The other day one of my friends gave me this story titled “Bathroom Commode.” It brings out the fact that if you ask a question be sure you make it clear what you are asking. Use terms that most people understand, even if later you may be criticized.
My friend is a very old fashioned lady, always quite delicate and elegant, especially in her language. She and her husband were planning a week’s vacation in Florida so she wrote to a particular campground and asked about reservations. She wanted to make sure the campground was fully equipped but didn’t know how to ask about the toilet in her letter. After much deliberation she finally came up with the old fashioned term, bathroom commode. But when she wrote that down she still thought she was being forward, so she started all over again, rewrote the entire letter and referred to the bathroom commode as the BC. “Does the campground have its own BC,” is what she actually wrote.
Well, the campground owner wasn’t old fashioned at all and when he got the letter, he couldn’t figure out what the women was talking about. That BC business really stumped him. After worrying about it for a while he showed the letter to several campers but they couldn’t imagine what the lady meant either. So the campground owner finally came to the conclusion that the letter must be asking about the location of the local Baptist Church. So he sat down and wrote the following letter.
I regret very much the delay in answering your letter, but I now take pleasure in informing you that the BC is located nine miles north of the campground and is capable of seating 250 people at one time. I admit it is quite a distance away if you are in the habit of going regularly, but no doubt you will be pleased to know that a great many people take their lunches along and make a day of it. They usually arrive early and stay late.
The last time my wife and I went was six years ago and it was so crowded we had to stand up the whole time we were there. It may interest you to know that right now there is a supper planned to raise money to buy more seats. They are going to hold it in the basement of the BC.
I would like to say it pains me very much not to be able to attend regularly but it surely is no lack of desire on my part. As we grow older it seems to be more of an effort, particularly in cold weather.
If you desire to come down to our campground, perhaps I could go with you the first time you go, and sit with you, and introduce you to all the other folks. Remember, this is a friendly community.
If you ever write a letter for information, be sure to use terms that people will understand.
That’s the Way I Saw It.
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