Virtual Friends

I was chuffed (as one of my Australian subscribers would put it) this weekend to meet another early online publisher, Cathie Walker, formerly the Head Honcho of the Centre for the Easily Amused web site (later, who was in Denver briefly on business from her home in Canada.

I met her at the airport, and there was an “incident” that kind of sets the tone for my life.

We were standing there waiting for her bag to drop onto the carousel and, when it did, she stepped up to grab it. I watched as she stepped in front of a man in his 50s who was in her blind spot. He had a terribly bothered look on his face, rolling his eyes, sighing disgustedly, etc. As he went around her, he walked right in front of me (cutting me off, of course!)

Attitude is a Choice

As he went by, I said to him “Relax: you’ll live longer.” and stepped around him to join Cathie. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him stop short, turn to me, sputter a bit, and then he gave his best shot: “Take a break, jerk!”

I could not help but to laugh in his face, and I said back (without missing a beat), “That’s what I’m talking about, Homer!” Well, he had already given it his best shot, so he just turned and stomped away.

It’s sad, but pretty much a social Darwinistic thing — the grumpier he is, the worse the world treats him, and vice versa.

If we could all just step back a bit and laugh when the world makes us take a step to the side, maybe there wouldn’t be so many shootings in the world’s post offices. Perhaps I’m lucky we were in an airport, and he had left his gun home!

Maybe that modern Los Angeles philosopher had it right: “Can’t we all just get along?”

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Cathie is no longer a full-time online publisher, but years later, we’re still in touch.

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