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Socrates and Glaucon on the Home Shopping Network

by , McSweeneys (19 May 2010)

Rebekah Frumkin

Rebekah Frumkin

SOCRATES: Good evening, Glaucon. You look troubled.

GLAUCON: I am, Socrates.

SOCRATES: What worries you so?

GLAUCON: Look at my kitchen floor. That brown scum is the stain of fowl livers. I spilled them earlier today and cleaned them up, but the stains remain.

SOCRATES: I see.

GLAUCON: The stains are attracting countless pests with their foul odor and bacteria. There is no way to clean them up.

SOCRATES: Are you sure of that?

GLAUCON: Yes. To do so, I would need some convenient means of cleaning and sterilization.

SOCRATES: And you are convinced such a means does not exist?

GLAUCON: Socrates, I have lived in this city for the majority of my life and, knowing the things I know, I do not think it is possible for something to clean and sterilize at the same time.

SOCRATES: Tell me, Glaucon, what does “clean” mean?

GLAUCON: Why, it means the opposite of dirty, Socrates.

SOCRATES: Surely it must mean something more than that.

GLAUCON: I don’t understand, Socrates.

SOCRATES: If “clean” means the opposite of “dirty,” then to clean is to rid a space of dirt or plague, yes?

GLAUCON: Yes, Socrates.

SOCRATES: So cleanliness is the complete obliteration of dirt, bacteria and unsightly stains. Am I right?

GLAUCON: Yes, Socrates.

SOCRATES: So to effectively clean, one must also sterilize, as a sterile surface is one that is also not dirty?

GLAUCON: Yes, Socrates.

SOCRATES: But an ordinary mop will not do this?

GLAUCON: No, Socrates. Look what a hassle it is for me to use! And none of the stains are coming off!

SOCRATES: Yes. It is quite impossible to get one’s kitchen satisfactorily clean with an ordinary mop. But one could add Dirt-Fighting Technology™ to an ordinary mop, could he not?

GLAUCON: It depends on what sort of technology it is.

SOCRATES: It would consist of the elongation of the mop’s bristles and an internal motor that causes the mop’s head to swivel conveniently with the flip of a switch.

GLAUCON: Then yes, I agree that one could add such technology to an ordinary mop. But would it still be an ordinary mop, Socrates?

SOCRATES: Very astute, Glaucon. It would not. For convenience’s sake, let’s call it the EZ-Klean Mop™. Now answer me this: would the EZ-Klean Mop ™, given that it has the Dirt-Fighting Technology™ I’ve just described, be able to more effectively rid spaces of dirt or plague?

GLAUCON: Yes.

SOCRATES: So you agree that it can clean better than an ordinary mop?

GLAUCON: I believe so.

SOCRATES: You’re not fully convinced?

GLAUCON: I see that it can clean, but how will I sterilize my kitchen floor with it, Socrates? I need to get these stains out.

SOCRATES: I will answer your question with a question, Glaucon. What do you suppose the good men at Monsanto have been doing for the past fifteen years?

GLAUCON: I don’t know, Socrates.

SOCRATES: They’ve been developing a Dirt-Fighting Formula™ that is stronger than any soap. This formula is safe to use in the home, and it can sterilize any surface. Do you suppose such a formula could increase the cleaning power of the EZ-Klean Mop™?

GLAUCON: Yes, Socrates.

SOCRATES: And you’ve already admitted that, with its longer bristles and swiveling head, the EZ-Klean Mop™ can clean far better than an ordinary mop, have you not?

GLAUCON: I have.

SOCRATES: And I’ve just said that the Dirt-Fighting Formula™, which is sold with the EZ-Klean Mop™, can sterilize any surface, have I not?

GLAUCON: You have.

SOCRATES: So it seems to me that such a thing exists which can both sterilize and clean: The EZ-Klean Mop™.

GLAUCON: Why, you’re right, Socrates.

SOCRATES: Are you satisfied now, Glaucon?

GLAUCON: Well… not just yet, Socrates. I’d like to own such a mop.

SOCRATES: You can, Glaucon. How much are you willing to pay for the EZ-Klean Mop™?

GLAUCON: Sixty dollars.

SOCRATES: But the mop only costs $49.99, Glaucon. As this is less than you were originally willing to pay, I assume you would willingly pay this amount.

GLAUCON: Yes, Socrates!

SOCRATES: Call the number at the bottom of your screen, Glaucon, and the EZ-Klean Mop™ will be shipped directly to your home. And if you call now, you’ll receive a free can of SprayOn Hair™. Bald to fab in minutes!

GLAUCON: Thank you, Socrates! This will make my life so much easier!

SOCRATES: Do not thank me, Glaucon, for I have merely demonstrated to you what you already know about the EZ-Klean Mop™.

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