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Unformatted text preview: Love Is a Fallacy - Written by Max Shulman Cool was I and logical...My brain was as powerful as a dynamo, as precise as a chemist's scales, as penetrating as a scalpel. And-think of it!-I was only eighteen. It is not often that one young has such a giant intellect. Take, for example, Petey Burch, my roommate at the University of Minnesota. Same age, same background, but dump as an ox. A nice enough fellow, you understand, but nothing upstairs... One afternoon I found Peter lying on his bed with an expression of such distress on his face that I immediately diagnosed appendicitis. "Don't move," I said. "Don't take a laxative. I'll get a doctor." "Raccoon," he mumbled thickly. "Raccoon?" I said, pausing in my flight. "I want a raccoon coat," he wailed. I perceives that his trouble was not physical, but mental. "Why do you want a raccoon coat?"... "All the Big Men on Campus are wearing them. Where've you been?" "In the library," I said, naming a place not frequented by Big Men on Campus. He leaped from the bed and paced the room, "I've got to have a raccoon coat," he said passionately. "I've got to!" "Peter, why? Look at it rationally. Raccoon coats are unsanitary. They shed. They smell bad. They weigh too much. They're unsightly. They-" "You don't understand," he interrupted impatiently. "It's the thing to do... I'd give anything for a raccoon coat. Anything!" My brain, that precision instrument, slipped into high gear. "Anything?" I asked, looking a him narrowly. "Anything," he affirm in ringing tones. I stroked my chin thoughtfully. It so happened that I knew where to get my hands on a coat. My father had had on one in his undergraduate days; it lay now in a trunk in the attic back home. It also happened that Petey had something I wanted. He didn't have it exactly, but at least he had first rights on it. I refer to his girl, Polly Espy.... I was a freshman in law school. In a few years I would be out in practice. I was well aware of the importance of the right kind of wife in furthering a lawyer's career. The successful lawyers I had observed were, almost without exception, married to beautiful, gracious, intelligent women. With one omission, Polly fitted these specifications perfectly. Beautiful she was... Gracious she was Intelligent she was not. In fact, she veered in the opposite direction. But I believed that under my guidance she would smarten up. At any rate, it was worth a try. It is, after all, easier to make a beautiful dumb girl smart than to make an ugly girl beautiful. "Petey," I said, "are you in love with Polly Espy?" "I think she's a keen kid," he replied, "but I don't know if you'd call it love. Why?" "Do you," I asked, "have any kind of formal arrangement with her? I mean are you going steady or anything like that?" "No. We see each other quite a bit, but we both have other dates. Why?" "Is there," I asked, "any other man for whom she has a particular fondness?" "Not that I know of. Why?" I nodded with satisfaction. "In other words, if you were out of the I nodded with satisfaction....
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- Fall '07