I am copying here an email I received a few days ago from one of our members. The short story unfolded in a bank while he was paying his annual dues.

“I remembered your editorial of a few months ago, while I was finishing the transaction and was ready to leave, when the charming lady in her forties behind the counter asked me all of a sudden ‘and what is this society all about?’

She had already pressed the new customer button, so, I just managed to say ‘philately, that is, the study of postage stamps and postal history…’ but I couldn’t go any further.

‘Oh, with stamps’ she said, so I hurriedly replied ‘it’s more, much more interesting than it sounds…’. I received a beautiful, wide and warm smile, but I had to leave. I promise next time I’ll do much better… ”.

Three numbers back, in this particular column, we wrote for the need of convincing answers of more or less twenty seconds. Here, the time available was very limited, a breath or two, and worst of all, the question came fast, unexpectedly. We will never know what our friend’s casual encounter understood. He, however, should not complain. After all, had he done better, what would he have earned more than a beautiful smile from a charming lady? Wasn’t that enough?