Iwork in a library. One day I was scanning the library card of a young woman who suddenly asked me if I knew Hindi. I thought she looked Pakistani. Laughing, I told her that I knew not only Hindi but also Punjabi, Urdu and a little Farsi and that I was from Lahore. She was from Peshawar, which I told her was my wife's home, too. Then the 9-year-old boy with her chirped: "But now we are enemies." For all our recognition of shared history and culture dating a thousand years, the boy knew the emperor was quite naked.

Harbans S. Bedi

Arlington

As a high school chemistry teacher I was known for my chemical demonstrations. Students were often intrigued by what seemed like magic, such as boiling water at room temperature or rapidly changing a liquid to a solid. So on the morning of my very early first-period class, when I felt a lump inside the sleeve of my shirt and pulled out a pair of my wife's panties -- refugees from the clothes dryer being held by static charge -- students were unsure of the lesson. What was I trying to demonstrate? I coolly asked them to take out their textbooks.

Michael John Tinnesand

Silver Spring

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