Sometimes I wonder if anybody is really paying attention. We automatically ask questions sometimes without really thinking about what we are saying. For instance: A man was attempting to board the “down” escalator at a local department store when his foot slipped and he tumbled down the steps all the way to the bottom. Blood flowed from his forehead and his face was contorted in pain. I lady rushed up and asked if he was hurt.
I had been sitting alone in the restaurant for about twenty minutes looking at the menu. No waiter or waitress approached. Finally, a nice little girl with pad and pencil innocently asked, “Would you like to order?”
A standard greeting for which I have no logical reply is “How’s it going?” How is what going? I’m sure the greeter does not want a philosophical report on the state of my life at this point. And I don’t even know what “it” is that’s going!
I was recently waiting in the emergency room of a local hospital when a man rushed in and said, “Is there a doctor here?” The harried nurse answered, “Probably”.
At a civic club ladies’ night, a small gift was wrapped and placed on the table before each lady’s chair and the name of the lady was beautifully written on a tag attached to the package. Invariably, several ladies would ask, “Is this for me?”
Every time I am forced to venture north of the Mason-Dixon line or take Horace Greeley’s advice and go west, someone will listen to me speak in an accent steeped in the orations of Sam Irvin and Ernest Hollins and ask, “Are you from the South?”
The classic question and answer developed at Myrtle Beach last summer when a friend of mine in his late seventies had exceeded his own limits by trying to swim extra laps around the hotel pool. As my friend lay exhausted by the pool slowly recovering his breath, a tanned, bikini-clad life guard bent over his prostrate form and asked, “Are you all right?” My friend replied, “As long as you stand like that, I’m never going to get any better.”