Alan's People Tools Blog

No One’s Child

“Foster” is variously defined as “substitute,” “temporary,” or “short-term.” So a “foster child” is an actual human being who is a “substitute,” “temporary,” or “short-term.” The antonym is “natural,” so a foster child is also not natural.

We met N (No One’s Child) after her mother could no longer care for her. As best I recall, N was about ten years old and a friend of one of our daughters in school. Both were young girls, both were in the same class, both were smart and ambitions. There was one slight difference. N was temporary and our daughter was permanent.

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My Wife

  says that she married Mr. Right. She just didn’t realize that my first name…

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Cutting Through the Fog

Yesterday afternoon the airplane carrying me from London was on approach to the airport in Palma, Majorca. As I looked through my window I was concerned that we were landing in a rather heavy fog, but I had confidence in ground radar and our pilots. After we landed safely I looked through a window on the opposite side of the plane, to see no fog at all. I looked back through my window. Heavy fog.

Was there fog on my side of the plane and not on the other? No. My window was fogged over, creating the impression of fog outside. Beyond my window the air was clear.

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Cheetos Now; Cheetos Forever

Years ago I was at a comedy show in Inverness, Scotland, and remember one joke which was very funny but still cuts me to my core.

“I’m on a seafood diet,” the comedian said. “I see food, I eat it.”

I have always been on the plus side of the scale. When I was ten or eleven my father tried to help me lose a few pounds. We had a running “bet” – lose weight, he paid me, gain weight, I paid him. That arrangement ended when he realized I was manipulating the scale so that I could instantly “lose” between three and five pounds.

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I’m Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf

  When I was very young I had many dreams, mostly nightmares. In one I…

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The Tyranny of Tickets

You bought a ticket to the show

So, I guess, you’ll have to go

Even if, that night or day,

You’d really rather stay away.

In 1975 I traveled to Mexico with my parents and my girl-friend Jill. Near the end of our trip we stayed in a resort hotel owned by the Mexican movie star Continflas.

That evening I was sick to my stomach and remained in the room because I couldn’t face dinner. During the night I woke to use the bathroom, but immediately returned to bed.

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