A friend of mine related an accident he recently suffered.

On a trip to Denver he and his wife checked into a downtown Denver hotel. In preparation for going to dinner with friends he departed for the shower. Several minutes passed and there was a shriek. “Honey, what happened? There was silence and a long pause. “Honey, are you all right?” Then a longer pause. “I saw myself in the mirror.”

Well, in his quick survey of the mirrors on entering, he missed the full length mirror on the back of the door.

This was pure carelessness and could have been prevented. When in a strange place, observe, evaluate and plot your strategy carefully. Never turn on exhaust fans, mirrors should always remain heavily fogged. Have a towel and clothes within reach from behind the curtain. These are protective precautions for prevention of possible permanent personality problems.

This is the time to discuss one of the complications we face in aging. For those older than 50, have you noticed we are gradually more cautious when encountering mirrors? When necessary — and if possible — light and angle are controlled. Most of us carry a mental image of ourselves. Usually not an honest image — commonly generated from memory 20 years prior.

Anyway, damage occurs when the reflection reveals reality betraying remembrance. Psychologists have a name for this. I don’t know what it is, but I’m sure they do.

I saw my friend again the other day. He said he was doing much better and so far had not sought professional help. Although slow, he expects full recovery and promises more caution in the future.

Bud Dalton is a frequent contributor to The Hays Daily News