A million years ago, when even the possibility of a future hip replacement was but a laughable speck on the horizon, a mate and I were whacking a ball around a golf course.
That's a ball each of course. We may have been less affluent in those days but we could at least manage the price of a golf ball. Usually real cheap ones if I'm honest, and very much prized. It definitely hurt when you lost one.
It would be fair to say we weren't very good at the game either. In fact more of the precious balls went sideways than in the general direction they were aimed.
It came as no surprise then when Big Bob sliced one of his efforts away to the right, out of sight over a small hill.
I assured him he'd find the ball. I'd played the course before and I knew over that little hill was a wide-open area. Big Bob's gleaming white ball would be sitting right in the middle of it.
And it was.
The trouble was it was sitting there in plain sight among several hundred other white golf balls. Unbeknown to us the area was used as a practice fairway and Big Bob's needle could not be found in the haystack, no matter how many golf balls he turned over looking for it.
It's not the done thing to pinch someone else's ball on the golf course so Big Bob sucked up the loss and carried on with a replacement bright orange ball he had in the bottom of his bag. No risk of the same thing happening there. He's used an orange ball ever since.
Anyway. This week a similar thing happened to me. With a cooked chicken. Let me explain.
Long story short I'm at the supermarket on a mission. The Boomerang Child (she always comes back) is coming for a visit, so I'm getting in some quick and easy foodstuffs.
My main objective is to grab a cooked chook and, as luck would have it, I manage to grab the last one.
I'm headed for checkouts when I remember another item Mrs P wanted. It's just down that aisle there, the one full of shoppers with trolleys, so I'll just leave my one here and go get it. So I did.
I was away no more than a minute or two. Just enough time for some sod to nick the cooked chicken out of my trolley.
Bewilderment turns to irrational anger pretty quick when your brain starts to run through what just happened. I mean someone has obviously seen me grab the last chook, stick it in the special bag and wander off with my trolley. They've seen me leave it unattended for a brief moment and they've swooped and stolen it. The swine.
Had they been watching me all along? Tailing me? Are they still watching me? Is this some sort of reality TV show? Are they filming my reaction? What's the legal position here? Did I actually own the chook? Do I need to ring Fair Go?
Quickly I calmed down and switched to detective mode.
This had all happened in the last two minutes. Given the regular queues at the checkout the thief would probably still be in the building. I could catch them and make a citizen's arrest. Reclaim my chook.
I raced down to the checkouts and, there, right in front of me, I saw the thief. Standing there trying to look innocent. Holding the bag containing my cooked chook in one hand and a baguette in the other.
Ha, nice try. The baguette was a clever touch, obviously designed to throw Detective Inspector, oh bugger it, it's my story, Detective Chief Superintendent Kevin Page off the trail. Trying to look like he'd been getting in some quick and easy stuff. I wasn't fooled.
I moved in.
Then just as I was about to confront this dastardly evil-doer, over his shoulder I saw a lady in another queue with a cooked chook bag.
Confused I turned around to see a kid with a cooked chook bag following his mum though checkout. Then there were two girls on cellphones, one holding a cooked chook bag; a bloke with a bottle of wine and a cooked chook bag . . . you get my drift. They were everywhere.
And I knew one of them was mine.
But there was nothing I could do. Except let it go and move on. Just like Big Bob on the golf course.
I am thinking of going back to have a word with the supermarket manager though.
I'd like to know if it's possible for me to get a bright orange cooked chook next time I go there, just to avoid any confusion.
• Kevin Page is a teller of tall tales with a firm belief too much serious news gives you frown lines. Feel free to share stories to firstname.lastname@example.org .