Rubber Kitten

By Tiro

I honestly haven’t the first clue what this is supposed to be.  It started with a line in conversation and went kind of stream-of-consciousness from there.


“But I only took out the rubber kitten and signed the logbook.”

“Well, why did you take out the rubber kitten?”

“It was cute.”

“Obviously. That should really go without saying. After all, what other purpose would one assume might be intended for a rubber kitten?”

“I think you mean, ‘for what other purpose might a rubber kitten be intended?’.”

“Don’t be smart. Nobody likes smart people.”

“I’m not sure that’s entirely true. For example, what about that scientist guy? The wheelchair fellow? He’s quite popular; and very smart indeed.”

“There is always an anomaly. An exception to every rule, as the old saying tells us. For him, being smart is an asset, making him respected and well-liked by many. For you, being smart is a hindrance, leading to distrust and alienation, with possibly a hint of mockery. Do you understand?”

“Okay.”

“Good. Now, if we might return to the matter at hand? Why did you take the kitten, as cute as it may be?”

“That was the only real reason, in fact. If I may, however: you said there was an exception to every rule. That’s not actually true. For a rule to be accepted as such there must be *no* exceptions. I believe the confusion arises from the older form of the phrase, ‘the exception proves the rule’; with ‘prove’ carrying its older meaning of ‘test’, as opposed to ‘confirm’ per the modern usage.”

“Do you recall what I said a few moments ago about being smart? About mockery, ostracism and a lonely death?”

“I do. Although you didn’t actually mention ostracism and a lonely death, I believe these might reasonably be implied.”

“So they might. So, if you wouldn’t mind, we will once again focus our concentration on the point at issue; namely, the kitten. The small rubber kitten which you took, shortly before signing your name in the logbook to mark your presence at that time and thus, by extension, indicating your guilt in the taking of said kitten at the material time.”

“Indeed.”

“I believe the issue, the little niggle, if you like, that I am trying to satisfy is the question of why you took the said kitten. You claim that you were motivated solely by the cuteness of the item?”

“This is true.”

“This is a simple, straightforward motive, to be sure. But it does not explain why you would sacrifice everything you have worked for in order to obtain some fleeting pleasure of appreciation for a cute rubber animal; nor why you would take the dubious step of signing your name in the book to confirm that you had done so.”

“I agree. Yet the only question you have asked me thus far would solicit the answer ‘because it was cute’; and that answer I have given you.”

“I see. So, to put it another way, you are in fact indulging in a frame or two of Silly Buggers; would that be a fair assessment?”

“Not at all. I am, however, aware of your desire for accuracy and relevance in conversation. I assumed that you were pursuing your line of questioning in your own time, and I did not wish to confuse matters by volunteering unsolicited information.”

“Then at the least you are guilty of forgetting the Ancient Received Wisdom concerning Assume, and the effect it is known to have on You And Me.”

(More about Tiro)

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