Friday, November 30, 2012

"Something Better - Continued"

In a long-ago eon, CONPLAINIVUS has been bemoaning to a more sanguine ACCEPTIVUS how, throughout history, it has taken the same length of time getting anywhere, because people’s only method of transportation was walking, at which point their resourceful friend INVENTIVUS comes racing by, riding a horse.

ACCEPTIVUS:  Inventivus, look at you!

INVENTIVUS:  Ho, there, peasants.  How goes the walking?

COMPLAINIVUS:  I don’t understand.  How did this happen?

I:  I shall explain.  But first, let me stop my fast animal.  Whoa, there, fast animal!

A:  What does “whoa” mean?

I:  I have no idea.  But when I say it, he stops. 

C:  How did you figure that out?

I:  It’s this method I employ.  I attempt various solutions.  And when I find one that’s effective, I’m there.

A:  Fascinating.

C:  It’s sort of a trial-and-error approach.

I:  “Trial and error.”  Did you just come up with that?

C:  I did.

A:  Complainivus is a wonderful “namer.”

C:  I can name ideas.  I just can’t think of any. 


I:  You know, they’ve got this big bone right down the middle.  I need to come up with something to make it more comfortable to sit on.  (TO COMPLAINIVUS)  Perhaps you can invent a name for it.

C:  A “saddle”, maybe?

I:  You’re fast.  Remind me when I work up the prototype.

A:  So, Inventivus, we were just discussing the idea of replacing walking with riding a fast animal.  But we were stymied by the problem of catching one when, as their speed-describing name suggests, they are impossible to apprehend, and hence , until the current moment, unavailable to climb up on.

I:  Yes, that was the dilemma.  But I cracked it by…(FORGETTING THE TERM)

C:   “Trial and error”?

I:  Precisely.  The first element in ”trial and error” – that sounds better every time I hear it – is observation.  By happenstance – another element often contributory to "game changers" – I happened to observe this fast animal munching leaves from a tree in yon nearby grove.  And I thought to myself, “Hm.  If I were to climb that tree, and the fast animal were to subsequently return for another round of munching, I could drop down from my perch, land on the animal’s back and –  Hakus-Frakus! – (TO COMPLAINIVUS) I made that up, but you can probably do better – I’m riding!

A:  And it worked.

I:  Not the first time.  I had made a strategic miscalculation.  The fast animal indeed returned to the spot that had satisfied his hunger; however, since the fast animal had consumed all the leaves it could reach on the previous visits, it moved on to an adjacent tree, and started munching its leaves.

C:  That’s a funny picture.  You’re sitting in one tree, ready to drop down onto its back, and the fast animal’s dining “next door”, as it were, frustrating your intention.

I:  (POINTEDLY) “Trial and error” involves error.  And that wasn’t the only one.  I’d occupy a tree where the leaves seemed appropriately reachable, and the fast animal would fail to appear, or would appear, but preferred, on that day, to eat grass.  It took weeks until “the necessities” were finally in alignment.

C:  Sounds like you have a lot of time on your hands.      

I:  I shall make up that time riding places, while you two continue to walk.

A:  So you finally landed on the fast animal’s back.

I:  I did.  And was almost immediately bucked off.  It turns out fast animals, not unlike their human counterparts, dislike the weighty encumbrance of the uninvited.  Undaunted, however, I repeated the procedure and, since I had refined my buck-resisting techniques in the course of my unsuccessful efforts, the infuriated fast animal was unable to throw me off.  And now, my ambulatory amigos, I shall never walk anywhere again!  (REMOUNTING)  By the way, Complainivus, do you have a name for my four-legged companion?

C: Seabiscuit.

I:  Why Seabiscuit?

C:  It sounds like a good name for a horse.  I also named the fast animal a horse.

I:  Again, why?

C:  He looks like a horse.

A:  How do you know it’s a “he”?

C:  Have you looked down below?

A:  (LOOKING) Yikes!


I:  Adios, Pedestrians!  I shall meet you at the herd, where you will find me resting comfortably after my exertion-free journey.  (URGING ON HIS HORSE)  Giddy-up, Seabiscuit!

A:  “Giddy-up”?

I:  (SHRUGGING) It makes him go.


A:  That Inventivus is so resourceful.  I could never have come up with that tree-jumping plan.

C:  I might have.  But I’d have thought of a hundred reasons not to do it.

A:  Well, to the innovator go the rewards.  He’s riding, and we’re hoofin’ it.

C:  Yeah, but if he doesn’t track down a similar beast of the opposite gender, the horse is dead, and he’s walking with the rest of us.

A:  (SARCASTIC) That’s a comforting thought.

C:  It took a while, but it came to me.


A:  “Hi ho, hi ho…”

C:  Stop it!

1 comment:

Zaraya said...

Dear Mr. Pomerantz; bravo!