Sunday, September 03, 2006

I am forced by whatever muse is in charge of smartass web logs to add one more example of butfors – see Case Study: Humility for the origin of butfors.

Back in the day when I could afford to be a regular at a local public house, another gentleman frequented the place as well. He was bespectacled, short and middle-aged -- mousy-looking would have been a good phrase to describe him. Rumor had it that he had inherited a bunch of money and didn’t have to work. Whether or not that was true, every day he would come into the bar and not speak to anyone except the bartender to order the same drink every time. It was almost as if someone had commanded him to do this so that he would acquire a few minimal social skills. If so, it didn’t work.

The oddest part of it all was that, before he sat down on his usual bar stool, he would put newspapers on the seat of the stool and sit on the newspapers.

I came up with several theories on why he might do this. My original theory was that he leaked, somehow, and he was just being considerate to the bar staff. I abandoned this theory when I observed that he carried the newspapers out with him when he left. No one is that considerate.

My next theory was that he was afraid of germs. Shades of Howard Hughes. Those would have to be some nasty-ass germs, though, to penetrate his pants and (presumably) underwear and bite him on the butt. You would think that the bar counter and cocktail glasses would freak him out even more (though for all I remember he may have ordered bottle beer and never touched the bar itself).

An alternate explanation that I call the “Princess and the Pea” theory is that his hinder was too tender to sit directly on the bar stool so he used a newspaper as padding. However, this seems unlikely because the bar stools were themselves padded.

So I guess I’m stuck with the scary germs theory. If you can think of an alternate explanation, let me know. And I think I’m weird….

- Hulles

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