I was walking past an alley in downtown Minneapolis when a bedraggled man leaning against a dumpster called out to me. "Excuse me, ma'am...do you have a cigarette?"
"Please don't call me ma'am," I said. "It makes me feel old. And yes I am old, but I only got that way because I quit smoking many years ago."
"Yeah, I should know better than to smoke," the man said. "I used to be a doctor."
"A doctor?" I said. "What kind of doctor?"
"A brain surgeon," he said. "I made a lot of money but I wasn't happy."
"Why not?" I said.
"What I really wanted to do with my life was be a bum," he said, "so I quit my job as a brain surgeon and followed my dream."
"I can totally relate," I said. "I too have lived by my own lights and followed my dream."
"And how did things turn out, this following of your dream?" he said.
"Pretty much as I expected," I said. "And you?"
"Me too," he said. "Pretty as I expected."