Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Carving Out a Little Nietzsche

The fax machine might be the most abused office machine in the history of office machinedom. Once upon a time, its creator envisioned it as the means of quickly transmitting a hardcopy of a document from Point A to Point B without the original document having to be physically relocated from A to B. Over time it has been denigrated and deemphasized. Worse yet, its gift of alacrity seems to be sadly misunderstood and relentlessly misapplied. My favorite thing? When I receive a document from someone "Via Fax & Regular Mail", which I always interpret as meaning, "On one hand I think this document is SO important that I wanted you to see it right away, but on the other hand I do not give a rat's ass when it arrives OR if it does." Talk about a mode of communication that makes Sybil appear to speak with one voice.

Worse yet for the fax is that in the e-mail, Twitter, IM era the fax is so 27 seconds ago. About the only items that show up in our office regularly by fax are those that no one has solicited. Apparently the Firm sits right in the center of the Italian Deli Delivery Triangle because if your last name ends in a vowel and you own a deli, chances are that our fax machine is among the ones whose paper you waste five days a week. I know not whether anyone who works at the Firm ever eats at and/or orders lunch from one of these establishments. I know that if they do it is not because they have glanced at the day's menu that was faxed over at dawn's ass crack. I am the first one in the office every morning. While the buck does not stop with me, the unsolicited faxes most assuredly do.

Anyway, one of the places that sends it menu over - I have never actually glanced at the name on the top of the menu (or if I have, it has not registered in my memory for I have no idea what it is) - writes a famous or noteworthy quote on the bottom of its menu. I am not in the restaurant business so I must admit my ignorance as to the correlation between pithy observations on one's delivery menu and one's delivery traffic - presuming there is one at all.

Monday's offering did catch my eye. Well, the quote did. Not the daily specials. It - the quote that is - was from Friedrich Nietzsche, "It is not a lack of Love, but a lack of Friendship that makes unhappy marriages."

That seems to me to be just about absoutely correct. Margaret and I are married for more than 18 years. I love my wife absolutely. I do not exaggerate when I say that she saved my life. I also do not exaggerate when I say that she is my best friend and without exception is the best friend I have ever had. I do not pretend to speak for the rest of the world. I know not whether such a sentiment is universal. I reckon that I hope it is.

Bill Cosby put it another way, "The heart of marriage is memories; and if the two of you happen to have the same ones and can savor your reruns, then your marriage is a gift from the gods."

Maybe that is why there always seems to a Law & Order repeat playing on one of the television sets in our house....

....then again, it could just be the theme music.

-AK

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