Monday, June 11, 2012

'Appeal to the Cat' Argumentation

I've been thinking about a little argumentation technique my wife and I have developed which I want to recommend.

I call it, "The Appeal to the Cat," and it works like this:

Let's say you and your spouse (or friend, or whomever) get in a "discussion" which is on the edge of becoming tense. It goes somethig like this ...

"Are you going to pick up your socks someday?" she says.

"I pick up my socks!" you reply.

"Really? What do you call those?"

At this point she directs your attention to socks on the floor which you cannot by any reasonable argument make out to be anybody's socks but your own.

Hmm. You know the Christian thing would just be to admit you are wrong, say "Sorry," and pick up the socks, but you are still feeling a bit feisty and are unwilling to humble yourself. So, enter the cat, Archie.

"Well," you say, "Archie told me it was okay."


"Yeah, he said the blue of the socks goes nicely with the tan color of the rug."

At this point she gets that it's a joke, and plays along.

"I don't believe Archie said that! All he ever says is 'meow.'"

"Yeah, but in cat-talk that means it's okay to leave my socks on the floor."

"Well, you need to straighten out Archie on that. And tell him the colors don't match."

Turning to the cat, you shake your finger and say, "Archie, did you hear that? No socks on the floor!"

Turning back to her as you pick up the socks, you sigh and say, "I'm always having to pick up after that cat!"

So, what could have turned into a fight ending in hard feelings becomes a joke, and the problem solved.

Will this work if you just blew $25,000 on the stock market? Uh, probably not; just for little things.

Also, you may be asking, "Does this technique also work with dogs?"

Hmm. I dunno. Give it a try.

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