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“It could have been worse” is a phrase we have all listened to and most of us have likely made use of. Typically soon after some thing negative happens.

(Actually, as I consider to get started out on that foot, I can not prevent noting how we have a president in the United States appropriate now who seems intent on proving virtually each and every single working day that of course, it can be worse. But I’ll prevent that digression just now.)

Depending on the context, the phrase “it could have been worse” can have distinctive connotations and as a result make distinctive outcomes.

In sure circumstances, it can be genuinely comforting to figure out that whichever negative point has happened, it wasn’t as negative as other attainable functions. You depart your wallet powering at a restaurant, but when you return an hour later on they’ve stored it for you and gladly return it. It could have been worse, you say.

At times, nevertheless, it feels trite or hollow to make this sort of a remark, especially when the negative point that happened is considerably, considerably worse than some mundane, conveniently managed inconvenience. That explained, as I sit in my resort area below in Barcelona this morning catching up with the most current details about the terrorist assault that transpired Thursday about two miles from below at La Rambla in the city’s middle — and the subsequent assault occurring in Cambrils about 70 miles absent — it is hard not to shudder at the believed of how considerably worse it could have been.

Nevertheless, like I say, that rings hollow. These kinds of senseless, deranged horror perpetrated on so several innocents, and for no reason in any respect other than to serve some mindless, indefensible, inhumane bring about. (And frustratingly reprising several other assaults below in Europe, as properly as another deranged and lethal final decision built for equally stupid causes in Virginia a week ago.)

You are adhering to the coverage, much too, so I will not rehearse all of the details I’m studying equally by numerous information resources and by way of discussions below where I’ve come to support protect the PokerStars Barcelona Championship sequence now underway. Suffice it say, the circumstantial proof strongly implies additional ambitiously cruel designs by the perpetrators failed to be realized for numerous causes (such as some swift motion on the element of Spanish police).

It was sickening to comply with the story two times ago from the farm though I was packing for the vacation, the upper body tightening additional than a minimal at the believed of my several good friends and other familiar and welcoming poker individuals who were now below. Brad Willis delivered a complete and delicate rationalization of this emotion yesterday for the PokerStars blog site in a submit titled “On terror, panic, and perseverance in Barcelona.”

That submit includes a photo my close friend and fellow reporter Alex Villegas took yesterday, as properly as some by another close friend and colleague, Neil Stoddart. (That’s another of Neil’s up previously mentioned.) Catalan officials have declared three times of mourning, lasting by the weekend.

Alex arrived in the morning on Friday, and given that our check out-in wasn’t until eventually later on in the afternoon he expended that time in excess of at La Rambla as we have finished ahead of on previous visits to this gorgeous, inviting coastal metropolis. I arrived a minimal later on (nevertheless continue to much too early to get a area), and he and I expended considerably of the afternoon talking about numerous factors, such as those several memorials now dotting the pedestrian route.

We start operate now, the initial of what will be 9 straight times of reporting. There is some cloud protect this morning, nevertheless the typical deep blue is nevertheless gamely commencing to peek by up previously mentioned.

It’s my fourth vacation below, and ahead of coming I experienced designs as soon as additional to get out when I can to see the metropolis and its individuals. I continue to strategy to do so, and will probably get in excess of to La Rambla at some place as Alex and Neil have now finished.

It’s good to be among the my several good friends who like me have been below several moments. It’s also good to be among the the generally welcoming and inviting individuals who are living below. I’m glad to be back.

Photograph: courtesy Neil Stoddart / PokerStars blog site.

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