The Captain worked shirtless in the hot sun digging post holes for a new fence. His next door neighbor, Iron Mike, would come over watching. The Captain worked hard, digging the first hole deeper. After his second pass with the spade, digging down, loosening the earth, He was using the clamshell digger to pull out the earth when Iron Mike began urging him loudly to stop, because what he was doing was wrong. The Captain stopped, caught his breath, and said to Mike, What’s the matter, Mike? The hole’s a foot down already. If I’m doing this wrong, how can that be?
You did the hole already. There’s dirt from it there you put. Then you just went back to do it again. Why again, when it’s dug once?
I—uh, oh. Okay. I need to go back and do this again and again, until the hole is deep enough. I’m not doing the whole thing all over again.
Yes you are, Captain. I don’t want to argue, but the answer you just gave contains the words I need to go back and do this again and again. Did you not say those words?
The Captain gripped the long poles of the clamshell digger harder, putting into the grip what he did not want to put out his mouth over Iron Mike—please observe, that at this point, his obedience to the third rule of thermodynamics which is the total amount of energy in a closed system cannot be created nor destroyed but only changed from one form to another—that is true, Mike but I also added after the words, until the hole is deep enough. How about that? That make it better? he asked—and, surprised at his patience in correcting simple Mike, he leaned on the diggerpoles with a casual smile, awaited Mike’s answer, and each instant of waiting intensified his compassionately understanding and comforting—comfortably pillow-soft mildly waiting superpatient and harmlessy bland, blank face, into which Iron Mike softly oozed, Oh yes, that makes sense Captain. I realize I was the party in error. I half-listened to your sentence. I jumped to a conclusion. Probably due to the track record you have in failing to accurately answer my questions today, I just leapt to the conclusion that each one in succession today will fail as well and it’s probably best, since I am so conditioned, and know that when one is conditioned to operate in a single given perceptive mode, from word one to word n of any given conversation, consisting of more than three conversational exchanges, its best for me to withdraw from the playing field for the day have a few good meals some nice wine and an on-demand movie tonight, of at least three hours’ duration, followed by at least the classically correct eight hours of sleep, the hot morning shower, the walk around the block, the positive benefits of which would be enhanced by the accompaniment of a leash-trained healthy dog, if one is available, and then back home, a light low-carb breakfast, and I will come meet you here again tomorrow at whatever o’clock sharp I observe you continuing your work from any room of my house with one or more windows facing your yard—uh—I will meet you and we can try again to get the talk off on some different foot than we did today, ‘cause I don’t like doing things wrong, Captain. Please use your tools some more. I need to fix mistakes right away—in that I know I am much like you, Captain—I know you and I are so much alike. I learn how the tools work when I watch you. That’s why, when you come out to do a job I like coming over. I want to learn what all the tools do, Captain. I like to be with you Captain. I like it very much. Someday I want to know as much about tools as you. The things you do make me think and think, Captain. I can’t learn tools no place else, Captain. Like what you said that seemed so simple—right tools for the right job you know that old saying—you said that Captain. Hey. Yes, you did. Listen. I never heard that one, that was a good one Captain, a really really good one man o’ man—hey. Use that one there. What? I never saw that tool before Captain. Use that one. Use any tool at all, sure. Any one of which you will. Just say some more to me Captain.
I need some more said to me very bad.
Where’d you go to Captain?
I need some more said to me very bad.
Image via Pixabay