Questions & Answers

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December 30, 2014 by phicks2012

ctree2Did you ever ask someone what you thought was a simple, straightforward question and have them launch into an incredibly long, and drawn out, and complex explanation of matters having very little to do, at least as you see it, with what you thought you asked?

Have you ever tried to explain that you only wanted a simple answer, only to have that person become more and more agitated and frustrated by your failure to understand the complexities of the matter?

Have you ever tried, finally, to derail the continuing conversation by thanking that person for their input and saying that you have your answer, only to have them continue on — and on, and on — because they clearly feel that, despite your words, you still fail to comprehend that a simple answer will not serve?

Obviously, I have.

Sometimes we wind up taking at cross-purposes with other people because, somehow, our frame of reference and theirs is simply not the same. Sometimes we ask for one thing, thinking that we are making our intent perfectly clear, but the other person hears something entirely different and responds accordingly.

This most often seems to happen when the dialogue occurs between the sexes — Venus and Mars and all that– though, of course, this is not always the case. Women with problems often will only want a sounding board, and the men in their lives will assume that they want their problems “fixed”. Men will often take a pragmatic approach to matters that women look upon as emotional. Go figure!

But whatever the gender, sometimes people who share a native tongue simply are not speaking the same language, and might as well be trying to converse in Russian and Swahili.

The following humorous verse was inspired by such exchanges.

“Questions and Answers”

When I ask a simple question, simple answers will suffice me.
Were I asking for a theorem then a lecture might do nicely,
But if I require a simple sum I don’t expect dramatics,
Or an unrequested seminar on higher mathematics.

When I query if it’s raining, pray attempt to be efficient.
I just need a simple answer. “Yes” or “no’ would be sufficient.
I don’t need to know how much is falling, nor the weights nor measures,
And I neither want nor need to know the barometric pressures.

When I ask you for directions it will only make me weary
If you can’t comply without explaining cartographic theory,
And if I request a recipe, I don’t require a session
At the Cordon Bleu, nor do I seek a culinary lesson.

When I ask for an opinion I don’t need a definition
Of how cranial capacity affects your disposition,
And if I should ask the time of day I don’t seek explanations
Of just how a clock can function, or of temporal equations.

Take a moment to consider, pay attention to my phrasing,
And when you persist in lectures you should note my eyes are glazing.
When I thank you for your input, then pray cease your disertation.
There can much be said for brevity, and ultimate cessation.

When I’m asking for a simple fact, you need to answer straightly,
For you do not need to labor to inform and educate me,
I do not require perfection, or that you will answer wisely.
When I ask a simple question, simple answers will suffice me.

[25 November 2014]

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I am an active, outgoing person interested in all sorts of things and all sorts of people! I'm constantly discovering new interests, and expect that to continue right into the grave!

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