A man walks into an office.

Man: Good morning, I'd like to have an argument, please.

Receptionist: Certainly, sir. Have you been here before?

Man: No, this is my first time.

Receptionist: I see, well we'll see who's free at the moment.

Mr. Bakely's free, but he's a little bit concilliatory. No. Try Mr. Barnhart, room 12.

Man: Thank you.

He enters room 12.

Angry man: WHADDAYOU WANT?

Man: Well, Well, I was told outside that...

Angry man: DON'T GIVE ME THAT, YOU SNOTTY-FACED HEAP OF PARROT DROPPINGS!

Man: What?

A: SHUT YOUR FESTERING GOB, YOU TIT! YOUR TYPE MAKES ME PUKE!

YOU VACUOUS STUFFY-NOSED MALODOROUS PERVERT!!!

M: Yes, but I came here for an argument!!

A: OH! Oh! I'm sorry! This is abuse!

M: Oh! Oh I see!

A: Aha! No, you want room 12A, next door.

M: Oh...Sorry...

A: Not at all!

A: (under his breath) stupid git.

The man goes into room 12A. Another man is sitting behind a desk.

Man: Is this the right room for an argument?

Other Man:(pause) I've told you once.

Man: No you haven't!

Other Man: Yes I have.

M: When?

O: Just now.

M: No you didn't!

O: Yes I did!

M: You didn't!

O: I did!

M: You didn't!

O: I'm telling you, I did!

M: You didn't!

O: (breaking into the developing argument) Oh I'm sorry, is this a five minute argument, or the full half hour?

M: Ah! (taking out his wallet and paying) Just the five minutes.

O: Just the five minutes. Thank you.

Anyway, I did.

M: You most certainly did not!

O: Now let's get one thing perfectly clear: I most definitely told you!

M: Oh no you didn't!

O: Oh yes I did!

M: Oh no you didn't!

O: Oh yes I did!

M: Oh no you didn't!

O: Oh yes I did!

M: Oh no you didn't!

O: Oh yes I did!

M: Oh no you didn't!

O: Oh yes I did! (very fast)

M: Oh no you didn't!

O: Oh yes I did!

M: No you DIDN'T!

O: Oh yes I did!

M: No you DIDN'T!

O: Oh yes I did!

M: No you DIDN'T!

O: Oh yes I did!

M: Oh look, this isn't an argument!

(pause)

O: Yes it is!

M: No it isn't!

(pause)

M: It's just contradiction!

O: No it isn't!

M: It IS!

O: It is NOT!

M: You just contradicted me!

O: No I didn't!

M: You DID!

O: No no no!

M: You did just then!

O: Nonsense!

M: (exasperated) Oh, this is futile!!

(pause)

O: No it isn't!

M: Yes it is!

(pause)

I came here for a good argument!

O: AH, no you didn't, you came here for an *argument*!

M: An argument isn't just contradiction.

O: Well! it CAN be!

M: No it can't!

An argument is a connected series of statement intended to establish a proposition.

O: No it isn't!

M: Yes it is! 'tisn't just contradiction.

O: Look, if I *argue* with you, I must take up a contrary position!

M: Yes but it isn't just saying "no it isn't".

O: Yes it is!

M: No it isn't!

O: Yes it is!

M: No it isn't!

O: Yes it is!

M: No it ISN'T! Argument is an intellectual process.

Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says.

O: It is NOT!

M: It is!

O: Not at all!

M: It is!

>DING!< The Arguer hits a bell on his desk and stops.

O: Thank you, that's it.

M: (stunned) What?

O: That's it. Good morning.

M: But I was just getting interested!

O: I'm sorry, the five minutes is up.

M: That was never five minutes!!

O: I'm afraid it was.

M: (leading on) No it wasn't.....

(pause)

O: (dirty look) I'm sorry, I'm not allowed to argue any more.

M: WHAT??

O: If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

M: But that was never five minutes just now!

(pause... the Other Man raises his eyebrows)

Oh Come on!

Oh this is...

This is ridiculous!

O: I told you...

I told you, I'm not allowed to argue unless you PAY!

M: Oh all right. (takes out his wallet and pays again.)

There you are.

O: Thank you.

M: (clears throat) Well...

O: Well WHAT?

M: That was never five minutes just now.

O: I told you, I'm not allowed to argue unless you've paid!

M: Well I just paid!

O: No you didn't!

M: I DID!!!

O: YOU didn't!

M: I DID!!!

O: YOU didn't!

M: I DID!!!

O: YOU didn't!

M: I DID!!!

O: YOU didn't!

M: (unable to talk straight he's so mad) I don't want to argue about it!

O: Well I'm very sorry but you didn't pay!

M: Ah HAH!! Well if I didn't pay, why are you arguing???

Ah HAAAAAAHHH! Gotcha!

O: (pause) No you haven't!

M: Yes I have!

If you're arguing, I must have paid.

O: Not necessarily.

I *could* be arguing in my spare time.


@davidpaulbrown

www.davidpbrown.co.uk