Tony. Tony? Tony! Tony. Tony! Tony.
That's what I said when I saw my friend Tony the other day. "Tony?" I said. I almost didn't recognize him. He was sitting down on a patch of grass next to the sidewalk in the tourist district, where all the tourists go to buy ice cream cones that melt onto the ground. Beside him was a man holding a sign that said "DONATIONS FOR DOG FOOD ACCEPTED." And then there was Tony. My friend, Tony.
He was wearing a pair of sunglasses.
Now, Tony is a little smaller and a little fuzzier than me and people always think he's "cute." I think that's bae, but I guess I'm not an unbiased observer! This cuteness had backfired on Tony now. It was clear to me he'd fallen into a bad scene. There he was, in view of a quite a bit of foot traffic, being used to draw in charity for a man who didn't wash his hair. Furthermore he was being made to look like a clown. He was wearing shades. Shades that were cheap, blue, and plastic. Sorry Tony—dogs don't wear shades.
"Sorry Tony—dogs don't wear shades," I said.
Me personally? I love my eyes. My eyes look great. They're very charismatic and all the ladies say so. I would no more cover up my eyes with dark plastic shades that were made in China than I would cover up my magnificent ears with puffy earmuffs that were made on a loom somewhere. It just doesn't add up! So I assumed that Tony was being held against his will, exploited, dressed up as part of some sick kidnapper's game. I was ready to load him onto my back and waddle on out of there to safety. That's when Tony dropped a bae bomb on me: he liked wearing the shades.
"I like wearing the shades," he said. "Everyone thinks they're funny."
Right at that moment you could have knocked me over with a bowling ball rolling slowly. It was almost as if Tony didn't understand that we don't wear shades. I reminded him of Cato's words: "Wise men profit more by fools than fools by wise men." Who did Tony really think the fool was here? This was the most bae thing he had ever done. And he ate a caterpillar one time that turned out to be poison and then tried to act like he did it on purpose. This was even more bae than that. Tony reminded me that Shakespeare had written, "When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools." He tried to argue that King Lear was subtly asserting that we should embrace the foolish nature of life, because it is inescapable. In this way he attempted to justify the wearing of shades. Okay, Tony—whatever. You do you.
"Okay Tony—whatever," I said to him. "You do you."
I was saddened by the ignominious path that my once proud friend had taken. Even so, I was nagged by doubt. "The whole problem with the world," Bertrand Russell said, "is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." I am not so bold as to declare who was the fool and who the wise man, who was bae and who was not bae. I go through life pretty modest. All I know is I don't need no shades, baby.
Look into my eyes, baby. I'm looking right back at you.
[Image by Jim Cooke]