So well we all know that it is never without reason that Frank and Tipsy rise from their unreal existence into what can only be called a semblance of reality. This happens to a lot of people when they finish their weekdays and become less robotic over the weekends. But that is a clear digression, the writer acknowledges.
The writer would like to apologize to all present and future readers for the present and future digressions. That being said; let us attempt to break the shackles of digression.
This writing is once again occasioned by special circumstances in the writer’s life – the special circumstances are not very difficult to define. They are the defined by the rare confluence of two relatively commonplace events neither of which have been known to raise eyebrows in polite society.
One of those events does not raise eyebrows because there are none in the vicinity. The writer has not known the second event because he has never been in a state to absorb new knowledge in the circumstances of that event. Indeed ladies and gentlemen the two events that we refer to are solitude (or loneliness if you like a bit of melodrama) and the state of inebriation (or drunkenness if you so like).
So, if these two events are not so rare why should their confluence be rare – the intelligent reader may ask; and the mathematically inclined reader may even go to the extent of asking me about probabilities and correlations. Well, dear reader if your day job has any remote connection to such computations I would advise you rather sincerely to think of other things. And, if your day job does not involve such things I would say to you, why bother?
Suffice it to say that there is a cultural taboo on the confluence of two events – so one does not drink alone because that; it has been seen; can lead to bad things. It is both a cause and effect of bad things. And bad things should be avoided. Bad things are not good.
Anyway, for a fuller treatment of the probabilities, correlations and Bayesian statistics related to the interplay of solitude and inebriation please refer appendix XXVII, should you be so lucky as to find it.
Frank to Tipsy – “Alert, alert – we must rescue the readers!”
“Of well, it’s been a nice four years of quiet solitude but we must now take control of the situation – we cannot let the writer get away with this, ” Tipsy was at the controls once again.
“What is our purpose – Frank, what is our purpose? What is that we seek to achieve?”
“Oh, well are we back at the meaning of life once again Tipsy- I though we had settled the question – there is none unless you assign one, ” Frank said, being reckless- dared to contradict Tipsy. Most women, from the time they are born do not take kindly to being contradicted – especially by the half of the species designed for the specific purpose of unquestioning servitude toward them.
“I will not be tempted to acknowledge your existence; judgmental writer,” blurted Tipsy defeating her own purpose.
“Well, whatever,” said Tipsy figuring that should keep him quiet.
The writer could not think of an appropriate response to that and instead started thinking of the plight of millions, perhaps billions who have been thinking of an appropriate response to that. ‘Whatever’, thought the writer – ‘whatever’ – it encompasses everything that you have uttered, are uttering, will utter and can possibly utter. Everything that you can imagine is dismissed by this extremely powerful word. The writer was defeated.
Tipsy smiled. Frank’s heart skipped a beat or two or three– he wasn’t counting. Tipsy always did this to him – first time, next time, every time. Taking this to its extreme logical conclusion Frank’s heart would stop if she smiled all the time. Which, in itself would not be a bad thing because there is nothing quite as irritating as a constantly smiling person.
Tipsy was fresh from the victory against the writer and chose not to be offended by Frank’s insubordination – and instead just focused on the discussion.
“Frank my dear, we have reached a stage of sophistication where we no longer care for the ‘meaning’ – but we admit that people may assign meaning etc. That is boring now. I am talking about the purpose- the purpose of this very moment. Whether you admit it or not - every moment has a purpose. We are trying to accomplish something- even if it is trying to avoid doing anything in that moment. There are some weeks that make me work so hard that on weekends I make sure that, I do not end up doing any work, even inadvertently!”
Frank’s process of cognition, still not having fully recovered from the Tipsy Smile, paused at the good fortune of being called “my dear” by her. So when she stopped talking he had to quickly rewind what she said and frame an appropriate response.
“Don’t look at me like you are in a formal situation and don’t know what to say – speak – I command you!”
She didn’t really say – “I command you” but that’s how it sounded like, in substance, at least, to Frank.
“Tipsy, I love you and that is my purpose – in this moment and forever”
The waiter entered.
“I am the waiter – and I always wait for the worst possible moment to make my appearance. If you are in a hurry I will take forever – if you have hours to kill I will keep pestering you. I will come to you and if you are not ready with your order – then I will go away. And, moments later when you are ready I will be nowhere to be seen. I am the waiter”
“Sir and Madam- or Madam and Sir; if you will. Would you like to place your request please?”
“A request? Wasn’t it supposed to be an order?” said Frank – visibly upset at the intrusion and the subsequent meanderings.
“Well Sir, after several socio-psycho-anthropological meta analysis of behavioral tendencies of restaurant visitors and subsequent long deliberations we have decided that an ‘order’ is reminiscent of an era of feudalism and classist society and using the word ‘order’ increases our chances of becoming a more unequal society by 23 basis points and therefore we have substituted the word ‘request’. So please, I order you to place your request”
“I request you to bring the wine which is more expensive than 75% (or closest to it) of the wines in your menu so that I don’t appear cheap and I don’t go bankrupt paying for it – and I would also like some cheese”
The waiter could not argue much with the wine order but the cheese order made him gleeful.
“What kind of cheese, sir?”
“Can I get one that is made from the milk of overweight cows on the foothills of the third most tallest mountain in South Western Guatemala?”
“No, sir you may not”
“Because the claim of being the third most tallest mountain is disputed by two different mountains and I cannot betray my profession by serving you anything but what you asked for and claiming that it was the case”
“All right get me your favorite cheese”
“I am sorry Sir, I cannot do that”
“Sir, I am great supporter of privacy and I do not intend to give up my right to hide my preferences as to what my favorite cheese is. Suppose you sell that information online and then all ads that I see while browsing show me that cheese and other ‘recommended’ cheese. I will be bugged, Sir. I will be extremely bugged.
Not only by the fact that they knew it but the fact that they think I will eat no other cheese or eat only the cheese that other people who also eat my favorite cheese ate. The fact is, there is no reason why a person who likes cheese A would also like cheese B, and any correlations you see are spurious. Please do not pretend to know what cheese I would choose.”
“Get me the first cheese on your list”
“We have several lists, Sir.”
“Get me the first cheese from the first list that you ever made”
“That list is no longer available Sir”
“All right get me the first cheese listed on the first list that is available”
“That cheese is no longer available, Sir”
“All right get me the first available cheese on the first available list”
“The first available list has no cheese that are available, Sir”
“Can you please give me a list of all the cheese that you serve?”
“I am sorry, Sir we don’t do that”
“And, why don’t you do that”
“For health and safety reasons”
“For health and safety reasons, Sir – the last person who listened to the entire list went mad; it wasn't good for the safety of the guests in the restaurant and it affected the health of our manager – who is a very distinguished gentleman”
“Why should I care if he is a distinguished gentleman? Get me cheese. Get me any goddamned cheese”
“I am sorry Sir I cannot do that”
“Because that sounded like an order Sir. We don’t do orders – we only do requests”
“Get me any cheese, can you please get me any goddamned cheese, ” said Frank softly - flustered but unwilling to lose the game.
“That is a request I cannot fulfill Sir”
“Why is that? Please tell me. I request you”
“Because, your request is ambiguous – do you want any cheese or any goddamned cheese?”
“Any goddamned cheese”
“That presents a conundrum”
“There is no way I can tell whether a cheese is goddamned- even if I were to begin to make sense of the god damning a cheese”
“So please get me any cheese”
“Absolutely Sir, I will get you that”
Franks was relieved. He turned to Tipsy. She wasn’t impressed. She had been playing with her hand held device and hadn’t witnessed the feat that Frank had accomplished.
“You were saying something Frank?”
“I was saying I love cheese, err… I mean I love you”
Tipsy turned her head away. She wasn’t sure she would want to compete with cheese. That has been the problem of every woman who had a faithful lover. She thinks she is competing with some abstract entity – like, well cheese.
“I love you Tipsy, now, ever, forever”
Tipsy felt better. There was no mention of cheese now.
“Well, Frank so what is the purpose of this moment?”
At that moment the waiter came back – remarkably quick because he sensed that Frank would not mind waiting and neither, for that matter, would Tipsy.
“Here is your cheese - bloke and girl,” he said.
“Hey - Whatever happened to Madam and Sir?” Frank could not resist.
“Dear bloke, we analyzed the data and realized that the salutations of Madam and Sir also increase the probability of our society becoming more unequal, so we have shunned their usage. We are still working on possible substitutes and I have just used our beta version on you. Bloke and Girl. “
“I am sure your beta needs a lot of alpha”
“It depends on the context Bloke, what is better - the alpha or the beta”
“I am sure it does, now please can I have a moment of peace with my most dearly beloved”
He was given a moment of peace.
They drank their wine. They ate their cheese. Maybe they spoke. Maybe they didn’t. It does not matter.
“Thanks for the answer, Frank, I know – the purpose is wine and cheese”
Frank was speechless. First the smile, then the ‘my dear’ and now thanks – surely she loves me.
Don’t be so sure Frank. She may want you to love her – but that doesn’t mean she loves you. But you have to wait – as there is no more wine. Only the cheese is left – and that just doesn’t cut it.