John got torqued off reading articles about the efforts of many people and organizations helping earthquake victims in Haiti get fitted with prosthetics.

Of course, I didn’t know that he’d been reading them, he just planted himself in the office doorway and asked me, “So do you think people will remember Haiti in 18 months?”

And I, thinking this was an cynicism quiz, said, “Uum, noo. The public will have moved on to the next disaster. It’s easier to feel like you’re fulfilling your search for self-actualization only if the drama is high. Mop up after the party is so tedious.”

“No,” he replied (test fail, Pam, apparently). “They’re fitting people with prosthetics now, but will anyone be around in 18 months when they all need re-fitting.”

“Oh,” I said, heavy on the sarcasm, because I knew I had him caught in a web of hyperbole, “they’re all going to need re-fitting?”

“Yes. The stumps all will have changed dramatically within 18 month — muscles atrophy, kids grow.” I tell ya what, a guy has one arm surgically removed, like, a hundred years ago, and all of a sudden he’s a freakin’ amputation expert. “What’re they supposed to do?” he added. “Whittle new legs?” And he’s a wiseacre.

“Well, you got it figured out then, hon.” I conceded. “We should send a boatload of pocket knives. It’s like that saying: Give a guy a prosthetic leg, and he’ll walk for 18 months. Teach him how to whittle, and he’ll walk for a lifetime.”

“You’re sick.” That’s what he said, but he laughed, so I know what he meant.

This is what passes for intellectual discussion at: pam(at)