In another touch of oddness my brother was invited by a friend from work to play golf, at a course just about within walking distance of his house. My brother was glad to give it a try, since he'd gotten a second-hand pair of clubs from ... some ... place or other years ago, and had never had the chance to actually use them. My brother had assumed they would either be hanging out on the driving range for a while or else would use the pitch-and-putt course, since as far as he knew those were the only golf options at that spot. It turns out that there's a full golf course there, and my brother soon called his wife to say he'd be a bit longer than he thought since they had nine holes to play. In fact, they had eighteen holes, as he had misunderstood just how many holes there were on the course and how many they had signed up for.
So what would already have been an amusing series of calls he made explaining he was going to be later than he thought were prolonged by the discovery that neither he nor the people he was playing with were any good at golf. To judge from the calls explaining where they were and how long they'd been there, everyone involved had vaguely heard of this golf game, but knew no more about it than you or I know about replacing the heat-resistant tiles on the space shuttle. Where any of us might make a game out of hitting the ball towards the hole, they were apparently none too sure where the hole was, which object the ball was, or what to hit it with.
This may sound like only hyperbole, but about five hours into the game we got the call that they had finally finished the first nine holes, a pace which would see the game wrapped up neatly by about November 2008. That would have been fine, though, since his wife and I were having fun -- among other pastimes -- making fun of how slow his party was taking on the golf course. But when he did at long last finish up and get home, he barely had time to be rebuffed in hugging and kissing his wife (he desperately needed a shower) before telling us they didn't keep score, they were just trying to shoot par and didn't get hung up on whether they actually had or not. Probable translation: they shot their SAT scores.
Trivia: After setting in for repairs for several weeks Christopher Columbus's expedition finally set out from the Canary Islands heading west on 6 September 1492. Source: The Last Voyage of Columbus, Martin Dugard.
Currently Reading: The Boeing 247: The First Modern Airliner, F Robert van der Linden.