Everything Old is New Again

[Originally posted December 15, 2005]

Julie and I attended a party last night, in honor of Harvey Mudd College’s fiftieth anniversary. (There’s a little more about it at “Luncheon ex Machina”.) Had a very pleasant time — and I realized that one reason I liked it so much was that I got to tell a bunch of my standard stories to a new audience. Julie even encouraged me in a couple of instances!

It helped that our hostess was a linguist by profession; that meant I could trot out lots of old tales about dealing with foreign languages: the Cancun cab driver, dealing with various Italian dialects, the Danish “Star Wars” story (which isn’t really mine, it happened to a friend, but I tell it anyway), our encounter with various “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?” editions, and so on. I even dragged in my father’s Grand Tour.

Someone mentioned the Manhattan Project, so I brought out the HTG copper story and the thing about the War Department owing my mother a day’s pay.

I even got to tell about why my grandparents got married in Halifax. That’s a favorite.

I’ve told most of these stories a dozen times, but it’s still fun to present them to a new audience. I wonder, really, why it’s so much fun telling the same old stories over again. I never get bored with them.

My kids sure did, though.

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