Pumpkin Spice!

It's September in the first year of my life (that I feel comfortable admitting to), and I feel great—the mounting success or arguably-not-yet-failure of my professional, intellectual, and—other goals is complemented splendidly by a muted but nonetheless genuine appreciation of the subset of nature's cyclic harmonies that I'm capable of perceiving: the air is getting slightly less warm, the sun is setting slightly earlier, and the hacks by which the retailers separate us from our money have changed completely.

In particular, the American coffee hegemon has started offering its "pumpkin spice" medicinals again, and my esteemed colleague Alexander Corwin has been blogging about drinking them despite/because hating them, so as a loyal client of the hegemon (measured by spending habits; the market gods only accept sacrifices of time and money, and don't care what you say or believe), of course I have to accompany him to the hegemon's outpost on fourth street that I go to frequently (typically bringing the personal cup I got at BABSCon, and the barista H. insists on giving me a brohoof every time), but the day before was no good, because Alexander apparently needed his sweetener/caffeine medicinal while I was busy pairing with our CEO on our new lead pipeline and bought his traditional Diet Coke instead.

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Trying to Buy a Lamp

Dear reader, I had wanted to tell you an anecdote about a recent incident in which I considered myself to have been outrageously mistreated, but it occurred to me that you probably would not find the story at all worthy of note. In fact, I fear you would be quite likely to think less of me for complaining in such a melodramatic fashion about something which the prevailing norms of our Society consider quite ordinary and proper. And what authority do I have to insist that it's Society that is in the wrong, and not I?

So I won't tell you. Instead, let me tell you a completely unrelated anecdote about my analogue in an alternate universe not entirely unlike our own. You see, recently, my alternate-universe analogue wanted to buy a table lamp, so he went—or let us say in a manner of speaking that I went—to a store to purchase one.

In the showroom, I found a lamp I liked, flagged down a salesman, and said to him, "I'd like to buy this lamp."

"Have you previously purchased a side table from us before?" he said.

"No," I said, somewhat puzzled by the seemingly irrelevant question.

"Well, you can't buy a lamp unless you already have a table to put it on," said the salesman in a tone of polite condescension.

"Oh, I certainly agree that it simply wouldn't do to get a lamp without having a table to put it on," I said, "but you see, I already have a table."

"So you did buy a table from us."

"No," I said.

"So you don't have a table."

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