Modern Manners: A is for Absence

Posted by | June 19, 2005 | Amuse Bouche | No Comments

This is an abstract concept that is supposed to fertilise the cardiac muscle. At the turn of the last century, French Impressionist painters discovered that in fact absinthe makes the heart grow fonder. Sadly, it can also cause convulsions, psychotic episodes and hallucinations. This could explain their blurred representations of the world.  Prohibitionists thought abstinence made the heart grow fonder, but anyone with a fondness for the drink knows better. The absence of beer goggles has ended many a budding affair of the heart. The self-delusional ability to imagine you look great in the presence of those greater than you.
Ingrate: a person who used to clean the fire grate, but has somehow managed to gain extreme wealth and is sitting next to you at a dinner party. If you’ve ever wondered why people with the most mediocre of abilities end up in positions of power, it’s because they don’t know when to quit. In fact, success is less about wealth, talent or even luck, and more about the ability to laugh in the face of misfortune. As people busily persevere in gathering the latest shiny consumer items as symbols of their success, they forget the fallacy of success. All things are successful in themselves. Even an ingrate is a success at being an ingrate. But, more importantly, as the American preacher Louis Binstock said: “When all is said and done, success without happiness is the worst kind of failure.”

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