It is morally wrong, I say…
…It is wrong, morally, I correct myself.
Morally speaking, I begin…
how can someone be ‘morally speaking’? Really. Either you’ve a set of moral behaviours that you adhere to all the time, in which case you are *always* ‘morally speaking’, or you do not have a set of moral behaviours that you adhere to, in which case you are ‘amorally speaking’. OR, I continue, you have a set of *immoral* behaviours to which you adhere, in which case you are ‘IMmorally speaking’. Like, all the time.
There is a pause. I realise, people are staring at me.
I’m just saying, I say. I’m just saying that you can’t really start a declaration of judgement, from a morals point of view, by saying “Morally speaking”. I mean, you *can*, but it’s not really accurate, so you *shouldn’t*.
The pause is still there. It’s waiting like the first after-dinner fart that no one wants to let go. The pause shifts uncomfortably in its chair.
It’s just that, someone else says, glancing furtively around the room. It’s just that I think no one here…I mean, I don’t presume to speak for *everyone*…
Oh, but you *do*, someone else says.
Thank you, the first person says. Not the first person as in the narrator…I mean, I don’t mean the first person narrator says “Thank you”. I mean the first person who spoke up after that great uncomfortable pause. That person speaks again, and says, Thank you. What I *meant* to say…that is, what I was going to say before…well, it’s just that I don’t think anyone…
Knows what you’re talking about, the second speaker says.
Well, I should think that’s obvious, I say. I’m talking about how it’s inaccurate to say “Morally speaking” when what you really mean to say is something like “from the standpoint of an argument in which a particular moral position is to be considered”. Or something.
Well, someone else says. This is someone completely separate from the first two someones, neither of whom are the narrator, first OR second. But I think the issue is that no one is really sure where that statement *came* from.
It came from me! I exclaim. I’m *very* good at dispelling confusion.
Er, said someone. This was the first someone.
Um, said someone else. This was the third someone.
You see, the second someone said, it’s just that…well…we’re not really sure what *sparked* that statement. Its…
Genesis? I asked.
Yes, its genesis. Exactly! Said the second person.
Is that important? I asked.
Again, a pause filled the room. I suspect it had been at the berries and cream, which would explain how it grew so large so fast.
I mean, is it important where the statement came from? What its genesis might have been? The statement is true regardless.
At this point, everyone else in the room stared blankly at me for some time, then each of them, each of them **to a man/woman/child** began a spontaneous conversation with the person to his/her immediate left.
Coincidence? I think not.