If you liked The Da Vinci Code
You will love this story.
While on a long road trip on a sultry day in the summer of 1988, my friend John turned to me and began raving about an "awesome story" he had heard. Having no choice as his captive audience, I reluctantly agreed. That is what happens when nothing but cows and cotton fields adorn the scenery.
"Have you heard this story about green golf balls?"
"You are gonna love this. Check this out, dude."
The "story" was more than four hours long, but let me give you a quick Readers' Digest version of it.
Once upon a time, when a little boy named Steve was old enough to express his birthday wish to his father, he blurted out with no hesitation: "I want a green golf ball, Dad."
Though a bit puzzled, his father obliged and got him a green golf ball without asking questions.
Then when the boy turned six, his wish was the same, but this time he asked for two green golf balls. His father again obliged, and mysteriously, the green golf balls were never seen again as was the case with the first green golf ball.
As the boy grew older, his appetite for green golf balls grew exponentially and for his elementary school graduation present, he asked for a bucket full of green golf balls, but nothing else while boys his age brandished toy guns and trucks they received as birthday and Christmas presents. At age 18, he wanted his room packed with green golf balls from floor to ceiling.
Between his bizarre requests for Green golf balls were other details about the boy's childhood, and teenage years including his first love and how he met his eventual bride. My friend John loved to talk as you can imagine.
For his wedding present, the boy asked for a truck full of green golf balls. All of the green golf balls in a truck delivered to his house to be shared with his bride vanished the day after never to be seen again.
The story had no signs of tapering off as we sit down for dinner.
As we walked back to the car, my friend informed me that the boy became gravely ill, and ended up on his death bed. It was his turn to drive, but instead of revving up the ignition, he activated the recliner to lower the back of the seat. He did that to simulate the boy's death bed.
John went onto reenact the last conversation between the grieving father and his dying son. I could only watch helplessly hoping for the end of the story. Yes, I was praying for the boy's death. Die, weirdo, die.
Boy: "Dad, I think this is it. Thank you for everything, Dad. I love you."
Father: "My son... (sniff, sniff)"
Then the father composed himself and gathered enough courage to utter the following.
"Son, all your life, you have asked me for nothing but green golf balls. Can you tell me what you have done with them?"
"Yes, I will." John continued to reenact the deathbed scene in a groggy voice, and motioned me to get closer. I was to play the father.
"I wanted the green golf balls because .....Aggck..."
The son died.
As my eyes landed the last word on page 484 of the paperback edition of the Da Vinci Code, I felt the exact same emotion that I felt 18 years ago as I pondered the next move after John had finished the four hour long story. I was fuming. You have got to be kidding me.
There was John, lying motionless for the next five minutes in the driver's seat in the parking lot of a Burger King restaurant in the outskirts of Monterey, California, leaving me speechless and seething. That I did not strangle him right there still remains one of my greatest regrets to this day.