Friday, June 6, 2008
Yesterday upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today,
Oh how I wish he'd go away!
(Hughes Mearns. Antigonish 1899)
- Give me an ice cream without flavor
- Without what flavor?
- Without vanilla.
- Ain't got no ice without vanilla.
- OK, gimme one without strawberry!
(Old American joke).
Two antagonistic salesmen meet on the train.
- Where are you going?
- To Mink
- Ha! You tell me you are going to Mink, so that I think you are going to Pink. But you bastard, are really going to Mink. So why are you lying?
What is common in all three texts is the affirmation of a negation. The man who wasn't there, the ice without flavor and the true statement which is marked as a lie (because a lie is expected) have a common denominator. Negative thinking.