Doug: Thanks so much for bringing this--er, stuff by.

Bill: What.

Doug: What?

Bill: What's that tone? "Er, stuff by."

Doug: What tone? Nothing. There wasn't any tone there.

Bill: No tone. Right. You are such a liar.

Doug: Well, I mean, I was a bit surprised you gave me the photocopy and saved the original for Sherrie. But it didn't bother me, if that's what you're driving at. I don't have a thing about it.

Bill: Yes you do.

Doug: No I don't. I can read the photocopy just fine.

Bill: But you're hurt anyway.

Doug: Don't tell me what I'm feeling. You don't know what I'm feeling.

Bill: But I do. You're hurt. Admit it.

Doug: No. Why should I admit what isn't true? And where do you get off claiming to be a mind-reader, anyhow? You know Wittgenstein's argument against private language. "Only I can know whether I am really in pain; another person can only surmise it" (PI 246).

Bill: But see, the thing is, Ludwig's ghost is sitting right here on my shoulder, whispering in my ear. He's telling me exactly how you feel about this photocopy snub affair.

Doug: Ha ha. You wish. Anyway, even if he was sitting there, how could he read my mind?

Bill: He can do these things. He's a ghost.

Doug: Very funny.

Bill: You don't believe me? Here, listen, right now he's telling me

Ludwig: Doug feels very hurt that you gave him a photocopy and saved the original for Sherrie. He's reliving his father's rejection of him right now. He's thinking of the time his dad gave him a photocopied dollar bill for his allowance.

Doug: What a load of horseshit.

Ludwig: No, really. I can see these things. I hear voices, many voices in my head.

Bill: Really, man. He can do it. It's no shit. Test him.

Doug: Okay, Ludwig, tell me what I'm thinking right now.


Doug: Ha!

Bill: I know, he was thinking something naughty, wasn't he.

Doug: Nope!

Bill: Well, come on, Ludwig. Do your stuff.

Doug: He can't do it. He ain't got no stuff.

Bill: Ludwig, play fair now. You're not passing it over in silence, are you? We're not going to put up with that old gag.


Doug: Faker. Impostor. Shadow philosopher.

Bill: Come on, give him a break. He gets this way sometimes. Ludwig, don't be that way.

Ludwig: I don't like it any more than you do. But it's not fair. Somebody stole my ladder.

Doug: Oh yeah? Where'd you see it last?

Ludwig: Right, play innocent. You took it, you bastard. There I was, one minute, alive, on my ladder, and the next thing I knew I was dead and it was gone. Give it back.

Doug: Find your own fucking ladder. I never touched it.

Ludwig: Bill, tell him to give me back my ladder.

Bill: Tell him your own damn self. You already know his private language. Whisper in his ear for a change.

Doug: Yeah. You tell us what we know about your ladder.

Ludwig: Okay, okay, don't rub it in, for Christ's sake. I made that bit up. I don't really know what you're thinking.

Doug: Ha!

Bill: Ludwig!

Ludwig: Now can I have my ladder back?

Doug: I think there's a ladder out by the side of the house.

Bill: I saw a ladder on sale at the hardware store. Big extension ladder. $95. Good price, if you ask me.

Ludwig: Look, you bastards! I know what you're thinking. You're thinking I never had a ladder. You think I'm crazy, don't you.

Doug: Whoa, dewd. We never claimed to be able to know what you're thinking. That's your gig, not ours.

Bill: Well, I did claim I could, but that was when I thought Ludwig still had his ladder.

Doug: But he doesn't.

Bill: Obviously.

Ludwig: Give me my ladder! Where's my ladder? (sobs)

Doug: Come on, think. Where'd you leave it? Have you checked the Tractatus?

Ludwig: Not recently. Maybe it's there! Do you have a copy?

Doug: As if! Who'd read that early shit?

Ludwig: (muffled sobs) What am I gonna do for a ladder? I gotta get down from here.

Bill: Maybe you'd better just shut up.

Doug: Yeah, pass it over in silence, man. Dry up.

Ludwig: Oh, right. Fine friends you two are. Steal my best lines, make fun of me cause I'm foreign and crazy (the real reason is cause I'm gay, isn't it? admit it), and now tell me to shut up when I can't find my ladder.

Doug: Okay, okay, stop whining. Jeez, I never met such a whiny philosopher.

Ludwig: I won't whine any more.

Doug: That's better. Listen, here's what we're gonna do for you. We're gonna give you some new propositions, okay? Maybe you can build a new ladder out of them.

Ludwig: You two really are very nice. I'm sorry about what I said just now. Really.

Bill: Don't grovel, Ludwig. I hate it when philosophers grovel.

Ludwig: It won't happen again.

Bill: Better not. Tell you what. We'll go you one better. Just to show you how nice we are, we'll give you some nice propositions. How's that for nice?

Ludwig: Oh!

Back to Academic Addictions contents.

Forward to the Tractatus Logico-Pedagogicus

Copyright 1993 Bill, Doug, and Ludi