Advice from Denver Life

How to handle a boastful golf buddy on the greens. (And other advice.)

Illustration by Ingo Fast

I play golf with a friend who always beats me by a few strokes. I don’t mind—what I do mind is his incessant bragging about his golf prowess. Should I just bite my tongue? Trevor, Wheatridge

Assuming you like this boastful “friend” enough to continue spending four-plus hours with him wearing collared shirts, smoking cigars, and tracking down little balls under big trees, the obvious silencer would be for you to win a match or two. Lessons and practice might help. But, according to our resident golf expert, this game is won or lost during negotiations at the first tee. “You’re so great and I’m so terrible, this must be boring for you,” you say. “I need you to give me some strokes if you want the match to be at all competitive.” On the other hand, if your friend has such a miserable life that the only bright spot is beating you at golf, rather than outscore him, you might want to take his bragging with a wistful smile and promise you’ll keep trying.

Whenever I go out with friends, I feel so unsophisticated when it comes to ordering drinks. Can you give me some tips so I don’t feel like such a rube? Mitchell, Five Points

Oh, rube, if only all problems were so pleasurable to solve! You live in Denver, a beer-and-a-shot town back in the day but now a city with increasingly sophisticated tastes. Cooks are chefs now, and bartenders are mixologists. Your assignment begins with a few visits to tasting rooms to learn the buzzwords for what you enjoy drinking. What do you like more—beer, wine, or spirits? If beer (try Great Divide or Ratio in your ’hood), determine if you like crisp, hoppy, malty, fruity, roasty, or funky flavors. If wine (try Infinite Monkey Theorem, or, for more variety, the Denver International Wine Festival July 10–12), do you like red (light or big? fruity or complex?) or white (dry, oaky, fruity, or on the sweet side)? And if spirits (try The Family Jones, Leopold Brothers, or a friendly local bar), which ones? And do you prefer them straight or mixed? Your new terminology will wow your friends, and make new ones.

It’s swimming pool season, and 15 minutes after we have carefully chosen our loungers and opened our beers, a couple plops down next to us with country music blaring out of their speakers. Ugh! We hate country music! Our pool requires music listeners to use headphones, but no one enforces this rule. Do we have to go home to get away from it all? Debbie, Highlands Ranch

Ooh, there are so many terrible options here. You could point to the rules and say, “Please put some headphones on,” thus alienating your neighbors. You could turn on your own non-twangy music (What? Classical? Smooth jazz? New age?) and play it loud, thus alienating the neighbors. You could approach the pool monitor to ask that the music be turned off, thus coming off as tattlers. Short of quietly moving to another spot, where it’s likely the same thing will happen with someone else, the best solution would be to bring your own music and listen on your own noise-canceling headphones. Uncomfortable? It’s that or Garth.

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