The Coolidge Concept of Gossiping

President Calvin Coolidge was famously a man of few words. Even so, “Silent Cal” could, by his own admission, get caught up in gossiping.

One memorable occasion took place while he was getting a haircut at his hometown in Vermont. While he was in the barber’s chair, the town doctor walked in and took a seat to wait his turn.

The doctor asked Coolidge, “Cal, did you take the pills that I gave you?”

Coolidge was silent for a minute or two before responding, “Nope.”

A few minutes later, the doctor asked a follow-up question. “Well, are you feeling any better?”

Another long silence ensued before Coolidge responded, “Yup.”

No other words passed between the men, and soon the barber finished his task. Coolidge got up from the chair and started to leave. The barber hesitantly said, “Well, aren’t you forgetting something?”

An embarrassed Silent Cal stopped, reached into his pocket for his wallet, and said, “I’m sorry, I forgot to pay you. I was so busy gossiping with the doctor, it slipped my mind.”

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