On our vacation we visited a famous, large, man-made object. Carl, always one to be sensitive about his language, insisted on calling it the “Hoover Water Retention Structure.” HOWRETS in government speak.
We played along.
The comment seemed reasonable, but I was curious. “In what ways?”
Carl turned to me, his ever-shinning smile lighting his countenance. “When reading your book, one experiences a feeling of ‘bigness.’ Not just because of sheer mass. I sensed wonders under the surface—deeper meanings.”
“I did hide a few nuggets within the pages.”
“And I’m certain that it took a long time to build your book—as it did this object.”
I sighed. “Toil and tears without end.”
“Plus, this place is famous. People travel many miles for the delight of being here. I’m certain that your book will one day achieve the same attractive power.”
I was aglow. “One can hope.” Now aloft, I floated, carried off by a Cumulonimbus. Surely nothing could shatter the moment—no foe, no physical assault, no cutting words.
Carl spoke, his voice a trill on the breeze, “I was wondering…?”
“Yes, faithful friend?”
“Could I have a premium doggy biscuit?”
I’m certain Carl didn’t intend any ill effect. He simply wished for a treat. I gave him the one he asked for—and one more.