"What if I had to try on my own merits? You've got to have some sort of reserve arsenal." He looks incredulous when the photographer, a very beautiful young woman, expresses doubt about the efficacy of this seduction technique.Argument! When you say you want argument, I think that means I'm going to reject your arguments. I'll give you — as we say in law — a full and fair opportunity to litigate... and then you should feel decently well treated enough when I reject your claim.
"Oh no, not if it's done right," he says knowingly. Go on then, I say. Give us a demonstration. "Maybe at lunch?" he suggests, cheering up immediately. "Let's have lunch, and make a day of it." And so, inevitably, we adjourn to the pub....
[D]rink certainly makes him livelier company than the 10am sober version, and we pass a highly enjoyable few hours in a pub garden, during which he tries out successive renditions of a Shakespearean sonnet, Being Your Slave, What Should I Do But Tend, on the photographer.
"Well?", I ask her.
"Give her time to let it sink in!" he objects.
"Um," she ventures. "I'm feeling something like blind panic."
"Really? No!" And he's off again. "Being your slave what should I do but tend/Upon the hours and times of your desire?"
"My feeling," she reports kindly after he finishes, "is that I would be more seduced by argument."
"Well, I've got arguments!" he exclaims, laughing. "You want arguments? I've got arguments!"
April 14, 2012
Asserted Christopher Hitchens in an interview in 2010, which I'm reading a propos of a discussion we're having about the value of the childish humor that comes in the form of substituting one word for another. Hitchens and his friends — intelligent adults — cracked each other up over the years by redoing book titles, changing "man" to "cunt" or "love" to "fuck," which is endlessly productive of laughter if you give yourself permission to do it. But I drifted into the part of the interview that's about the importance — the sexual importance — of reciting poetry. Hitchens continues: