Dougie's ceiling

The story about the concrete ceiling collapsing on Doug Bermann’s desk/chair reminded me of a particularly scary incident when I was a young teen. My older brother and I were up on the roof of our old house, messing with a TV antenna attached to the brick chimney. I think we were both tromping back down the slope of the roof when we heard and felt a hideous rumbling. Looking around wildly, we noticed that the chimney was gone. After a startled glance at each other, we rushed to the ground and dashed inside the house.

Near the fireplace was our mother’s reclining chair. It was her favorite place to lounge while reading a book or taking an afternoon nap. It was now filled with an enormous pile of bricks. As luck would have it, she was out visiting a neighbor and not presently taking a brick nap!

There is an aspect of the ?Dougie vs. concrete ceiling? story that resonated. The truism that work is bad for you is, again, demonstrated. I have my own example with which I will proceed to bore you.

I was working for Compaq in New Hampshire. A couple of us were to attend a conference in Los Angeles. My co-worker had left early in order to be rested and ready to participate to the fullest and to schmooze a bit. I, on the other hand, decided to wait until the last minute and attend only the pertinent parts. Our very German administrator (we used to call them secretaries) had booked me on the first flight out of Boston on American Airlines at some ungodly hour; 7:00 AM or so. I would have none of that and had her book a flight from Manchester NH around 1:00 PM for which I was treated to cold stares and mumbling about ?lazy gypsy?.

The date of this travel was September 11, 2001 and the flight she had booked for me was AA 11.

John Reed