I loved and hated being with him in public. He mainly loved it. He looked for ways he could create disequilibrium in a room, or in a crowded elevator. Once he spoke to me in confidential tones just loud enough for those around us to think they were eavesdropping on a private conversation. He said, “Ben, when are you going to go back to your wife and family? She’s heartbroken and the kids are crying and hungry.” The people around me were glowering, and there was nothing I could say to him or them that wouldn’t make me seem even more guilty. I wanted to throttle him, but his impish grin saved his life, and I’m still talking about it. And I’m still thinking he was totally out of line.
The more I hear about Mike, the more I wish I had known him.