My children were picking up their children from school, and that day they were holding them very close. Because some parents of little schoolchildren in Connecticut would not be able to pick up their children from school or hold them close. Not that day - never again.
Now, you probably wouldn't expect the subject of intimacy to come up in a discussion of wallpaper. Yeah, well it did. I have a friend who is a painter and a wallpaperer for a living, and he was helping in our office. He actually volunteered to help us out by scraping the old wallpaper off a wall that really needed some work. And before we were in our building, someone had put wallpaper on the sheetrock years ago. Well, when I walked in, he was very frustrated because what happened was, well apparently, when they had applied that wallpaper to the sheetrock they hadn't put any preparation layer on it. So, you can probably guess what happened. The wallpaper and the top layer of the sheetrock had sort of become one. And when he scraped off the wallpaper, you got it. The top layer of the sheetrock came with it. He was pretty frustrated, and he held them up to me and he said, "I can't separate them!" Then he said, "You know what we call this, Ron?" We being "wallpaperers" I guess. He said, "We call this an intimate bond." Well, those intimate bonds are hard to separate.
When I fly into Washington D.C., I sort of flash back to an unforgettable scene. It's been quite a while, but I can't help but think of it as I see that same bridge. It actually happened way back in 1982 in January. It was when Air Florida's flight 90 took off in Washington. It raked the 14th Street Bridge; plunged into the freezing waters of the Potomac River. I can still remember that image of the tail section sticking up out of the river and six survivors clinging to that plane.
It was really cold outside. It wasn't supposed to be cold inside. But when I awoke that morning, my nose felt like a puppy nose. It was cold - 45 degrees in the house! Turned out the problem wasn't the thermometer. No, that just reflected the temperature. It was the thermostat that sets the temperature.
It wasn't easy being queen. So it should come as no surprise that monarchs like the late Queen Elizabeth would like to escape from London sometimes. In fact, one such occasion, the queen asked her chauffeur to take her for a ride in the country. Then she asked him to pull over so she could just take a little walk by herself. No crown, no gown - dressed down. So for these golden moments, the queen was just an ordinary lady, taking a walk in the country. She'd gone out about a mile down the road when this sudden rain shower opened up. The queen knocked on the door of a small hut that was nearby. She asked the lady if she had an umbrella. The lady actually had two umbrellas - a tattered, battered old umbrella and a brand new one. She gave her the beat up umbrella. This is the queen, but she doesn't know that of course. The queen promised it would be returned the next day. Well, you've got to imagine the scene as a uniformed chauffeur pulls up in the royal limousine, goes to the door of the hut the next day and announces, "I'm returning this for the queen." Needless to say, the woman was in shock. All she could say was, "If I had known it was for the queen, I would have given her my best!"
A few years back, there was some things in the news about a lot of grumpy prime ministers and presidents. Yeah. Well, there was a reason. It seemed the U.S. was allegedly dropping in on their phone calls uninvited. Now, I'm not sure what all prime ministers and presidents talk about, but they obviously did not like being snooped on. But then, who does?
Kids count the days. Teachers count the days. Principals count the days. Until everybody can shout those happiest of all words, "School's out!" Police cars sport bumper stickers that warn drivers to be extra careful. Same reason: "School's out." And graduations? Those are real milestones because you don't ever have to go back to that school if you don't want to! I hate to rain on anybody's parade, but that "school's out" thing is actually a myth. Or at least it should be.
It was many centuries ago in a remote village in India. Word began to spread that something was about to happen that no one had seen in their lifetime - the prince was actually coming to visit this forgotten little village. Well, everyone was excited, but no one was more excited than the village beggar. Every day he eked out another day by sitting by the road with his little cup, hoping to get enough money to buy some rice to live one more day. He actually had two cups, one for collecting money and one for a few grains of rice. But now the prince was coming. I mean, the wealthy prince! And when that prince finally arrived, the beggar mustered his most impassioned appeal, "Alms! Alms for the poor!" And the prince stopped. The beggar's heart was pounding furiously.
It may have been the most defining moment in a generation - the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Most of us were marked indelibly by just watching it on television. My friend Mark lived it. It was his first visit to New York, and his business took him high up in one of the Twin Towers. After the attacks, there was still great confusion as to whether to evacuate or stay in the building, Mark disregarded the announcement to "return to your office." That decision saved his life.
I have carpenter friends who never leave home without their tools. There are doctors who never leave home without a stethoscope. And I can understand those kinds of things, but what about a friend of one of my friends who is an electrician. Well, he always carries an outlet box with him - you know, the thing in your wall you plug your things into. But that's all this electrician carries - just the outlet box. He says he carries it just in case he's in a situation where there's a power outage and no electricity available. Now, listen, there's probably something I don't understand here but, like is this going to help?