Yeah! Nobody is foolproof
AND THAT friends, with due apologies to Mr Twain, is what every fool thinks! Before we go any further in this foolish business, it may be pertinent to note that this is not another gag cooking up make-believe instances of encounters of the first-hand-kind with glitterati, chatterati, glamourati, and other like ?atis?. The said spoofs generally end in the very predictable and, if I may say so, pedestrian ?Happy Fools? Day? greeting.Updated: Apr 01, 2006 00:53 IST
Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed. — Mark Twain
AND THAT friends, with due apologies to Mr Twain, is what every fool thinks! Before we go any further in this foolish business, it may be pertinent to note that this is not another gag cooking up make-believe instances of encounters of the first-hand-kind with glitterati, chatterati, glamourati, and other like ‘atis’. The said spoofs generally end in the very predictable and, if I may say so, pedestrian “Happy Fools’ Day” greeting.
In contrast, it is with deepest reverence to fools, their activities and thought processes that inspire this fool’s magnum opus. It is a tribute to people who prompted others to coin terms and produce terms of endearment in sheer awe.
Take foolproof plans/systems. What would such plans/systems be without fools? After all, for every such system put in place, isn’t there a fool who goes and does his bit, putting to rest the epithet, ‘fool-proof’? In fact, Capt Edward A Murphy (of Murphy’s Laws fame) has endorsed the community in his laws. To quote him, “It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.”
Our dear country is a perfect example of it. Verily, India is the breeding ground for people, whom others in their ignorance, label ‘fools’. Technological advancement and technical expertise aside, trains will continue to run into each other, the Meteorological office will continue to predict rain when none is forthcoming, and you know the list is long and lengthy. There are advantages too, carrying the fool tag. You can abuse, get physical, and still get away with it.
You were just ‘foolin around’, after all. To add insult to injury, you may throw back your head and let rip a guffaw. The object of your attentions
— no matter how sadistic — may be livid, you’d be thought a fool and let off.
End of chapter.
You can even get fresh with somebody’s wife/sister citing the same reason. However, a word of caution. Newton’s action-reaction theory may not be rendered redundant in this case. Consequent reaction may bring out the full meaning of the phrase ‘not suffer fools gladly’.
A government department is home to this species under discussion. You can see them as plainly as they see you. Yet they don’t. You can beseech them all you want but sound reaches their ears infinitely late. They seem lost, sipping their tea, chewing their pan, deadpan expressions on faces. You would be forgiven to think you were visiting Tennyson’s land of Lotus Eaters. So there they sit seemingly dwelling upon the great existentialist question, or issues of national interest, even as they search for truth in their olfactory protrusions. Yet others label it ‘fooling away time/resources/what all’. How foolish!
Contrastively, when people are having the most fun, springing a prank or a rubber lizard on a colleague, it’s called playing the fool. And why not. If Carlos Santana can strum a guitar the way only he can, why can’t Yours Sincerely ‘Play the fool’?
And then came Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux saying, ‘however big the fool, there is always a bigger fool to admire him’. Take the other Newton. Just because that fruit which caused the Original Sin fell from the darned tree under which he was sitting, he has had the world eating out of his hand, apples and all. And then there’s me. How did I end up writing this piece? A fool is sure to have the answer.
First Published: Apr 01, 2006 00:53 IST