My grandfather once told me this story:
Every day, on his way to work as a chemistry professor at the University of Utah (1948-1973), my grandfather would pass the same man walking the other way. For some reason, each never exchanged more than a tacit acknowledgement of the other. This bothered my grandfather, but as it had happened so often, it had become the protocol.
Then one day, as they were walking toward each other, the man extended his hand to my grandfather.
Finally a chance to meet this man! my grandfather thought and happily extended his hand in return.
“No,” the man said as his hand formed into a point, “your zipper is down.”
I mention this story, because now is the second time in two days I’ve gone hours before realizing I forgot to zip up.
My grandfather is very famous in his home country. I heard there is a statue of him at a university there and he’s buried in the national cemetery. Somehow the thought of this embarrassment of one of Korea’s most famous scientists makes mine a little less.
I miss my grandfather.