I had a very close friendship with a man named Robby. Robby was an intelligent, charming, and sophisticated. Shortly after we met because of a business venture, he asked his assistant to hold his calls, and he talked to me about life, and love. After several such conversations, I started to call him my “honorary grandfather.”
I recall being with him when he turned 72, and at this birthday party, he surprised me by telling me that when he died, that he wanted to go to hell. I asked him why, and he responded that all the really interesting people were in hell.
More than two decades later, Robby passed away at 96. A sad day for all those who knew him.
I remember a few years ago, I was traveling on business, and I started to think about him, and I found myself starting to talk to him; all the while looking at the ceiling, metaphorically at heaven. A few minutes into the conversation, I started to laugh, as I remembered Robby telling me that when he died he wanted to go to hell. So, I turned away from heaven, and looked at the floor, and continued to talk to Robby about my life.
After our conversation, I called his widow, and told her about looking at the ceiling, and then looking at the floor of my hotel room. She laughed, and said that Robby would be so happy to know that someone remembered that he longed to be with all the interesting people in hell.
As I said, it is not the obvious story that your listeners tell you, but I wanted to share this story, about Robby, who was an awfully good friend to many, and a wonderful husband to his wife.