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Monday, January 26, 2009

Complimentary Thoughts

Have you ever been complimented for something for which people are not generally complimented?  Awhile back, the Solipsist was driving on the freeway, when his passenger commented, "You keep a nice follow distance from the cars in front of you."


What is one to say to that?  "Why, thank you.  And may I say, you have some fine shoelace technique there."

This memory was spurred upon reflecting on the celebrations for Capt. Chesley "Sullie" Sullenberger, the pilot of the airplane that crash-landed in the Hudson.  Sure, Captain Sullenberger did a great job, but wasn't this, in fact, his job?  So, a pilot landed a plane safely.  Whoop-de-do!  OK, OK, so it had NEVER been done before.  So everybody walked away with at worst minor injuries.  So it was "heroic" and "awe-inspiring" and "miraculous."  You don't congratulate the deli clerk for slicing the salami, right?

The Solipsist will admit that he has never been one to handle compliments well.  He subscribes to the old maxim, "If you can't say something nice about someone. . . .great!"  So perhaps the outpouring of adulation is just too much for his cynical mind.  To say nothing of the fact that he is concerned at the potential for an upswing in the number of babies christened "Chesley." Still, he would like to compliment all his readers on their unmatched ability to use a keyboard.

Nice tapping everybody!


  1. I love the way you talked about your cynicism. Good job! :)

  2. "If you can't say something nice about someone. . . .great!" ?

    Damn..I'd hate to be one of your students. Starved, they must be, for praise. I guess you're a tough grader too.

    As I seem to recall, you WEREN'T raised by wolves, were you? :-)

    Love yourself, and others, a little, boychick. And you do have fine shoelacing technique.

    FOS fougg

    PS: Noah is amazed I still have the scar from where you stabbed my thumb with your sharpened pencil. And to think we're still friends.