instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Out of habit

If you're unfamiliar with the comic strip "My Cage," by Melissa DeJesus and Ed Power, its main character is Norm T. Platypus, "a wanna-be writer who has sold his soul to the mind-numbing corporation McGuffin, Inc." You can read it (and dozens of other comics) at the Houston Chronicle's extensive on-line comics section.

Here's today's strip, in which Norm soliloquizes in front of his co-worker Ashley T. Bengal:

Yes, the blue parakeet is really a platypus. And the thing on his head is his bald spot, and the two other characters in the last panel are the creepy janitor and a horse with a nail in his head who thinks he's a unicorn.

But that's not important now. What I want to point out is Ashley's typically heartless reply to Norm's comment that he thought he was better than envying someone else's success:

"Really? Why?"

In the strip, it's just a joke that shows the sort of chops-busting relationship they have. But if I may press the life out of this harmless bit of levity with the heavy Stone of Meaning:

It's actually a good question. Why would we presume to have virtues we have never had call to exercise?