Eleusis, Sparta (Greece) 30 June 1037 AD: Eleusis, a sleepy village on the outskirts of the city state of Sparta is getting geared up for its annual fair. Buzzing with excitement, the villagers of Eleusis are busy making preparations for the big event, the only day of the year the people of this village look forward with anticipation. Except for one guy, Tiberius Woody, the village loafer who wears an indifferent look as he carries a wooden stick and a bag of round objects on his way to the banks of Tiber. Tiberius Woody's original name is Timor Theophilus, a source informs us, but he has been nicknamed Tiberius Woody, as he is usually found idling on the banks of River Tiber playing with a wooden club and rolling objects.
Curious about his strange obsession with a wooden stick and round objects, we inquired further hoping to get some some insight into the mind of the idler. No one had anything good to say about this young man in his late twenties, not even his own parents. Everyone we spoke to dismissed him as a useless loafer, a good-for-nothing goof who never did anything productive, wasting his life away playing all by himself with his club and spheres.
Unperturbed by the hostile reactions he evokes, Tiberius Woody carries on merrily persisting in his idle ways. Following him around as he rushed towards the bank, we found him cleaning his wooden club and leather balls. So what does he do with his stick and spheres? Tiberius explained to us that he has dug a dozen holes on the green field and he uses the club to hit the ball into each of the twelve holes using minimum number of strokes.
The young man in pyjamas demonstrated to us his talent as he skillfully dispatched the ball into the first hole using just three strokes. Is there a purpose to this activity, we ask. Offended by our question, Tiberius asked us what was the purpose of running the marathon. "Don't we have horses to take us quickly from one place to another? Why waste your life trying to run the marathon faster than anyone else? How is throwing discuss or a javelin at a faraway distance useful or productive?"
Woody then explained to us how aiming the ball correctly and guiding it into the holes requires tremendous concentration, skill and patience. "It isn't as easy as it looks. I bet no one in the whole world can cover a dozen holes in just 30 club strokes" he said with pride. We refrained from remarking that the reason is that no one else in the world plays the dumb game he has invented.
"I'm born at the wrong time" he rued. "At some point of time in future, people will pay to watch idlers like me hit balls into holes. Kings and noblemen will invite such loafers to their palaces and tempt them with thousands of pieces of gold and silver. They will be loved and honored by millions who will hold them as examples of what perseverance, passion, determination and hard work can achieve. Had I been born in more enlightened times, I would have lived life like a king and these uncultured peasants who laugh at me today would have been slaving their asses off for my comfort."
Since he is possibly the inventor of this stick and ball game, has he given it a name, we ask. "Not yet. But since the peasants call me a goof and a loafer, I'm thinking of combining the two words and call the game 'goaf'"