Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Third Potential

I'd like to cryptically share with you one of El Sup's master piece extracts of writing directed at children:

There were once three children, one was good, one was bad, and the other was the Sup. Arriving from different directions they came to a house and went in. Inside the house there was only a table. On that table was a plastic jar, one of those they use for ice cream or snow cones. Inside each white plastic jar (note: no trademark or logo) there were two chocolate bunnies and a piece of paper. The paper said:
"Instruction for the use of the two chocolate bunnies"

"After 24 hours, this pair of chocolate bunnies will reproduce themselves and will have a new pair of bunnies. Every 24 hours, the pairs of chocolate bunnies inside this white plastic jar will multiply into another pair. That way the owner will always have in this magic plastic jar (Those used for ice cream or snow cones) chocolate bunnies to eat. The only condition is that at all times there must be a pair of chocolate bunnies inside this plastic jar, the same one used for ice cream or snow cones."

Each child took his white plastic jar , those used for ice cream or snow cones.

The bad child could not wait for 24 hours and ate his two chocolate bunnies. He enjoyed the moment, but he had no more chocolate bunnies. Now he has nothing to eat, but the memory and nostalgia for the chocolate bunnies remain.

The good child waited for 24 hours and was rewarded with 4 chocolate bunnies. After another 24 hours he had 8 chocolate bunnies. As the months passed, the good child opened a chain of stores of chocolate bunnies. After a year he had branches in all the country, he associated with foreign capital and began to export. He was eventually named "The Man of the Year" and became immensely rich and powerful. He sold the chocolate bunny industry to foreign investors, and became an executive of the company. He never tasted the chocolate bunnies, in order not to diminish his profits. He no longer owns the magic white plastic jar. He doesn't know the taste of chocolate bunnies.

The Sup child, instead of chocolate bunnies, placed ice cream with nuts in the white plastic jar, like those used to hold ice cream or snow cones. He changed the whole basis of the story, packed half a liter of nut ice cream between his chest and back, and ruined the moral of the story of the chocolate bunnies, deducing that all final options are a trap.

Neo-moral: The ice cream with nuts has dangerous implications against neoliberalism.

Questions for reading appreciation:

Which of these children will become president of the republic?
Which of these children will belong to an opposition party?
Which of these children should be killed for violating the law for dialogue, reconciliation and a peace with dignity in Chiapas?
If you are a woman, would you like to give birth to one of these children?
Send your answers to "Huapac Leaf #69" with copies to the Interior Ministry and the Cocopa.

Tan-tan and The End.

Over the years people have bandied about opinions of the third way, the third potential often refers to inaction when trapped between two choices. Fact, and by fact I mean it is not a fact at all, is that having to choose between two paths often will create 'post purchase negative or positive disconfirmation anxiety' in marketing speak or prompt us to get creative and go for something else.
I apply this at restaurants, where I find myself stuck with 'do I go with my favorite? or choose something new' anxious pangs and get around this by getting somebody else to order for me. Good old Sonam always picks my favorite dish anyway Pan Fried Chicken with Lemongrass and I get the thrill of 'taking a risk' by giving responsibilty to Sonam.
Which is a convenient way out, but most often the third potential may be choosing something you didn't even consider an option before. Try it out next time you have food picking dilemmas.
I'm real hungry now.

1 comment:

ohminous_t said...

Oh yeah everyone should buy 'Our Word is Our Weapon' and force themselves to read it. It will change the way you look at almost all forms of reading. I made myself read it cover to cover, even if it did require going to my Corner of the world tucked away where desert meats ocean meets bush.