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Picking The Place And Time

This is a story.

There was a great Karate fighter named Bob -- the best in the world. He had won every tournament and title. He was big, strong and fast -- a real fighter. He was also very conceited.

One day after winning another tournament, Bob went for dinner with some friends, one of whom was Sally, a nurse who worked at the local hospital. Brimming with pride over his latest victory, Bob boasted, "I can beat anyone, anywhere, at any time!"

"I wouldn't say that," said Sally. "I will fight you if you let me pick the place and time."

Bob almost spit his beer across the restaurant. He was shocked. "You're crazy!" he shouted.

"I'm completely serious," replied Sally calmly.

"You're on!" yelled Bob.

The days passed. Weeks passed. Whenever Bob inquired about their fight, Sally would say, "Not yet. Soon."

A year went by, then two. Bob forget all about the challenge. One day, as he was flying to a tournament on the West Coast, his jet suffered engine failure and crashed on takeoff. Bob sustained massive injuries and was rushed to the hospital.

Twelve hours later, as he regained consciousness, Bob found himself paralyzed, with countless tubes and wires connected to his body. As his vision cleared, he was reassured to find Sally by his side. He could not even lift his hand but summoned all his strength to give a weak smile.

Sally leaned forward and gently whispered in his ear, "here and now."

No matter how strong or powerful one might be, there comes a time when he can be beaten, if not by a person, then by injury, disease, or death.


Charles C. Goodin