If is Great but Unless is Best

In As You Like It Touchstone extols the virtue and power of the word if (see Act V, Scene IV). And he’s right, but there’s another word he somehow ignores. In my experience this word is equally virtuous, equally powerful, and far more graceful. It’s unless.

Allow me to paint a picture. Let’s say a bartender is working late on the third Wednesday of last July. A patron arguably has had too much to drink, but the bartender knows him well and knows he can handle his liquor. The patron asks for another bourbon with 2 chipped ice cubes. His preferred bourbon is Blanton’s, so he’s a classy guy. Obviously, the bartender should refuse to serve anyone who has had too much to drink. Unless the bartender works at an elite country club in Connecticut and the patron is a member or a guest of a member. As you can see, unless is essential here. It dictates what the bartender should do.

Here’s another painting. Let’s say the member wants to inform the country club’s manager of the bartender’s failure to do his simple job. Such conversations where you are deciding an individual’s fate should be done in person. Unless they can be done by text. It’s called courtesy, and courtesy is vital. Unless it’s inconvenient.

At any rate it all worked out. Tinoco no longer works on Wednesdays at the club, or any other day it seems. But what’s more important is he learned the virtue, power, and grace of unless. I am sure he is a better person for it.

Treacherous Gulp, Esquire – Counsel for Pungent Sound Technical College of Technology

Vanilla: The Finest of the Flavors

As a lawyer I know words matter. So did another fine lawyer, Thomas Jefferson. And he meant exactly what he said when he wrote all cisgender, heterosexual White “men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” These include life, liberty, and the protection of the patriarchy.

Now just calm down. You don’t need to worry, because the patriarchy works for Others (people who aren’t cisgender, heterosexual White men) too. So we’ll take care of your needs right after we take care of our wants.

As cisgender, heterosexual White men, we know things. Such as choice is great – particularly when you have all the choices. We also know responsibility sucks. That’s why we avoid it.

And this leads me to the recent kerfuffle about the U.S. Supreme Court ending federal protections for abortion. We recognize pregnancy brings some risk and considerable responsibility. But not for us. So why would anyone need a choice when it comes to continuing a pregnancy or not?

In conclusion, let me quote those great political philosophers, Bare Naked Ladies: “I like vanilla. It’s the finest of the flavors.” That means trust the patriarchy. After all, look at what we’ve done for you so far. Just imagine what we’ll do next.

Treacherous Gulp, Esquire – Counsel for Pungent Sound Technical College of Technology

Hootin’ for Putin

We are thrilled to announce Vladimir Putin has won the 2022 Orwell Peace Prize for eradicating war.  When he directed the Russian military to justifiably invade Ukraine because it didn’t want to be his friend with benefits, he could have easily called it a war.  It certainly looks like one.  But that would have been so cliché. 

Instead, he has called it a special operation and made the word “war” illegal to use.  That’s brilliant!  He has single-handedly outlawed war.  And the rest of us are left dumbfounded wondering why no one thought of this before.  Such dedication to the non-passive pursuit of peace leaves us hootin’ for Putin.

But there’s more. When you’re involved in a special operation, there are no war casualties.  How could there be?  So you don’t have to worry about math or keeping track of the dead, because soldiers only die in a war – as well as children, women, and men.  Special operations are bloodless.  Mr. Putin said so. 

Treacherous Gulp, Esquire – Judge, Orwell Peace Prize and Counsel for Pungent Sound Technical College of Technology