The argument

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“You really want to do this, Jethro? Pit your dog against mine in a race?”

“Why not, Jack? We’ve got to resolve this one way or another and you have to admit, this will be way more fun than tossing a coin.”

“Listen, Mate. Some things can be decided by chance, like shall I wear the red socks or the green ones? Which of our two favourite pubs shall we go to? It’s not immediately important and either choice is acceptable. Some things you can decide by other means, like a race or a game of cards. There’s still an element of chance, but you have skin in the game, as they say, and feel you’ve had more input into it. That could include resolving things like personal insults – back in the day they’d be settled by a duel or some-such – or maybe a perceived debt. The sort of thing a lot of people would go to court over. Some things, however, aren’t open to chance decisions. Things like, oh, I don’t know, is it dark outside? Is it raining? I don’t think anyone would toss a coin or go thirteen rounds over questions like that, would they?”

“What are you trying to say?”

“Just that this isn’t a question that has any nuance to it.”

“Don’t know what you mean.”

“What do you mean, you don’t know what I mean?”

“What’s a nuance?”

“The difference isn’t subtle, it’s stark; it’s obvious; it’s self-explanatory. There is no point in using any method of decision that… you remember the old joke about the horses?”

“The one where the black horse has a longer tail than the white one?”

“Yeah, that one.”

“No, not really.”

“But you get my point?”

“No, not really.”

“How do you suppose the question will be answered by racing the dogs against each other?”

“Well, it’ll be obvious, won’t it? From the result.”

“And the race will be fair?”

“Of course.”

“Notwithstanding that your dog has longer legs than mine?”

“Yeah, but yours has a smooth coat which will help with airflow.”

“Help with airflow? How fast do you think they’ll run? Do you suppose either of them has a need for high downforce? They will be running in a straight line, you know.”

“No, it’s not that. Smoother hair means less wind resistance to fight against.”

“Again. How fast do you think they’ll be running?”

“Might make a difference.”

“Okay; I’ll play your game for a while. I’ll tell you what. Whilst they’re running, why don’t we settle it like gentlemen?”

“Bare-knuckles?”

“Don’t be daft. Let’s just take a look at the paperwork.”

***

“Okay, Jethro, here it is in black and white. Your dog was born in June 2003, mine was born in April 2006. Therefore your dog is the oldest.”

“So what was the point of having the race, then?”

“Aaaargh!”


This was written in response to Kreative Kue 316 published on this site.

 

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