God said to Jonah, “Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?”
“I do,” he said. “I am angry enough to die.”
But the LORD said, “You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and as many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?”
Jonah 4:9-11 (context)
On Sunday I learned that potatoes sliced and prepared for scalloped potatoes do not translate well into mashed potatoes. They boil quickly, but mashing something so thinly sliced to start with simply produces lumpy potato chunks filmed lightly with butter and sour cream. Fortunately the process of eating makes it indistinguishable from real mashed potatoes quickly.
Tell me if the following vignette seems like strange behavior to you.
Background: In our department, we celebrate birthdays every month. The duty for obtaining the cake rotates around so one person doesn’t end up responsible for it all the time.
Story: This month, the cake person — X — asked the two birthday people what they wanted. The birthday people said chocolate cake and something rich, respectively. When the birthday cake appeared, however, it was yellow. X explained: “I don’t like chocolate cake.” At that point I wanted to say, “Well, X, good thing this isn’t about you then, huh?” Then, when offered a piece of said yellow cake, X declined: “I don’t feel like cake.” What was the point of not buying chocolate, in that case? X never ate any of the cake purchased, and the birthday people ended up disappointed.
I think this raises a few good questions:
- Why did X buy yellow cake, if X had no intention of eating it?
- Why did X’s personal preferences play any part in an activity that should have been centered on two other people?
- Why didn’t X eat the cake?
- Why did X solicit the birthday peoples’ cake requests, if only to ignore them later?
I can only explain X’s behavior two ways:
- X was being totally selfish.
- X didn’t give a crap.
Before I editorialize, what do you think?
Editorializing: [Nothing, based on the axiom If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.]