The Breakfast Table

Life Goes On . . .

A brief sojourn in the arms of Morpheus has improved my mood, marginally. I once wrote a column about my penchant for napping, but I have never divulged where I nap–my office, with its glass walls, would be a poor choice for that.

Aside from writing tomorrow’s gem, I entertained a group of ten foreign journalists visiting here from the World Press Institute at Macalester College in St. Paul. They all wanted to know about Mike Barnicle and Patricia Smith (our cashiered columnists); the most persistent question was: How will it affect circulation? I dodged that one, and others, with managerial aplomb. A most attractive young Murdochette from the Daily Australian wanted to do a follow-up interview, on the record. I suggested she come to my Louisburg Square digs, a few minutes before midnight. Johnny Kerry style.

A one-day story? I couldn’t find our junior senator–he of the late-night resume service–anywhere in the news today.

News? I smell another Dow drop, but the wires services say it’s not superbig. I did clip a story from today’s Globe for our perusal. It’s one of these rote assaults on teenagers and how uninformed they are. Only two percent know who James Madison was (Margo, can you help me out on this one?), whereas 58 percent know who Bill Gates is. And they call these kids stupid?

But it did put me in mind of my own feeling of being worse educated than my father, and my certainty that I was better educated than my son. But a few weeks ago, we were talking about Hannibal–I think because there’s some kind of movie in the works about his life–and my son mentioned his tragic death. Huh? I inquired. I had always assumed that Hannibal died on the field of battle. But in fact he committed suicide rather than surrender to the Romans, in a town that my son could even name.

At the very least, he has a shot at Jeopardy.