Tuesday, 26 June 2007

The Straight Man At It Again

The it he was at being engagement in the art of dialogue. One of our reporters was in a watering-hole recently drowning his considerable, but in this context irrelevant sorrows when he happened to notice that seated at the table beside him was the illustrious thinker who earlier appeared here in vibrant discussion with Plato regarding being held prisoner within a funny sort of cave(if new to this blog, you better read the linked piece so as to make any sense of this one). He was sat beside a man of active demeanour who, like Plato in the earlier dialogue, made most of the conversational running. Our reporter wisely recorded the words of wisdom that emanated from the duo, and later was astonished to discover that the straight man repeated his earlier Platonic utterances word for word. He thought this may have interesting implications regarding the cyclical nature of time, though with time becoming subtly altered in its later cycle. However, being a bit of a dog-eared sort of person, he failed to pursue this train of thought with any real conviction. What follows is a faithful transcription of the recorded dialogue:

'I bought a new suit the other day.'
'I see.'
'Imagine a big fat fella with a limp in jail trying to squeeze into this suit.'
'An odd picture and an odd sort of prisoner.'
'Imagine these fellas holding other fellas' heads really tight from birth to death. They'd only see what's straight in front of them.'
'How could they see anything else if they were prevented from moving their heads all their lives?'
'They wouldn't be happy.'
'Of course not.'
'They'd like the other fellas to let go their heads.'
'They would think, "These fellas holding our heads are half-mad."'
'They would be bound to think so.'
'They'd be tempted to shout at these fellas to let go their heads.'
'Yes, inevitably.'
'Anyway, a real dog is more real than an imaginary dog.'
'Much more real.'
'You're sure?'
'You wouldn't like it if you were being kicked up the hole.'
'Certainly not at first.'
'You'd be annoyed.'
'Of course.'
'Of the two states of being, your annoyance would come second after the experience of pain.'
'That must come last.'
'If someone was looking on at this scene, he'd think to himself, "I'd prefer to be the one giving the kicking than the one getting the kicking.'
'That is the conclusion he would obviously reach.'
'And he'd be right.'
'Very much so.'
'He'd think to himself, "I'd hate to be of a class of people who were always getting kicked up the hole."'
'Yes, he would prefer anything to a life like theirs.'
'He'd be a man of decent rational capabilities to come to that conclusion.'
'People would be impressed with his rational capabilities if he told them of his reasoning.'
'They certainly would.'

At this point, our reporter had to go to the toilet, and when he returned the two men had left.


Gearoid said...

No matter how long your intrepid reporter spent inside the jacksy I doubt it would have been long enough for this pair to reach a conclusion regarding something as definitive as getting up and walking out the door of the pub. Something fishy here methinks...

Andrew said...

You might be right, Gearoid. He might have been sniffing cocaine in there and managed to spill some of it on the floor, etc. Or he may have been rolling a joint in there, & before licking the joint into place he might have blown on the toilet seat(wiped by his self, obviously) on which was placed the joint so as to blow flakes of tobacco off the seat, not realising the inevitable outcome of the contents of the unsealed joint being blown all over the place. Personal experience.
More plausible than the possibly inferred suggestion that the story the reporter recounted is false, & as for the notion that the reporter himself & all the rest of it is false...that, you would agree, would be an outrageous suggestion.

Gearoid said...

I'm sure that's it. Your redoubtable investigative reporter was not mistaken in anything he saw or heard, he was simply away for a while taking a combination of mind-altering drugs in the toilet -- which he may then, not that he's got a problem or anything (clearly he can take or leave the sutff) went hunting after around on the floor of a pub lavatory.
Then when he got back there they were, as it were, gone. Again.

Andrew said...

Though maybe you're giving him too much of benefit of the doubt regarding not having a problem with the drugs. It might help explain his sorrows of which he was drowning.