Largely a result of my Aspergian nature, at times, I fear that I am a walking, talking gaffe machine. Over the years, however, I’ve worked very hard at making statements that will NOT get me in trouble. Every once in a great while, I succeed at making a hit. Last month, I had to transact some business with the local Social Security office. (A prospect that does not gladden the heart of the average American.) After I’d finished my business, I said to the worker who had waited on me, “If you ever start feeling underappreciated, I want you to call me.” (I figure that’s a bit nicer than the usual, perfunctory “thank you.”) She laughed and informed me that, in her twelve years of working at that office, I was the first person to ever tell her that I appreciated her work.
Last week, while waiting in line to go through airport security in Miami, I noticed that the woman ahead of me was extremely vertically challenged. In a good-natured voice, I said, “Ma’am, it’s a pleasure to meet the lady who designed airline coach seats. They must fit you perfectly, don’t they?” I am happy to report that she not only laughed, but she really cackled and informed me that was the cleverest comment she had heard in fifty-five years. I’m glad to have, apparently, brightened her day.