``Anything good in the newspaper?''
- [ Grunts. ]
``Growls and exclamations are not an answer. Try in a more civilized manner. Anything good in the newspaper?''
- ``A growl is a perfectly good answer when it's the most fitting response to the question.''
``And what state does the newspaper have to be in for a grunt to answer my question?''
- ``I did not grunt; I growled.''
``It's to the same effect.''
- ``It does not. A growl indicates a general dissatisfaction with the material being discussed. A grunt indicates that one cannot even work up the enthusiasm to be dissatisfied.''
``I heard a grunt.''
- ``I'm not accountable for what you hear.''
``I take it that you are generally dissatisfied with what you read in the newspaper.''
- ``You understand me perfectly.''
``And I can only wonder why.''
- ``You finally know me well enough.''
``What is in the newspaper that has you generally dissatisfied?''
- ``It's this column about the incredible, the discreditable, or other miscellaneous things that they imagine we would not have guessed.''
``There's many things I would not have guessed. I've never guessed what vitamins they say are in skin lotion, for example.''
- ``Why would you put vitamins in skin lotion?''
``I never would; I buy them pre-vitamined.''
- ``What guesses would you make about them?''
``I can't work up the enthusiasm to make guesses. So what are they supposing you'd never guess that's got you so generally dissatisfied with what you read?''
- ``Here. One claim this article makes. Do you know the shortest English word --- ''
- ``I wasn't --- ''
``Oh, you're right. I is shorter still unless you're in Courier.''
- ``I wasn't finished. Do you know the shortest English word not currently in use as an acronym?''
``Let's see. 'Me'?''
- ``Metrologists East. Society of people who talk about measuring things.''
``They list that there?''
- ``They list many common guesses there.''
- ``Virginian Interpretive Athletes League.''
``You're making that up.''
- ``I never would.''
``What would an `Interpretive Athletes League even be?''
- ``You don't protest the 'Virginia' part?''
``My imagination is broad enough to concede that if there were such a thing as an `Interpretive Athletes League' then there may easily be regional associations for the same purpose.''
- ``You'll go along with regional associations for an association you can't believe exists.''
``If athletes need anything, surely Virginian athletes need it too.''
- ``Except help getting to Virginia.''
``There's nothing keeping athletes trapped in Virginia and once out they might not be able to get back on their own.''
- ``I'm glad you're being reasonable about this.''
``But they don't need an interpretive league.''
- ``You imagine that every person innately understands everything that an athlete might do?''
``I don't. In fact, I understand everything athletes do except athletics. That seems to be choosing to do a lot of exertion and sweating to me.''
- ``Ah! Then my point is proved.''
``Not if you want full credit, it's not.''
- ``Athletes do many peculiar things, though.''
- ``And they have reasons for most of them.''
``I suppose, but who knows what they are?''
- ``Many athletes and many non-athletes do.''
``I see where you're going with this.''
- ``So to come to an understanding of what the athletes are doing and why requires some interpretation be done? Some translation of the deed to the thoughts behind it?''
``And your claim is that since this has to be done, it's probably better done by a particular organization devoted to doing it better?''
- ``Hence this interpretive league.''
``And once there's a league there's a regional version for Virginia.''
- ``Also the Delmarva peninsula.''
``For convenience, I suppose.''
- ``But not non-peninsular Maryland.''
``The result, no doubt, of a long series of bitter quarrels about territory and bragging rights.''
- ``What's that?''
``I don't believe a word you're saying.''
- ``You're saying you are generally dissatisfied with the contents of this newspaper article?''
``I'm dissatisfied with your report of its contents.''
- ``So you admit the justness of my growl.''
``It was a grunt.''
- ``But I was right.''
``So what was the shortest word not used as an acronym?''
- ``They say there isn't one.''
- ``They say there is no shortest word not used as an acronym.''
``Unbelievable. That's worth cancelling the paper for.''
- ``Thank you.''
Trivia: The parasol and shades for the Skylab repair mission were not loaded into the Skylab 2/1 command module until about 2 am the day of scheduled launch, 25 May 1973. Source: Deke!, Donald K Slayton, Michael Cassutt.
Currently Reading: A Geography Of New Jersey: The City In The Garden, Charles A Stansfield Jr.