A story about how the elderly do not get enough credit

My aunt was in the doctor's office in a large local hospital one day for a regular exam. She sat quietly, minding her own business, but she could not help but overhear a conversation across the way from her.

An older lady sat with her daughter awaiting a set of her test results. Doctors' visits are all too common for the elderly, and many times a loved one goes with them for comfort and support. The doctor finally made his presence with the results of the test. Upon his entrance into the waiting room, he began talking to the daughter, and explaining some of the meanings of what was going on.

The older lady listened in for a few, and then gently tapped the doctor on the shoulder:

"Do you like to do crosswords?" She asked.

Taken a bit aback by the strange question, he responded:

"Why yes, I do them every morning in the newspaper."

"Good." She grinned. "Do you do them in pencil or in pen?"

"Pencil, of course." the doctor responded, quite confused by the currently line of questioning.

"Well sir, I do them in pen. You can speak directly to me."

The doctor straightened up his act, and the old woman got the respect she deserved. She defied the stereotype regarding the elderly, and proved that while her body may bear the burden of her years, her mind did not. This old lady could have been anyone you see on the street, totally unremarkable, except for her little bit of unseating wisdom. I always keep this story in my mind when dealing with those who have seen many more years than I; while some may have lost part of their spirit, the sharp wit of many years hide behind the wrinkles of experience.
Doing crossword puzzles in pen is a dangerous sign of hubris. If you think you're so dang infallible, be warned--the gods frown on mere mortals who attempt to scale the heights of the New York Times Sunday Crossword without an eraser.

You may also refer to the immortal words of Proverbs XVI.18--

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Of course, if you can't find a pencil, go ahead and use the pen. Just don't say I didn't warn you.

I have taken to doing crossword puzzles. I'm bad at them. I have no awareness of popular culture or literature. However, I do them all in pen.

Why? Because I find them much easier that way. I'm not proud or, um, hubristic. I just hate pencils.

When you write in pencil on newsprint, the dark color of the paper and light color of the pencil combine into a furiously annoying enigma of illegibility. When you erase the pencil, the print smears. Pencils are highly annoying in crosswords.

Pens, on the other hand, write very clearly on paper. And to solve the problem of my infamous fallibility, I use a very simple solution: when I'm not absolutely sure of a solution, I write it very very lightly. This way, I can darken the letters later if I become more convinced of my answer, or I can easily write over them if I need to change it. Thus, my utter incompetence goes by only very minorly punished.

        STNIARTSNOC      A
      O     W      UNCOVER
  W   PEEL LAYERS  O     I
  R W N  Y Y   VALUE     E   A
  S R    R R   LL     REG L  D   |
    D  M   S   I'------WONDERS   |
    SQUARE    ENDANGER  D   E    |
       G       G  o     STREAM   |
       I    T     to     R  L    |
            I     i    EYES T    O            e
  ABACADA  HAND  on         YET  U           t
  EFEGEHE   N     grab   ___  R  R          a
IJIKILIMINI G    ___    ||||| U  |         n
OPOQOROSOTO L   |||||  _||||| SAY|S IT    r
UVUWUXUYUZU E   |||||_ || L | T  | W A S e
                | R || \____/    |  N O T
   AEIOU        \____/---F-------'   A L W
   BFJPV UPSIDE           I PAINT     A Y S
   CGKQW   E               NI    H     T H I S t o r y
   DHLRX  MIRROR     E      GMENT E       W A Y
   . MSY . L   ESREVER   U   E O
     NTZ    .  V     ISLAND   R
        .     ELDNAC T  ITSELF S
     .  .   THGIL    N   O  A
       .N . I  S     E     E
       .R   R W       W A S H E S
       SU  SEYE              H  H
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       A      Y       C A S T L E   A   W   A   Y
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         n       o          A   U     F
     transcription          ROARS
         i       t          D G HSARC
         d       i            A
         e      into          I
                 u   h        N
                 e      e     SKCOR
                 s        nighT

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