Pumping gas this morning. The pump opposite mine is being used by a man whose very cute little son, perhaps four years old, is taking the opportunity get into the sorts of things with which four-year-olds have bedeviled their fathers since the Dawn of Time: picking up cigarette butts, groveling in a mud-puddle, investigating the contents of the trash bucket. Dad upbraids the boy when he seems headed for a nice wallow in a pool of oily water: "Hey! Leave that alone!"
I'm leaning on my crutches as I wait for my tank to fill. The boy sees me, is suddenly fascinated by my evident cripplehood. "Hey, Dad!" he enthuses, "That guy's got crutches, just like Grandpa when he hurt his leg!"
"Yes," replies Dad, wishing the topic hadn't come up quite so clearly within earshot of its subject. "Maybe he hurt his leg too, like Grandpa."
"Yeah, maybe. Or maybe he just got a little old..."
From the mouths of babes. I laughed uproariously, and told the kid he was exactly right. I didn't hurt my leg. I just got a little old.
I'd have bought him a Slurpee if that sort of thing were still done. Honesty is a virtue affordable only to the very young -- and, of course, to the very old.