Debating the Locals


As I mentioned earlier,

my buddy Brother T and his family
took me camping to Dolphin Point & Burrill Lake (down past Ulladulla)
on the weekend.

Much joi was had and I would like to relate a tale which may be of interest.

After setting up camp
it came time to make a short trip into town for staples.

After procuring these goods we were relaxing in the car,
enjoying the tranquility
and a relaxing beverage,
when we were approached by a group of fellows.

We presumed they were locals and greeted them accordingly,
and they indicated that they would enjoy a conversation.

Socrates - tried, condemned to death, and executed in 399 BC

We idly exchanged banter
then I noticed that one of these fellows had a some sort of paling
and seemed to be examining it
in what I assumed was the reflection
of the streetlights in the passenger-side headlight.

I left the car to go see exactly what he was doing
and we spent several minutes
discussing the attributes and possible uses of such a paling.

I am not a particularly argumentative man
but I do not shirk from a robust debate
and had soon persuaded this fellow to lend me his paling for a while.

Meanwhile, Brother T, on the other side of the car,
was engaged with the four other fellows.

Brother T is far better in an argument than me
but he is much more effective in one-on-one discourse
rather than in a debate with multiple opponents.

I strolled over and, one at a time, working clockwise,
showed these fellows the paling I had borrowed.

They quickly came to recognise my proficiency in argument
and stepped aside in deference to my skills.

This allowed Brother T to demonstrate his technique
to the best of his ability.

Now, I have seen Brother T in action on numerous occasions
and always been impressed

but on this occasion

he excelled!

Plato - to understand Plato it is necessary to know something of Sparta

Never before have I seen him defeat an opponent
so rapidly and ruthlessly –
’twas like some savage, brutal poetry!

A couple of the other fellows tried to assist their colleague
but I reminded them of my skills
and the respect I commanded
upon having borrowed the paling.

When Brother T was satisfied
that he had quite thoroughly exhausted the other chap
he nodded,
I returned the paling,
and we drove back to camp,
rather pleased with ourselves!

I suspect that, in the future,
those fellows shall exhibit a little more circumspection
when dealing with out-of-town philosophers…

PS: Praise be, Brother B, for the illustration!

Published on April 9, 2009 at 5:08 AM  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] know that I am not a man of violence by any […]

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