Originally created 08/06/02

Most people don't notice when you're on vacation

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.

- Albert Einstein

I have this theory about vacations.

Take off a week - as I just did - and you will feel like you've been away for a month.

Your friends, neighbors and co-workers, however, will hardly notice.

It's been my experience that your absence will not have registered with about 60 percent of the people with whom you interact weekly. Thirty percent (if prompted) might recall they hadn't seen you in a few days.

Eight percent will know you were gone, but if pressed will also admit your absence had little impact on them.

And about 2 percent will know you were gone because they had to do your work while you were away.

* * *

STILL TRAVELING: Yes, I'm back, and so are Norris and Becky Johnson. They sent cards No. 16, 17 and 18 from Arizona, Texas and Aiken. "Home at last!" they write. "We completed a circuit of 8,076 miles beginning June 28."

Regina Buccafusco sends a card from Boston, where she's taking part in a weeklong conference.

From West Virginia comes a postcard from Dot Farr and Doris and Jean Story, all of Thomson.

"Here's your Utah card!" write Evelyn Price, of Evans, and Cheryl Manuel, of Appling.

Ron Gates sends "greetings from the tea country of Sri Lanka. Our daughter Emily was born here 18 years ago and we are visiting her 'roots."'

And Laura Milford, Jason Milford and Christi Boshell send a card from Jackson Hole, Wyo., where they plan some horseback riding, a chuckwagon supper and a rodeo.

Dennis, Pat, Mike and Joe send a postcard from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Dan, Kathy and Andy Scukanec and Bea Hurd are in Canada, where the "Rockies are impressive and the lakes are milky blue."

The Oelleriches from Hephzibah (Ted, Carla, Libby, Ava and Lonnie) send a card from the Great Smoky Mountains. They saw a bear up close.

Gene and Kyle Arrington, of Martinez, send a card from Utah. Catherine Callahan sends a view of the Grand Canyon. And regular travelers Carol and Don send a postcard showing the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington.

* * *

TODAY'S JOKE: Wayne Brown in Martinez passes this one along.

"I just bought a new hearing aid," a man was telling his neighbor. "It cost me $4,000, but it's state of the art. It's perfect."

"Really?" answered the neighbor. "What kind is it?"

"Twelve-thirty," the man answered.

Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or bkirby@augustachronicle.com.


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