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    SURPRISE

    A New York City businessman decided to avoid a $20 service charge by replacing a fluorescent light himself. After he had smuggled a new light into his office and put it in place, he decided to get rid of the old tube by throwing it in the trash can near his subway stop. That night he got on the subway holding the seven-foot light vertically, with one end resting on the floor of the car. As the train became more crowded other passengers took hold of the tube, assuming it was a stanchion. By the time the man reached his stop, he simply removed his hand and exited the car, leaving the other passengers gripping the fluorescent tube!

    Today in the Word, June 24, 1992.


    Joseph Laitin, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs under Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger, remembers his former boss: "Defense Secretary Schlesinger tended to speak his mind, especially when questioned on matters he considered personal. His prickly manner sometimes carried into routine dealings with the press, often to his advantage. Once, while the Secretary and I sipped coffee at NBC before the start of the "Today" show, I learned that Tom Pettit would be doing the interview. I hastily gave Schlesinger a quick briefing on what he'd probably be subjected to in front of the camera. Pettit had a habit of bullying his guests for a good show. "Don't let this guy get under your skin with outrageous questions," I cautioned. "Keep cool and get your points across." Just then, Pettit walked in, a clipboard containing his questions tucked under his arm. As they entered the studio, Schlesinger plucked the board from a startled Pettit and glanced at it. "Pretty stupid questions, Pettit," he said, handing the man back his board. They were on the air 30 seconds later. Pettit was a pussycat.

    Government Executive, quoted in Rreader's Digest, Sept, 1991.