Tomatoes and Missing the Point
By N. Lee
A: I think I’m dying inside.
B: Nice to see you again too, Mr. Melodramatic.
A: No I’m serious. Not in an emotional metaphor kind of way but a very real physical kind of dying. My insides are being torn apart.
B: Had some tomatoes again, did you? How many times are you going to torture yourself before you stop eating bruschetta?
A: Only a few more times at most. This is beginning to be more than I can bear on any kind of basis. I live in a confined area, you know? I have to consider how I come across to others. My wife is really starting to be concerned with how many foods I seem to be allergic to.
B: It turns out that few people ever learn enough to stop doing the things that hurt them. It sounds simple enough in theory, but much like communism it falls apart in practice more often than not.
A: I’d never have pegged you for a hardened capitalist.
B: I’m more of an opponent of human schemes that don’t put themselves to good use. You can probably imagine how little I have to work with under that philosophy. I have a few ideas myself, but all the advertising money can buy won’t get them to be put into practice. Not in their purest forms anyway. You know how it is.
A: No, I don’t. Enlighten me.
B: You hire an army of spokespeople to spread the word about some great idea that you’ve been sitting on for a long time. Maybe it’s legitimately ground-breaking, maybe it’s not. Doesn’t really matter anyway, because the chances of everyone in this army getting the message right is virtually nil. For instance: say I had a plan for getting you to quit ingesting fresh tomatoes for the rest of your life. It wouldn’t harm you in any way, you wouldn’t feel the least bit of suffering at giving up a favorite treat, it would just work in the most simple and amazing way. Only, I couldn’t tell you the plan. Let’s say for whatever reason it had to be told to you by somebody else. That would make it a little more complicated, wouldn’t it?
A: A bit, probably. I don’t know, maybe.
B: Trust me, it would. Now say that there were twenty people in the room with you, all trying to get you to try my plan. Naturally, they’d have twenty varying approaches to sell you on the idea. But what goes unnoticed is that, in all honesty, they have twenty different plans to sell you, even though they all got it from the same source.
A: What was that? I’m sorry, I dozed off there somewhere in the middle.
B: Oh nothing. Guess you’ll just have to live without it.
A: Done and done.