Thursday, July 7, 2011

Parable Time

Your car has a flat tire. You take it to Barry (who is half-black) & John (white)'s Auto Shop. John wants to demolish the car. Barry thinks to himself, "I know the tire is the problem, and that demolishing the car is idiotic and insane. But John is my partner, and everyone wants me to get along with him, despite the fact that he poisons my coffee every morning, tells customers I am the anti-Christ, and probably really hates black people."

So Barry, being the respectable guy he is, and believing he needs to compromise with John, takes the idea of fixing the tire off the table before he even speaks up. "What if we just rotate the tires? The customer will think we're doing something, and we don't have to destroy the car." John, being the ignorant tool that he is, says "No. Destroy." Barry, being the shrewd negotiator that he is, says, "OK, John. I'll agree to taking the wheels off the car, because that will at least get rid of the flat." John, predictable, says "No. Destroy."

Now Barry, faced with this intransigence, does what any weak-willed and ineffectual person would do. He proposes not only removing the wheels, but ripping out the axle, and, just to show his good faith and cooperative spirit, also suggests he is open to gutting the interior of the car. John, being what he is, won't have it, and insists on the destruction of your car.

Barry, who at this point is clearly in over his head, having already, with no concession from John, decided to fuck up your car very badly, calls you up and tells you that he wants a few reasonable fixes, and his partner just won't settle for anything less than your car's total dismantling. When you, understandably irate, say "What the flying fuck are you morons doing?", Barry puts you on hold, tells John that you are angry, and gets John to agree that your car can keep the interior, but in exchange, John insists the engine, wheels, and window glass MUST go. Barry, convinced he has won a great victory for you, pridefully tells you of the deal he has made on your behalf. 

Now, it is one thing to realize that Barry & John's is the only shop in town, and you're trapped. It is even fair, if not pointless, to recognize that John is a total lunatic who has no place in the auto repair business, and that Barry is neither as stupid nor as crazy, and is actually a really nice guy. It is altogether another matter to tell yourself that Barry is brilliant and is on your side, let alone convince yourself that Barry has indeed accomplished something.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely put. I want this published to a larger audience.