Socrates

Jim eats a bowl of sarcasm for breakfast every day, then burps it up as needed for the rest of the day. His recent post…

socrates 2.jpg

I couldn’t let my friend get away with it, so I did what you do. Googled it.

Oh, I knew Socrates never said that, but I wanted to know if he’d said something similar that could be transposed into such a post.

Nope, nothing close. So I challenged.

“Prove to me Socrates said this.”

Jim responded, “Socrates spoke really good English.”

Well, you can’t be a genuine smarta** without knowing everything there is to know, which I do, so I decided it was time for a little adult education.

Socrates may have spoken good English, but we all know he was Greek. We know that because we have this depiction of him eating a Greek salad, which he put on a sandwich because he was dining that day with the Earl of Sandwich.

It’s not a t-shirt he’s wearing, it’s a short-sleeve toga. Sketch used with permission of the Museum of Socrates Drawings -Monica Giles, curator

It’s not a t-shirt he’s wearing, it’s a short-sleeve toga. Sketch used with permission of the Museum of Socrates Drawings
-Monica Giles, curator

Since cellphone cameras hadn’t been invented yet, it was drawn by the cartoonist of the local paper, The Stone Tablet. He was sitting across the room and either admired Socrates or had a crush on him. That part of the story is not carved in stone.

The Earl of Sandwich also spoke English, though it wasn’t the good English we speak in America, it was that stuffy English they speak in England.

History tells us the Earl liked martinis (named after Dean Martin, by the way), but they don’t grow olives in England, so he texted Socrates and asked if he’d be willing to swap out some olives for a couple of slices of white bread.

Historical footnote: whole wheat bread was considered nasty back then. Unrefined. And the Earl of Sandwich, being from the house of Montagu in the Peerage of England, was certainly refined if nothing else. He demanded white bread. It was originally believed he liked butter on his bread, but that idea is now toast.

Realizing that many of you hated history in school, the lesson will end here. But I’m giving you a homework assignment.

You are to go onto the World Wide Web and find the song ‘Socrates’ by one of my favorite songwriters, Mac McAnally. You will find out that not only was Socrates a philosopher, he was an auto mechanic.

Do you know what you are capable of knowing
Do your hands, son, ever touch the soil?
Do you love all that you are capable of loving
And do you want me to check that oil?*


That’s stuff they don’t teach in school.

*Socrates, written by Mac McAnally. Lyrics used without permission, though they are welcome to every penny I make on this story.

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