Tuesday, June 10, 2008
So, I have this friend...
Hypothetical situations are sometimes pointless and confusing.
First of all, they always start with “let’s say…” Let’s? Who’s talking? You? No. You’re the one who is being talked to. You’re not saying anything, you’re sitting through a completely “fictitious” situation that is actually completely factual – the names just happen to be different in order that you can provide advice, or most times just a bucket to catch the dumping of gossip somebody wants to give, but feels guilty about unloading.
Let’s say, hypothetically, someone comes up to me and says:
Let’s say I have a friend named Bill. (They don’t have a friend named Bill, but let’s just say they do for the sake of the story.) One day Bill runs into Bob, my friend’s (let’s call her Jane, and of course they don’t actually have a friend named Jane.) hypothetical ex-boyfriend (Jane doesn’t really have an ex-boyfriend, but let’s say she does, for the sake of the story.) They, Bill and Bob, begin talking, and become friends. I find out that Bill and Bob are friends, but Bill doesn’t know who Bob is. Bill and Bob are such good friends now that they do almost everything together. They invite me to hang out with them all the time, but I don’t know if I should because of Bob and Jane’s past. Do you think I should tell Jane that I have been hanging out with Bob? Or that Bill and Bob are friends? Or should I keep it a secret? She’s going to find out eventually anyway.
Doesn’t the person telling me this know that of course I know that Bill is really Erick, that Bob is really Steve, and that Jane is really Jessica? Come on.
In writing this I realize that I just posed a hypothetical in order to poke fun at a hypothetical. A blatant contradiction, yes, but you get my point, right?