25 November 2008

Two Kinds of People

"There are," Bernard said, "two kinds of people."
"I know. Maddie told me. There are Zambonis and grocery carts."
"No," Bernard waved me off while he wrinkled his nose up. "That's just nonsense."
"So," I tried what I thought was a sage voice, "two kinds of people: people who can be put into some category and people who can't be?" I chortled at my own joke.

"And you think that a quote is the same as an insight?" Bernard asked. "People who trot out someone else's quotes are like little kids playing dress up with their parents' clothes." He shook his head. "Don't use quotes. It's juvenile."
I rather like quotes but was in no real mood to argue with Bernard. "Okay," I shrugged.

"Two kinds of people," Bernard held up his fingers. "People who don't have a clue and people who don't have a clue that they don't have a clue."
"You are saying that we don't even have clues? None of us?"
"Well, okay. Maybe we have clues but we haven't really pieced them together. There are so many pieces and so much of it contradictory that it ultimately defies our powers of inductive reasoning."

"I'm not so sure. There are people I would go to if I needed help repairing my car, for instance."
"I'm talking about life - not objects! There are people who just don't know. They, for the most part, are hesitant to ever admit this. And then there are people who just prattle on at length about how life works. Full of advice, almost none of which actually applies. And they haven't a clue that what they are telling you to do is not just different from what they actually did but is highly unlikely to apply to your situation. Some people don't know and some people don't know that they don't know. It is ludicrous." Bernard stared at his drink.

"You visited your cousin Eliot again, didn't you?"
"Bah!" Bernard spat. "I don't want to hear his name for the rest of the day."
"Got it," I said, pretending to zip my mouth closed. "He's that kind of person, eh?"
"Ah," Bernard sighed, "he is so much that kind of person."


Anonymous said...

Ahh. I love this post.
I think that I know that I have no clue. :-)

Ron Davison said...

Thanks for loving it. And if I actually got that I had no clue I probably wouldn't write posts in which I knowingly point out how clueless people are. Now that is clueless.

Anonymous said...

When you get to the point where you can accept other people's cluelessness without judging them, and in turn accept your own cluelessness, then you will be free of all clues...and...I'm now totally clueless.

Ron Davison said...

At this point, I'm just going to bow to your wit and applaud instead of pretending that I can match that.