Saturday, June 25, 2005

You know..

I was standing in line at the cash register of the hospital cafeteria behind a thirty something young man and his four-five-year-old kid. the man was reaching for his wallet to pay for cheeseburgers and fries when the little blond thing mumbled a few indistinct words.
The following conversation ensued:

"What?" - the father
"I want to pay for my food" - the kid
"With what, your good looks?" - general smiles
"NO, with my own money!"
"What money. Do you have money??"

Then after a long moment of silence and deep thought, while everyone was waiting, the kid said somewhat timidly gazing at the floor,

"You knoww..."

Everybody burst out laughing. Even my gravely sober self grinned.

The four year old knew, just like a grown-up, how to use a linguistic subterfuge in a situation where he didn't really know what to say. Any other answer would have been either a lie, or a concession of ignorance or defeat.

While the kid was saved by his young age and his innocence, we, adults, spend our lives dealing with many questions we can't give good, strong, honest answers to, be it about us or about others, because of myriad social and psychological constraints, and thus we quickly learn how to become seasoned liars and hypocrits, with a distorted but conventional sense of reality and one heck of a messed up psyche.

A hefty price to pay for being social animals, if you ask me.

So from now on, for all the questions I can't or don't want to answer, I shall reserve a "you know" and a shrug, just like the wise four-year-old standing in line with his old man, then I will look out the window, or at the floor, and I will wait for the inquisitor to think, draw his own conclusion, and peacefully leave me alone.

That's the only way I can heroically preserve both my integrity as a moral, ethically responsible human being, and my behavioral appropriateness as a decent, polite, politically correct, social animal... you know..


Anonymous Leb4Ever said...

But you're not 4 yrs old ;)

10:57 PM  
Blogger Ramzi said...

Let me know how it works out, maybe I can start using it too.

Not that I lie of course... you know.

4:59 PM  

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