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“It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig,” the man said. “It’s not really an operation at all.”br> The girl wonders aloud if they will be all right, be happy, and the man assures her that they will be fine afterward, just like they were before. To the girl’s question as to what makes him think so, he replies, “That’s the only thing that bothers us. It’s the only thing that’s made us unhappy.” He tells her that he knows lots of people that have done it, to which the girl assents, “So have I.”
The girl looked at the ground the table legs rested on.
“I know you wouldn’t mind it, Jig. It’s really not anything. It’s just to let the air in.”
The girl did not say anything.
“I’ll go with you and I’ll stay with you all the time. They just let the air in and then it’s all perfectly natural.”
“Then what will we do afterward?”
“We’ll be fine afterward. Just like we were before.”
“What makes you think so?”
“That’s the only thing that bothers us. It’s the only thing that’s made us unhappy.”
“And afterward they were all so happy,” she says.p>The man, detecting some doubts on the part of his companion, assumes a passive-aggressive posture: br> /p>
“Well,” the man said, “if you don’t want to you don’t have to. I wouldn’t have you do it if you didn’t want to. But I know it is perfectly simple.”br> The man assures her that he will love it, when, in the future, she says things like the hills looking like white elephants; but he can’t think about that when he gets worried.
“And you really want to?”
“I think it’s the best thing to do. But I don’t want you to do it if you don’t really want to.”
“And if I do it you’ll be happy and things will be like they were and you’ll love me?”
“I love you now. You know I love you.”
“I know. But if I do it, then it will be nice again if I say things like white elephants, and you’ll like it?”
When the girl asks if he will stop worrying after she does it, he indicates he won’t worry because “it’s perfectly simple.” In response to her protest that she does not care about herself, he says that he cares about her. Again, he tries to soothe her concerns: “I don’t want you to do it if you feel that way.”
The conversation swerves sharply as the girl claims, “And we could have everything and every day we make it more impossible.”
They argue. Yes, they can have everything. No, they can’t. They can go everywhere. No, it isn’t ours any more. “And once they take it away, you never get it back,” says the girl. Again, the man tells the girl that she doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to do.
“Can’t we stop talking?” says the girl. After more assurances from the man that he doesn’t want anyone else, that it’s perfectly simple, and that he would do anything for her, the girl pleads, “Would you please please please please please please please stop talking?” When he tries, once more, to comfort her (“I don’t care anything about it.”), she responds, “I’ll scream.”
With the train coming in five minutes, the dialogue begins to wind down, returning to the routine concerns of gathering up the luggage, finishing two more beers brought by the barmaid who “smiled brightly at the woman, to thank her.”p>The conclusion of the story finds the couple reverting, again, to the quotidian banter of a troubled relationship: br>
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online