Humanity’s flaw, in one exchange

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Yesterday morning I walked the dog, then stopped at 7-Eleven to grab an iced coffee. As I approached the register to pay, the man in front of me said to the clerk, “How was your Christmas?”

He was about 70, bald, a bit hunched over.

“Good,” she said, gazing toward her inquisitor. “How about you?”

“Well,” he said, “I spent it in the hospital.”



“Oh,” she said. “Well … that’s good.”

Um …

Then I paid for my iced coffee.

As the man shuffled off, I said, “What happened? Are you OK?”

He stopped. He was having breathing problems. An ambulance was called and rushed him to the ER. He’s fine, but they kept him for hours so he missed all the fun at home.

It wasn’t good.