Friday, August 11, 2006

Bedside Manner

James Lileks tells about a visit to an aging dictator’s sickbed:

Scene: a secret Havana military hospital. An old frail man snaps awake, and stares: there’s a stranger seated next to the bed, a long, unlit cigar in one hand. He leans back and smiles.

“Don’t be alarmed,” says the stranger. “It’s just me, the Angel of History. I like to have a chat with men of your stature at times like this. Good run, old chap; dying in bed. Well played! A little advice? Pretend to die just as you’re telling them the secret Swiss bank account numbers. Drives them mad, and it’s most amusing to watch. Mind if I smoke?”

Read the entire story here.

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