Date: Friday, May 16
Location: Cedar Valley Trail near downtown
I was walking along the trail around midday when I encountered a running woman.
Running Woman: “Are you that Tom who writes those articles?”
Walking Me: “Uh..yes.”
Running Woman: Offers some sort of very kind compliment that I can’t accurately quote now. (I wasn’t carrying a notebook and pen at the ready, so sue me.)
The name switch is, of course, easily understandable. For one thing, it’s tough to deliver compliments while running. Although I don’t do much running myself, I can imagine the difficulty.
Second, Todd and Tom are very close. For instance, I worked for The Fort Dodge Messenger for roughly three years, 1994-1997. For at least half of that time, the publisher called me Tom. “Hello Tom,” “Good story, Tom,” “Say, Tom…” you get the idea.
John Kerry once called me Tom for much of a phone interview in 2003. It was the same day President Bush appeared on the aircraft carrier under the “Mission Accomplished” banner. Talk about an awkward moment.
So running woman, wherever you are, thank you for the compliment. The awkwardness was all on my part.