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WILSON: Conventional wisdom and common sense

“I need some unconventional wisdom!” Big John Hudson clamored, as he lurched through the front door of the diner, kicked the snow off his mukluks, and tossed his gloves on the big round table with the fervor of an aardvark during mating season. “Conventional wisdom isn’t working.”

Big John was well known for entrances that could get conversations started.

“Conventional wisdom isn’t what it used to be,” snorted Tommy Jones, the most senior member of the congregation. “I remember when everybody had conventional wisdom.”

“You remember the last ice age,” laughed Harry Winkle as he sopped up his eggs-over-easy with whole-wheat toast.

“Of course, he does,” smirked Jimmy. “It was last winter.”

“Conventional wisdom is when someone comes up with an idea, holds a convention, and tries to talk a whole lot of other folks into also thinking it’s a good idea.” Harry could always be counted on for his astute observations. “Unconventional wisdom is being smart enough to leave the convention early.”

“Then what’s common sense?” challenged Firewalker in his most I-don’t-really-care tone of voice.

“Common sense is a rare gem,” offered Harry. “Unfortunately, most people don’t get it until right after they need it.”

“If they get it at all,” added Arnold Tobin.

“Common sense is harder to come by than a Norwegian Luau in January,” chimed in Jimmy.

“As rare as an albatross reunion,” agreed Arnold.

“As irregular as relatives paying back loans,” interjected Sal.

Thinking that perhaps the conversation might be well served by swerving back towards Big John’s original statement, Jimmy jumped back in, “What kind of unconventional wisdom are you looking for? The kind where you know the speed of light, but can’t figure out the speed of dark — or the kind where we explain women to you?”

“The speed of dark is calculated by taking the speed of light, which is 186,000 miles per second, and doing reverse math while blindfolded. Anyone can do that. Explaining women is beyond the capabilities of anyone at this table,” offered the always-enlightened Hannibal King.

“Explaining women is beyond the capabilities of any guy, anywhere,” mumbled Firewalker as he motioned to Sarah for a refill on his coffee.

“I’ll say,” Sarah, responded slightly under her breath and to no one in particular.

“Now, to be fair, men may not understand women…” began Hannibal.

“…At all.” Sarah jumped in to help finish Hannibal’s thought.

“…But, I doubt that women really understand men, any better.”

“Men eat, drink, and pass gas,” Sarah responded. “They chase women, but have no idea what do if they were to catch one. Add to that, they think they can fix anything or everything, but keep putting it off for a day when it isn’t football, hunting, or snowmobile season.”

Sarah continued to fill the coffee cups as each member of the Congregation silently tried to find the flaw in her logic. Now would have been a good time for some unconventional wisdom, but none seemed to be forthcoming.


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