[Note: Some historians have claimed that Socrates was born on June 4. Oddly enough, on his birthday, I discovered this unheard-of dialogue in an old jar of stuffed grape leaves I had sitting on my shelf.]
Socrates: Greetings, Evo. What brings you to the marketplace today?
Evo: My feet do Socrates.
Socrates: LOL, Evo. But, nay. I mean why do you come here?
Evo: It’s another day in paradise, my friend. The sun is shining, and so I thought to betake myself outdoors.
Socrates: I agree with you, Evo. The sun is indeed shining. But does it not also shine when there are clouds? Or does the sun cease to shine on such a day? Does the sun disappear when we cannot see it?
Evo: No, of course not. The sun never disappears.
Socrates: Then it always shines?
Evo: Yes, scientifically that is true.
Socrates: And yet, you make a distinction between a clear day on which the sun shines and a nasty day on which the sun shines. Is that not the case?
Evo: Well, maybe I should have said it was a beautiful day.
Socrates: And can you then, Evo, tell me what beauty is? How can I know that this day is a beautiful one? By what standards am I to judge?
Evo: I can tell you only my own standards, Socrates. Yours might be different.
Socrates: So are you saying that there is no way of judging beauty? Your idea of beauty is different from mine?
Evo: Well, of course, Socrates.
Socrates: I win this round, Evo.
Sigho: Yes, Socrates, it is indeed I. I’m glad I found you.
Socrates: I assume you have a question for me, then?
Sigho: I would like to change the look of my blog, Socrates. What do you recommend?
Socrates: You have tried Popeye already?
Sigho: Yes, Socrates. But I tired of him.
Socrates: And ghouls? Have you tried them?
Sigho: I did indeed, Socrates. Even before Popeye.
Socrates: And a naked woman?
Sigho: That’s what I have now, Socrates. A good-looking naked woman.
Socrates: And do good-looking naked women not please you, Sigho? For if they do not, there’s plenty of guy-on-guy action in the agora.
Sigho: I am sufficiently pleased by good-looking naked women.
Socrates: But you would like to get rid of this particular naked woman?
Socrates: Is she beautiful by your standards?
Sigho: I think so.
Socrates: Is she more or less beautiful than Evo’s day?
Sigho: I think she might make Evo’s day even more beautiful.
Socrates: And yet, you would remove this beautiful image?
Sigho: As I said, Socrates, I’m tired of it.
Socrates: So you are tired of beauty then?
Sigho: No, Socrates, not beauty in general. Just this particular beauty.
Socrates: And yet you would like your blog to look beautiful?
Socrates: Before picking another beauty, would you consult with Evo to find out his standard?
Sigho: I might.
Socrates: And you know, don’t you, that Evo thinks a sunny day is beautiful?
Socrates: So should you not use the image of a sunny day on your blog?
Sigho: I had something else in mind.
Socrates: And what was that?
Sigho: I’m not sure.
Socrates: But it will be beautiful?
Sigho: To me.
Socrates: But you won’t know whether it’s beautiful to your readers, because everyone has a different standard of beauty. Is that right?
Sigho: What you say is so, Socrates.
Socrates: And yet, it is to attract readers that you’d have a beautiful image at all. Am I correct?
Socrates: And at least one of your readers has declared that he thinks a sunny day is beautiful?
Sigho: Evo has, yes.
Socrates: Well, I win that one, too.
Phillitus: Just so, Socrates. It is I.
Socrates: And you, Phillitus? For what reason have you come to this place?
Phillitus: Why, to seek you out, Socrates.
Phillitus: Yes, Socrates. I was hoping you could answer a question I have. Why is it that when I barbecue chicken my team always loses?
Socrates: Do you have a particular chicken in mind?
Phillitus: No, Socrates. I mean any chicken.
Socrates: The idea of “chicken” then.
Socrates: But surely, Phillitus, you do not barbecue an idea. For that would not be sustenance enough for an ant.
Phillitus: No, Socrates, I barbecue particular chickens.
Socrates: And are these chickens beautiful?
Phillitus: Not to my standard of beauty, Socrates.
Socrates: And when you have barbecued these particular non-beautiful chickens, your team has lost?
Socrates: But there may, may there not, be some beautiful chicken that you might barbecue which would not result in a loss by your team. Do you agree?
Phillitus: That has not been my experience with chickens, Socrates.
Socrates: Are you saying, then, that you have barbecued every single chicken there is?
Phillitus: Certainly not.
Socrates: Well, I would suggest that you try some beautiful chickens to see if your hypothesis stands.
Phillitus: But I don’t want my team to lose, Socrates.
Socrates: You don’t get what I’m saying, do you? Well, I win this round. Three points for me so far.
Owlas: Socrates, as you know, Obammas is running for the council.
Socrates: Yes, I’ve been told that.
Owlas: I do not want to vote for him. He speaks nonsense sometimes.
Socrates: What kind of nonsense.
Owlas: Why, religious nonsense, Socrates.
Socrates: Then why not vote for his opponent.
Owlas: I believe his opponent speaks even more nonsense, which is not merely religious in nature.
Socrates: So, according to you, both Obammas and his opponent speak nonsense, but Obammas less so. And only in one area.
Owlas: Yes. But it’s still too much nonsense for me.
Socrates: Are either of the candidates beautiful?
Owlas: I do not vote on the basis of beauty, Socrates.
Socrates: But you must make a choice for the good of Athens, mustn’t you?
Owlas: I shall vote for myself.
Socrates: And by doing so, you hope to win?
Owlas: No, Socrates, my vote will be a protest against two poor choices.
Socrates: Will anyone know that you have protested?
Owlas: I, myself, will know that I have protested.
Socrates: And your protest which only you will know about, is that sufficient to get your message across?
Owlas: I sincerely doubt it, Socrates. But I refuse to put up with nonsense. I think if enough people knew my position, they would, indeed, vote for me.
Socrates: Are you beautiful?
Owlas: I don’t believe so, Socrates.
Socrates: Assuming that you are not beautiful, what kind of barbecue does your team prefer?
Owlas: I don’t have a team, Socrates. I don’t follow sports.
Socrates: If you did follow sports, what kind of barbecue do you think your team would prefer?
Owlas: I have no opinion about that, Socrates. I don’t usually eat barbecue.
Socrates: Well, if you did follow sports, and if you did eat barbecue, what kind of barbecue do you think your team would prefer?
Owlas: I can’t say, Socrates. I lack knowledge of teams and I lack knowledge of barbecue.
Socrates: So white male workers are not likely to vote for you, are they Owlas?
Owlas: Probably not.
Socrates: That’s another point for me, wouldn’t you say?