Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pleasure Measure

I walked into the Looking-Glass Cafe Monday and saw my old friend Eddie Templeton sitting at the bar with a huge smile on his face.

"Well, Eddie," I said, as I sat down next to him. "You look happy."

"I am, Jusko. I just realized I had a wonderful weekend!"

"You just realized that? You didn't know it at the time?"

"At the time I thought it was a shitty weekend."

"Why did you think it was shitty?"

"Well, Saturday night I wanted to do something exciting, but I didn't have much money, so I just came here."

"Well, Eddie, just because you came here doesn't mean--"

"Hold it, Jusko. I'm not finished."

"Oh. Sorry. Go on."

"Well, like I said, I came here, I ordered some buffalo wings and a beer, watched some basketball game on TV, chatted with the bartender for a while, played one of those video trivia games, had another beer, watched a hockey game, chatted with the bartender some more, played a video game, had another beer, chatted with someone I know from work, and left."

"Well, Eddie, it doesn't sound all that shitty."

"Like I said, I don't think it's shitty anymore."

"What changed your mind?"

Eddie pulled out his cell phone. "For the last hour I've been calling up people I know and asking how their weekend went. You know Mycroft Ptolemy?"

"Yeah, I know him."

"Know how he spent Saturday night?"


Eddie burst out laughing. "Reorganizing his rock collection! Oh, man, can you imagine that?!"

"Well, Eddie, if I knew exactly how one goes about reorganizing a rock collection, I could probably imagine it."

"Then I called Marty Volare. Do you know how he spent his Saturday night?"

"I don't think I want to know."

"He spent the entire night waiting for Sally Field to answer his emails. Ha! Like that's ever gonna happen."

"Actually, Eddie, I think there's a certain poignancy--"

"Poignancy or not, it's a crappy way to spend the weekend."

"Um, did you talk to anyone else?"

"Yeah. Right before you walked in, I got off the phone with Ken Speer."

"Hold it right there, Eddie. I know all about Ken Speer. He gets invited to all the best parties, goes to all the opening galas, gets his picture on the society page from time to time; there's no way he had a shitty Saturday night."

"That's where you're wrong, Jusko. Ken broke his leg a while back, and spent the entire night in his living room watching a Rocky and Bullwinkle DVD."

"Well, that show could be kind of funny some--"

"Whatever, Jusko. Anyway, I compared my weekend to Mycroft's, Marty's, and Ken's, and realized I had a great time. An absolutely fantastic time! It was maybe one of the best weekends ever!"

"Well, Eddie, I'm happy for you. Maybe next weekend--"

"Oh, next weekend's gonna suck. I'm not looking forward to it at all."

"Why not?"

"Because I'm not gonna have much money again, so I'll just have to come here. I'll have a few beers and buffalo wings, chat with the bartender, watch some sport on TV, play some video, chat with someone from work, and go home."

"But, Eddie, that's what you did this past weekend, and you said it was one of your best ever. So why should next weekend be so different?"

"Ken Speer will be out of his cast by then."


  1. Marty and the fellas and the Looking Glass Cafe! YAY!! May I be Sally Field again?

    WV - phonate. The phonate my return love letterto Marty.

  2. As they say the grass is usually greener on the other side, it just depends on where that other side is. Great story Kirk,very amusing.

  3. @Limes--I told Marty what you said, Les, and he's heading toward Las Vegas as we speak.

    @Elisabeth--The side that the Joneses are on. You know, the people we have to keep up with.

    Glad you enjoyed it, Elisabeth.

  4. Well, I'm going to go powder my nose and then stand on the deck to wait for him! I'm in for an exciting weekend.

  5. Marty passed out when he read that. He was smiling, though.

  6. Oh, you made me guffaw. It's been awhile since I made a man pass out simply at the thought of me. I'd forgotten how great that feels!

    WV - moniz. Any moniz on why Marty hasn't arrived yet? I've been standing on the deck and re-powdering my nose for an awfully long time.

  7. A sad but too-true demonstration of how many people judge their lives. life's a lot better once you get past the comparisons. (as much as one can, anyway)

  8. @Limes--We might have to box Marty up and send him to you FedEx.

    @Dreamfarm--Unless you're a hermit, how much WE can so often depends on how much THEY can. Thanks for commenting, Dreamfarm.

  9. All right, Kirk, but not C.O.D., please. There's only so much a woman can tolerate.

  10. As Denis Waitely said: “I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.”

    Why we tend to appreciate our blessings only when comparing with others?
    Nice story, it pinpoint very well, what our attitude can do towards how fully we live life.


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  12. Thanks for commenting, Gabriela.

    Um, to be perfectly honest, not having shoes is a pretty GOOD reason to have the blues, at least here in Cleveland, where you could get such a bad case of frostbite you may very well end up with no feet.

    Unhappiness is legitimate emotion. We've all experienced it, and will continue to experience it. I'm merely suggesting we have a rational basis for that unhappiness.


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