There are various one-liners ricocheting off each other in my head. The lines are like pliant pets, once in the brain, their sole purpose is to be ready if called to the vortex by some seemingly random triggering event, irrespective of the period they spent dormant. More than one of those lines came from a Woody Allen movie or book [p.48 plz]. One of the lines entailed Allen patiently explaining to his dinner hosts that he would gladly eat any meat they would have cooked, given that he only practices vegetarianism at home. Since then, whenever I spot half-hearted wannabe posers, other than in the mirror, the movie scene plays in my head.
The latest triggering event came as a result of a Catholic men’s group, Emmaus, which I am a part of, and how we handle paying for meals when we get a large group together. [Vortex discharge – Mel Brooks line about the waiter at the Last Supper asking, ‘separate checks?’]. We began to have an issue that those of us who remained to pay for the bill often had to put in additional money. We quickly decided that everybody pays $20 — most of the menu is around $10-12 plus a couple of pitchers and appetizers for the group — problem seemingly solved.
Except that it turns out that if people showed up and weren’t that hungry, had recently measured their cholesterol, or were just allowing their liver’s to dry out, then the $20 flat rate got a little grating. In addition, once the flat rate went into effect, the advantage clearly shifted from the cheap bastards to the stragglers. Now instead of having to fork over more money, we were left with excess funds despite a generous tip. Returning the money was viewed as impractical. [Vortex discharge – Barzini …. ‘after all we’re not Communists’].
I forget what came first, the idea that returning the excess funds was impractical or the Ice Cream Snickers bars. See what we decided to do with the excess monies was to eat Ice Cream Snickers bars until the excess funds were used up. I’ve bought and eaten Ice Cream Snickers bars all across this great country of ours, but none have tasted as good as those paid for by my unsuspecting brethren in the Faith.
Nothing like a little real world research — or as we like to say in Miami, ‘see this is why communism is such a disaster’ — among friends in the faith to expose and confirm certain sociological / economic ideas.
- Hypothesis #1 – Lack of ownership equals a lack of accountability. When the early leavers [i.e. cheap bastards] left money, they never seemed to account for the pitchers and wings shared by the group. True.
- Hypothesis #2 – When there is no direct correlation between effort and reward, effort suffers. The stragglers would have gladly figured out who owed more when they had to make up the difference, but deemed it impractical to return excess funds. True.
- Hypothesis #3 – Collectivism discourages thrift. While the Pilgrim experience is no doubt instructive, the Snickers Saga is the kill shot, i.e. ‘la tapita al pomo.’ True.
My only irrational fear in life is being outside Miami on the day the stench of the Castro brothers is removed from Cuba. I have never really thought about what I want to do that day, but now I know that I will be eating an Ice Cream Snickers bar on that day. So let me officially welcome ‘Snickers, the Collectivists snack of choice‘ to the list of vortex discharges.
No mention of Woody Allen would be complete without repeating the joke at the end of Annie Hall – for youtube video click here.
I thought of that old joke, y’know, the, this… this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, “Doc, uh, my brother’s crazy; he thinks he’s a chicken.” And, uh, the doctor says, “Well, why don’t you turn him in?” The guy says, “I would, but I need the eggs.”
H/T to Alex for idea.