My father’s secretary was visibly distraught one morning when she arrived at the office and explained that her children’s parrot had escaped from his cage and flown out an open window. Of all the dangers the tame bird would face outdoors alone, she seemed most concerned about what would happen if the bird started talking.
Confused, my father asked what the parrot could say. “Well,” she explained, “he mostly says, ‘Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.’”
The 104-year-old building that had served as the priory and primary student residence of the small Catholic university where I work was about to be demolished. As the wrecker’s ball began to strike, I sensed the anxiety and sadness experienced by one of the older monks whose order had founded the college.
"This must be difficult to watch, Father," I said. "The tradition associated with that building, the memories of all the students and monks who lived and worked there. I can’t imagine how hard this must be for you."
"It’s worse than that," the monk replied. "I think I left my Palm Pilot in there."
The day before my high school graduation, the principal called an assembly. He wanted to say farewell informally, he explained, as he reviewed our years together.
There was hardly a dry eye among us as he concluded, "We will remember you, and hope you will remember us. More importantly, we want you to remember each other. I want all of you to meet in this very auditorium 25 years from today."
There was a moment of silence. Then a thin voice piped up, "What time?"