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How I Ended Up With A Box Of Golf Balls

July 3, 2010

I don’t golf. Never. I used to joke that it was the white man’s game, but then Tiger Woods came along and ruined that line for me. Also, he nailed my ex-wife in an airport bathroom. I hate that guy.

Anyway, I now have a box of golf balls. Here’s what happened.

I spent this afternoon watching out for an elderly gentleman of our acquaintance who has advanced Alzheimer’s and newly diagnosed Parkinson’s. He’s a ghost of his former self; once a robust, hearty financial tycoon with a big laugh and a naughty sense of humour, he’s now a shaking, shivering shell who forgets who his wife is, who his children are. It’s sad to watch happen.

My task today was to keep him company for a few hours while his wife ran some errands. “No problem,” I said, thinking about their 60-inch plasma TV and the Paraguay-Spain match. That’s a bit of a joke; I am actually extremely fond of these people and would do anything for them. Also, their house is air-conditioned and his wife made me a hamburger.

We watched the game (I was pulling for Paraguay, as I love me my South Americans), and after Paraguay lost on a bullshit offside call, we switched to the Golf Channel, which exists in the homes of old white people. We watched some weird Survivor-style show about women golfers, and then something called Golf’s Funniest Home Videos. My pal nodded off a few times, zoned in and out, and would occasionally get up and wander around, confused. This is the saddest part of Alzheimer’s; here he is, in his own home, and he doesn’t know where he is. And he can’t ask for help. He’s very hard to understand, as his voice is now a low mumble and he often thinks he’s a child again.

Sometimes he knew who I was, and sometimes he wondered why this large brown person was watching his TV.

He wandered outside once. He moves very, very slowly, so I gave him a chance to discover just how flippin’ hot it was, and then I went and brought him back indoors. He then went into the kitchen, opened the cupboard, turned over all the coffee cups, and mumbled what I suspect was “Where’s that girl who makes the coffee?” This would be his wife.

After a moment, he came back into the living room holding a new box of Titleist golf balls, and his old voice was suddenly back. “I can’t golf anymore because of this Parkinson’s, so here, maybe you can use these.” And then he sat back down in his big leather armchair and fell asleep.

These are the best golf balls I’ve ever owned.

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One comment

  1. Very touching.



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