"...and second of all, it's been thoroughly proven and widely understood that, collectively, humans are tremendously inefficient. The study, itself, that concluded this fact took six years and $2.4M to complete. There are more than 6,900 languages spoken or signed on the planet and the laws change whenever you take a step. It takes mail several days to reach its location and dolphins get caught in our shipping nets," Zed informed Frank.
The 2009th Gregorian calendar year after the beginning of the Common Era was 47 days old and depending on where someone was on the planet, the 48th day was a certain percent complete. Less specifically, it was a Tuesday. Zed hated Tuesdays.
"I love Tuesdays! Monday is now as far away as possible!" Frank said.
"You're an imbecile," Zed issued. It wasn't that Zed was a dark person, he just took on an opposing view on certain topics.
"It's not that I'm a dark person," Zed said, "it's just that I take an opposing viewpoint on certain topics."
"If by 'certain', you mean, 'all', then yes, I agree," said Frank.
There was nothing Frank and Zed could look at in similar ways. To Frank, the panoramic coastline and shore were of a picturesque, ethereal beauty that only God himself could have created. To Zed, the billions of granules of sand became billions of tiny threats against the comfort inside of his bathing suit. There were many adjectives to describe Zed, but Frank specifically liked to use the word cynical.
“I’m not a Cynic, I’m a scientific realist,” his response was as cliché as they came, well, it was more of a proverbial chestnut from the scientific realist's handbook than anything. He actually carried around a handbook. Truth was that Zed was more defined by the Stoic school of thought that of the Cynics and he was less of a scientific realist than simply a mere pessimist.
From Zed’s perspective, Frank was a nut job. That didn’t inhibit the growth of their friendship however, it became completely necessary to use the manure he spat out to fertilize the mind.
“It takes twice as many muscles to frown than it does to smile, were you aware of that? You should smile more often,” Frank enthusiastically told Zed.
“Actually, and the only reason I know this is because I specifically looked it up to prove you wrong, it only takes 11 relevant muscles to frown while it takes 12 to smile.” This was on page 12 of the 'Scientific Realist's Handbook'.
“Why would you say that?”
“Because it’s true. It’s a scientific fact.”
“Truth and bullshit are hardly mutually exclusive,” Frank concluded.
Zed smiled. He’d gladly move an extra muscle if it meant getting a rise from Frank. He was even sure that despite his incessant babbling and emotional broadsides, Frank enjoyed their arguments too. While there was little reason to their friendship, it was comfortable, and neither had to go out of their way too much to make it work. In truth, there needn’t really be any other foundation other than that they both liked cottage cheese. They each hated cottage cheese, but it would have been a great foundation upon which their friendship could have been built. Where it stood at this moment was somewhere upon a hard and uneven sidewalk outside a drugstore.
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