holes today as he owns tanning salons. I resisted the urge to punch him in his face and take the Mickey Donovan gold chain off of his limp body. Instead, I said, “Good for you bro.” Then I bet him $200 I would beat him.

The 11th hole is a dog-leg left and has as many trees lining the fairway as our boy owns tanning salons.  I tee off and push it just off the short grass and directly behind a tree. It was resting as comfortably against the tree trunk as a newborn baby against its mother’s chest. In short, I was in jail.

So without much thought, I rolled up to the ball and promptly kicked it two feet to the left and got into my stance. It was muscle memory. I have done this trick 1,076 times in my golfing career. Nobody has ever said anything – ever.

Until then.

Tommy Tansalot erupts out of the cart and comes charging at me like a bull. He was red in the face and looked like he had just finished a mini-marathon.

“What do you think you are doing guy?” He yelled.

“Oh yeah, I moved the ball because that shot was stupid,” I replied.

“Ok well that is against the rules,” Tommy exclaimed.

This is where I typically plead ignorance and people laugh it off. Instead, he gave me two options.

“You move the ball back and hit it or I hit you in your face,” He yelled.

This seemed like a pretty easy choice for me. So as soon as I stopped bleeding, I hit my clear shot to the green within 15-feet of the cup and birdied the hole. In an unrelated note, Tommy owes me $200 so if you see him, let him know.

Later idiots.