The Argumentative Man

by Adam Acidophilus

An argumentative man boarded a train and found to his annoyance that he was sharing his compartment with a Buddhist lama. The argumentative man didn’t care for Buddhist lamas, and felt an argument coming on.

They travelled for some miles, alone and undisturbed, the lama in his simple robe and sandals, the argumentative man a little purple in the face, staring at him.

“You’re a lama, intcha?” the man remarked after some time.

The lama nodded.

They travelled another few miles in awkward silence.

“Fink you know all the answers, dontcha?” said the man.

The lama smiled back, pleasantly.

“I can’t stand people like that … ” said the argumentative man. “Finking they know all the answers. Being lamas. Wearing robes. And sandals.”

They travelled on in utter silence, the lama gazing through the window, the argumentative man hunched and pretending to chew.

“All right. All right,” said the argumentative man a few miles later. “If you know the answer to everything, tell me this. Flowers, what’s the bloody point of them?”

The lama smiled again.

“You do speak English?” checked the argumentative man.

“Oh yes,” said the lama. “I Speak English.”

“Right,” said the man, “and can you come up with one single argument in favour of flowers? Can you? No! You don’t know the answer to anything at all, do ya?”

They travelled on.

“Rain,” said the man. “Come on, defend rain. Tell me one reasonable excuse for having rain. You can’t can you? Come on, make a case, make a case. See? You can’t. I hate rain, and I hate bloody flowers as well.”

The train rattled on, through fields and towns, every last inch of wasteland peppered with flowers.

It started to rain.

“You get floods and stuff,” added the argumentative man.

The day drew gloomy.

“There!” said the argumentative man. “The phenomenon of night. Defend that! The Earth spends half of its time in shadow. What’s the bloody point of that? What’s the bloody use of that? Come on! Make your case! Make your case! Defend yourself!”

The lama gazed back at him.

“See? You can’t,” said the argumentative man.

And then the lama spoke.

“Listen, sunshine,” he said. “If you can’t work it out for yourself, you’ll never bloody know, will you? I ain’t bloody teaching you!”

Moral: Never debate with idiots — it flatters them.

 © Adam Acidophilus 2016