The Story of the Pink Ping Pong Balls

A wealthy man had a little boy. For some reason, his first words were “Ping Pong Ball”.

When the boy was old enough to speak, and understand birthdays and gifts and such (about three years old), he asked the boy, “So son, what would you like for your birthday this year?”

The boy said, “Daddy, I would like a pink ping pong ball.”

The father said, “That’s it? No trucks, no trains no puzzles?”

The boy said, “No, just a pink ping pong ball.”

So the father gets him the pink ping pong ball and wraps it up. The boy is absolutely delighted. He takes the pink ping pong ball to his room, and the pink ping pong ball is never seen again.

A day before his 15th birthday, asked by his father, “Well my son, what would you like for your birthday?”

The Son hesitated a moment and his father’s thoughts leaped ahead to a new computer and similar things. However, his son had had a new computer only recently and could have a new one any time he wished.

Finally, The son said, “Father, I have everything a boy could wish for, but there is one thing I would really like. I would love to have five pink ping pong balls.”

The father was rather astonished at this wish, but said, “If it is pink ping pong balls that you want, a pink ping pong balls you shall have.”

And so, the next day, the son was given as his birthday presents five pink ping pong balls.

The boy took the pink ping pong balls to his room and the next morning the pink ping pong balls were gone. The father was mildly surprised but decided not to say anything. The pink ping pong balls, however, was never seen again.

The next year, a day before his 16th birthday, the father asked his son what he would like for his birthday.

“Father,” replied the son, “I have everything a boy could possibly wish for, but there is one thing I would really, really like. I would love to have a ten pack of pink ping pong balls.”

The father was more surprised than the year before, but kept his curiosity at bay, for he knew that his son had a right for privacy. He said therefore, “If it is a ten pack of pink ping pong balls that you want, a ten pack of pink ping pong balls you shall have.”

And so, the next day, the son was given as his birthday present a ten pack of pink ping pong balls.

The boy took the ten pack of pink ping pong balls to his room and the next morning, not a single ping pong ball remained, merely the empty husk of the ten pack. The father wondered where ten pink ping pong balls might disappear to, but decided not to say anything. The pink ping pong balls, however, were never seen again.

The next year, a day before his 17th birthday, the son was asked by his father what he would like for his birthday.

“Father,” said the son to this, “I have everything a boy could wish for, but one thing would make my happiness complete. I would dearly want a carton of pink ping pong balls.”

The father was beyond surprise but decided to make sure he had not misheard.

“A carton of pink ping pong balls?”

“A carton of pink ping pong balls,” the boy confirmed.

“I can’t understand your fascination with pink ping pong balls,” said the father, “but if it is a carton of pink ping pong balls that you want, it is a carton of pink ping pong balls that you shall have.”

And so, the next day, the boy was given as his birthday present a carton of pink ping pong balls.

The boy was delighted and took the carton to his room. The next day, miraculously (as if by magic, even) the pink ping pong balls had all disappeared.

“Dear son,” said the father, “I must ask now, what do you do with all those pink ping pong balls?”

The son, however, was reluctant to tell him. “Please humor me, dear father.”

The carton of pink ping pong balls, however, was never seen again.

The next year, it was clear that the son would get a car, but the father felt that, perhaps, his son also had some other wish apart from the obvious. So, one day before the son’s 18th birthday, the father asked him whether he had a special wish for his birthday.

“Dearest father,” the son started, “I have everything a young man could possibly want, but there is one craving in me. I would, more than anything, want a warehouse full of pink ping pong balls.”

One of these years, his father thought, I should get to the bottom of this. However, he decided to humor his son’s wish. At least he had been wise enough to buy shares in a pink ping pong ball factory.

The next day, the son was given the address of a warehouse where all his new pink ping pong balls were stored. The son was delighted and decided to spend the next night in the warehouse rather than at home.

The following morning, the son stepped out of the warehouse, but it seemed to be empty otherwise. The father had a closer look and indeed, apart from empty cardboard boxes, nothing was left inside the warehouse. No pink ping pong balls were left.

The following year, one day before the son’s 19th birthday, the father braced himself for another warehouse of pink ping pong balls. He asked his son what his deepest desire was and he had not been entirely wrong.

“Father, you have made me very happy these last years and this year I ask of you a shipload of pink ping pong balls if at all possible.”

It was possible, if only because the father had by now bought each and every factory of pink ping pong balls in the country.

The next day, the father took his son to the harbor and showed him a huge tanker and told his son that there were millions, billions, trillions of pink ping pong balls in there.

“Father,” the son said, “You’ve made me very happy yet again.”

That night, the son spent on board the tanker.

The next morning, not a single of the pink ping pong balls could be found, but the son was happy.

A few days before his 20th birthday, however, the son had a terrible road accident and was taken to the hospital.

His father visited the young man in the hospital. “My dear son! Can I bring you anything to make you feel better?”

Weakly, the son sat up in bed. “Father, dearest father, grant me this wish; just one ten pack of pink ping pong balls.”

The father held his son’s hand tightly. “Whatever you wish my son, but I have to give you one condition. Even if it may be embarrassing, I must know what you did with all those pink ping pong balls.”

“Very well, father, but please indulge me first. I will tell you whatever you wish to know after you have given me the ten pink ping pong balls.”

The father thought that was fair enough and the next day brought his son the ten asked for pink ping pong balls. The son smiled weakly but seemed too weak to talk.

Son, I leave these pink ping pong balls with you and shall come back tomorrow to ask you what you have done with all those pink ping pong balls.

The son nodded weakly.

The next day, less than surprisingly, no pink ping pong balls could be found in the son’s hospital room.

“Now, my dearest son, apple of my eye, treasure of my life, please tell me what you did with all those pink ping pong balls,” the father requested.

The son nodded and the father gripped his hand tighter.

“I…” the son started and sat up a bit, swallowing with a dry mouth.

“I… I…”

Then he died.

Pretending To Be a Light Bulb

A guy urgently needed a few days off work, but he knew the Boss would not allow him to leave. He thought that maybe if he acted “crazy” then he would tell him to take a few days off.

So, he hung upside-down on the ceiling & made funny noises.

His co-worker asked him what he was doing.

He told her that he was pretending to be a light bulb so that The Boss might think he was “crazy” and give him a few days off.

A few minutes later The Boss came into the office and asked, “What are you doing?”

He told him he was a light bulb.

The Boss said, “You are clearly stressed out. Go home and recuperate for a couple of days.”

He jumped down and walked out of the office.

When his co-worker followed him, The Boss asked her, “… and where do you think you’re going?!”

She said, “I’m going home too. I can’t work in the dark!”

Arcane Bond – A Story Between a Master and His Apprentice

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