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July 15th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #907 'Teamwork'

Reporter's Note: President Obama continues to work on a debt deal, while I need to work on my sleep.

Dear Mr. President,

I’m a tad tired as I write this, having caught a late night train back to D.C. I suppose I could have stayed in New York overnight and come back in the morning, but I hate doing that and I was working so late it’s not like I was going out to see a show. Plus, I have to admit I like rocking away to the rumble of the rails while the night slips past as it is just now.

Speaking of staring into the darkness: Despite all the talk over this potential debt deal, do you feel as if you see any light at the end of the tunnel yet? I hope so. But either way, I have a story to tell you.

Something interesting happened on the way to the train. I had hopped on the subway up by Columbus Circle and as soon as I boarded, I was aware of a disturbance in the car. Raised voices. A flurry of movement.

Most of us passengers looked only out of the corners of our eyes lest we be swept into a confrontation, as in "What are you looking at?" Soon enough, however, we realized that these we're not cries of anger, but rather squeals of amused consternation.

A young woman had purchased a large cone of frozen yogurt for a friend several stops down the line, seriously miscalculating the warmth of the subway and the length of her trip. It was rapidly turning to goo. Over her hands, down her arms, onto her pants.

"It's melting!" she said in a giggling, low-level panic. Then looking at everyone else said, "Help!"

A quick chorus of "Eat it!" arose. But she insisted, "No. I bought it for my friend. He is really looking forward to it."

What followed was funny and fascinating. People nearby (including me) started quickly searching their bags and pockets to find tissues, napkins, even stray paper towels. Most came up empty but one young woman found a wad of Kleenex and thrust it toward the brave guardian of the yogurt. Amid even more laughter and celebration, the cone was wrapped up, the torrent of drips staunched, and last I saw, the girl was finally rushing off to deliver it to her pal.

The Kleenex girl had the last laugh when she said, "After all that he'd better be cute."

See? Even people with nothing in common can deal with problems when they work together. So get everyone back to the bargaining table on this debt deal. And uh, this time...serve some frozen yogurt. Can't hurt.

Call if you can.

Regards,
Tom

Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1
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