Saturday, May 07, 2005



The following illustrates how I feel sometimes when I get involved in internet arguments with conservative hardliners... !


A reception desk in a sort of office building.

Receptionist: Yes, sir?

Man: I'd like to have an argument please.

Receptionist: Certainly, sir, have you been here before...?

Man: No, this is my first time.

Receptionist: I see. Do you want to have the full argument, or were you thinking of taking a course?

Man: Well, what would be the cost?

Receptionist: Yes, it's one pound for a five-minute argument, but only eight pounds for a course of ten.

Man: Well, I think it's probably best of I start with the one and see how it goes from there. OK?

Receptionist: Fine. I'll see who's free at the moment... Mr. Du-Bakey's free, but he's a little bit concilliatory... Yes, try Mr. Barnard -- Room 12.

Man: Thank you.


Mr Vibrating:(from within) Come in.

The man enters the room. Mr Vibrating is sitting at a desk.

Man: Is this the right room for an argument?
Mr Vibrating: I've told you once.

Man: No you haven't.

Mr Vibrating: Yes I have.

Man: When?

Mr Vibrating: Just now!

Man: No you didn't.

Mr Vibrating: Yes I did!

Man: Didn't.

Mr Vibrating: Did.

Man: Didn't.

Mr Vibrating: I'm telling you I did!

Man: You did not!

Mr Vibrating: I'm sorry, is this a five minute argument, or the full half-hour?

Man: Oh, just a five minute one.

Mr Vibrating: Fine. (makes a note of it; the man sits down) Thank you. Anyway I did.

Man: You most certainly did not.

Mr Vibrating: Now, let's get one thing quite clear... I most definitely told you!

Man: You did not.

Mr Vibrating: Yes I did.

Man: You did not.

Mr Vibrating: Yes I did.

Man: Didn't.

Mr Vibrating: Yes I did.

Man: Didn't.

Mr Vibrating: Yes I did!!

Man: Look this isn't an argument.

Mr Vibrating: Yes it is.

Man: No it isn't, it's just contradiction.

Mr Vibrating: No it isn't.

Man: Yes it is.

Mr Vibrating: It is not.

Man: It is. You just contradicted me.

Mr Vibrating: No I didn't.

Man: Ooh, you did!

Mr Vibrating: No, no, no, no, no.

Man: You did, just then.

Mr Vibrating: No, nonsense!

Man: Oh, look this is futile.

Mr Vibrating: No it isn't.

Man: I came here for a good argument.

Mr Vibrating: No you didn't, you came here for an argument.

Man: Well, an argument's not the same as contradiction.

Mr Vibrating: It can be.

Man: No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a definite proposition.

Mr Vibrating: No it isn't.

Man: Yes it is. It isn't just contradiction.

Mr Vibrating: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.

Man: But it isn't just saying "No it isn't".

Mr Vibrating: Yes it is.

Man: No it isn't, an argument is an intellectual process... contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says.

Mr Vibrating: No it isn't.

Man: Yes it is.

Mr Vibrating: Not at all.

Man: Now look!

Mr Vibrating:(pressing the bell on his desk) Thank you, good morning.

Man: What?

Mr Vibrating: That's it. Good morning.

Man: But I was just getting interested.

Mr Vibrating: Sorry the five minutes is up.

Man: That was never five minutes just now!

Mr Vibrating: I'm afraid it was.

Man: No it wasn't.

Mr Vibrating: I'm sorry, I'm not allowed to argue any more.

Man: What!?

Mr Vibrating: If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

Man: But that was never five minutes just now... oh come on! (Vibrating looks round as though man was not there) This is ridiculous.

Mr Vibrating: I'm very sorry, but I told you I'm not allowed to argue unless you've paid.

Man: Oh. All right. (pays) There you are.

Mr Vibrating: Thank you.

Man: Well?

Mr Vibrating: Well what?

Man: That was never five minutes just now.

Mr Vibrating: I told you I'm not allowed to argue unless you've paid.

Man: I've just paid.

Mr Vibrating: No you didn't.

Man: I did! I did! I did!

Mr Vibrating: No you didn't.

Man: Look I don't want to argue about that.

Mr Vibrating: Well I'm very sorry but you didn't pay.

Man: Aha! Well if I didn't pay, why are you arguing... got you!

Mr Vibrating: No you haven't.

Man: Yes I have... if you're arguing I must have paid.

Mr Vibrating: Not necessarily. I could be arguing in my spare time.

Man: I've had enough of this.

Mr Vibrating: No you haven't.

[From "Monty Python's Flying Circus: Just the Words, Volume 2", episode 29.Methuen, ISBN 0-413-62550-8 (hardback).]


Blogger mycroftdavis said...

Thanks, that was hilarious.

-No it wasn't.

-Yes, it was . . .

I miss the circus, have to go watch a few on Dvd.

6:47 AM  
Blogger Lizzy said...

Too funny. I started watching Monty Python around age 10. The Institute of Silly Walks sketch will always be my favorite.

8:04 AM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

After I get home from the Argument Clinic I love to unwind with a nice glass of Australian Fighting Wine.

8:36 AM  
Blogger halcyon67 said...

That is a good one. That is how I feel about it.

Hey Snave, Bill is still over at my blog running his mouth. This guy is hopeless.

8:38 AM  
Blogger halcyon67 said...

I think we all feel that way J. Marquis.

8:40 AM  
Blogger sleepybomb said...

that and the parrott sketch. i need to go watch 'grail' now!

12:25 PM  
Blogger Damien said...

May I suggest for your yankee viewing pleasure these UK gems.

Blackadder goes forth -
Harry Enfield -
Faulty Towers -
Men behaving badly -

3:42 PM  
Blogger Damien said...

Oh and

Yes Minister, and

Yes Primeminister

3:43 PM  
Blogger Sheryl said...

I'm kind of picky about which Python skits I enjoyed. My favorite from the original program was the one on joke warfare.

I saw a lot of british tv in New Zealand. The funniest shows we watched were the old Dr. Who episodes (with Tom Baker), the even older Avenger episodes (with Diana Rigg), Red Dwarf, and Scrapheap Challenge.

Sci-fi is usually a good source for humor.

9:38 PM  

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