Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sorry He Asked

Commenting a while back on the demise of the Christian Science Monitor brought one of my favorite newspaper stories to mind.

Christian Scientists I knew, and I knew many, were scrupulous about abstaining from drinking and smoking in accordance with church doctrine. In fact, I have only witnessed one exception. My Aunt Dorothy, who professed to be a member although she rarely attended church services, occasionally requested a bottle of Miller High Life when she visited our home. She was a strong-willed lady, and Dad usually had to go downtown and bring back the beer rather than risk a tirade about intolerance. We believed “Dode” demanded the beverage just to shake Mom up a bit.

Christian Science rules prevailed on all church property. Newspaper people at the time the story took place were known for observing few, if any, rules of deportment in their workplaces.

After a brash, young reporter was seated for his appointment to interview the Monitor’s chief editor in the newspaper’s offices in Boston, he said, “I suppose it’s OK if I smoke in here.”

The editor fixed the upstart with an icy glare and
said, “Nobody ever has.”

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