Yesterday I wrote about instructors who will always get their book orders in just after I’ve been on the phone with the publishers.
That puts me in mind of one of my favorite stories. I shall share it now, even though I know most of you have probably heard it before.
Because in cyberspace, no one can hear you scream.
The date was December 6, 1941. A young man took his shoes in to a shop to be re-soled.
The next day, of course, he forgot all about the shoes, because of the news of Pearl Harbor. He did his patriotic duty by enlisting in the Navy immediately.
He saw considerable action in the Pacific. One day late in the war his ship was torpedoed, and went down with great loss of life. Our hero managed to clamber into a lifeboat alone. He floated for days, finally washing up on the shores of a remote island, far from the shipping lanes.
For 25 years he remained on that island. He was listed as Missing In Action.
Finally a passing freighter saw his smoke signal and he was rescued. Back at home he was hailed as a hero.
His delighted parents showed him his old room, which they’d preserved precisely as it had been the day he left home.
After his parents had gone to bed, the young man looked through his well-remembered possessions. He tried on an old suit, put his hand in the pocket, and discovered the shoe repair claim ticket.
“Could the shoes still be there?” he wondered. “Only one way to find out.”
The next day he took a bus to the shoe repair shop. He found it still in business, and inside, older and grayer, he found the same shoe repairman.
“Are these shoes ready?” he asked with a smile, handing the old man the ticket.
The old man looked at the ticket, then went into the back room. A moment later he popped his head out.
“Have ’em for you Thursday,” he said.