I had a fascinating conversation the other day with a fellow I quite enjoy. There's a 'but' in this syntax, of course. We were talking about a speech I had just given and while he was quite high on the content and the potential for impact, he warned me that when I give it again, if there are retailers in the crowd, not to speak so blatantly of the looming death of retail...."the slow motion erosion of retail." His advice poses one of those quandaries that physicians must face all the time: Do you tell patients the truth or provide a calming, soothing presence to manage their inevitable decline? Hmm.