It can always be worse


While making copies at Columbia, Mississippi’s library today, I began chatting with one of the regulars. She’s from Dallas, and said she hates living in Columbia.

“Why?” I asked.

“Well, it’s a very boring town,” she said. “And I came here and served time in prison.”

Without thinking, I said, “Well, it can always be worse.” I said this because, frankly, it’s something I say. Without thought. Or contemplation. It’s sorta like a catch-phrase. A bad one. The woman flashed me a perplexed look, which seems fair. It can always be worse? I hate my place of residence, and I was sent to prison. How exactly can it be worse?