Blogs > Cliopatria > When I Hate to Apologize ...

Jan 7, 2005 2:23 am


When I Hate to Apologize ...



Once, when I was a teenager, a young lady and I were parked out in front of her house fairly late into the night. We were doing what a young man and a young lady sometimes do at the end of a pleasant evening together. Apparently, we were so pre-occupied that we missed it when her mother flashed the porch light off and on several times and several times again. But we came up for air when her mother came out to the car and knocked on the window. Fast end to long night. My mother made me call the young lady's mother the next day and apologize. Mother did things like that. I hated to apologize, but was good for me.

Any way, a couple of tsunami-related things reminded me of that incident, unlikely as it may seem. One of them is that I wish I could say that the young lady was Diane Sawyer. It could have been, because Diane and I went to church together when we were teenagers and our parents were good friends. Say what you will, for a sixty year old woman, Diane Sawyer is hot. No offense intended, Mike, but she is. Now, Diane has pulled hard duty in reporting on the tsunami and I love her dedication to the story. I'm sorry that Diane Sawyer and I were not intimately embraced one night so long ago. I am sorry, but that is so.

There are two other things that I have to apologize for. The one that really galls me is that I owe an apology to Myanmar's military dictators. Like a half-dozen other bloggers, I doubted that the official reports from Burma that only 90 people had died there as a result of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean. It was reasonable to doubt it because the numbers reported there were so low and damage in nearby areas was so high. But United Nations officials now report that the reports from Burma were accurate.* I hate it when I have to apologize to military dictators. The other thing that I need to apologize for is that I may have unintentionally misled my colleagues about my schedule for the AHA convention. But I promise you that I am scheduled to leave Atlanta early tomorrow morning and I expect to be in Seattle through the weekend. I wonder if Diane Sawyer will be there.
*Update: My source for this was Melissa Block's interview with Charles Petrie, the UN's resident coordinator in Myanmar on NPR's"All Things Considered" this afternoon, but I may have spoken too soon here. Patrick Belton at Oxblog cites a report by a Thai missioner near the Myanmar border who claims that there were about 600 deaths on and near the Mergui archipelago on Burma's southern coast. Consider that apology on hold.

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