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Shell Shocked: Fighting My Way to Argument Club | News, Sports, Jobs – SANIBEL-CAPTIVA


PHOTO SUPPLIED Art Stevens

Sanibel has a number of very engaging and personally enriching clubs. I joined the Optimists Club and can now look at a glass half full and not half empty.

I joined the Whiners Club and can now be around the most annoying and deadly whiners. And I’m now about to join the Sanibel Argument Club.

The goal of this new club is to purify unhealthy emotions by yelling and screaming at people who also scream and yell at you. But the Argument Club doesn’t accept just anyone as a member. You must go through a rigorous selection process.

I approached the door of the monthly meeting of the Argument Club. I could hear loud screams and screams coming from inside. It already looked like my kind of club. A club representative stood at the door. He said: “What do you want?” I said “I thought this was where the Argument Club met, not the Verbal Abuse Club.”

He said: “Very funny. I see you’re new here. If you want to participate, you need to show me that you’re an inveterate arguer before I can let you in. We don’t tolerate amateur arguers.

I said: “Would you call this the start of an argument?” My dog ​​Flicker can argue better than you.

He said: “You don’t even know what an argument is. Let me explain it to you. The dictionary defines an argument as a discussion in which reasons are given for or against a proposition or proposition. What reasons do you give?

I said: “That your definition of an argument is completely incorrect. An argument is a dispute where there is strong disagreement. I object to your definition of an argument.

He said: “How can you challenge my definition of an argument when I have the power and authority of the dictionary?

I said: “Well, I don’t know what dictionary you’re using but you must have read it wrong. You shouldn’t argue with me. You should just let me in.

He said: “Why should I let you in if you don’t know what an argument is.” There are some very competent arguers in this room and they would make mincemeat of you. You should come back when you have learned the correct definition of argument and are ready to argue loudly, vehemently and obnoxiously.

I said: “Look, you don’t even know which side of the sun shines. You can’t bar me from an Argument Club meeting without a better reason than that. You are simply wrong and a bad arguer. I’ve seen ten-year-old boys argue better than you.

“Well, it turns out we don’t invite ten year old boys to our club. This club is for adults only. And if you’re not an adult, you can just go to another club, like the Belch and Burp Club.

This asshole was really starting to get to me. “I demand to speak to the president of this club. I’ve been practicing my argument for months now to prepare for membership. I argued endlessly with my accountant about the fact that she picked the Boston Red Sox to win last year’s World Series. I got into an argument with the police officer who stopped me for no reason. I have argued with the IRS about deductions they claim I should not have taken. I’m a seasoned pitchman and I demand to be let in.

I could see him hesitating as I wore my emotions on my sleeve. I couldn’t imagine any arguer being more obnoxious than me.

He opened the door and said: “I will let you in, but only as an apprentice arguer. You need to be more controversial, uncivil and pompous. These are important criteria in our Argument Club. But I can see that you might be able to rise to the occasion if one of our members harasses you enough. Come in.

I finally felt redeemed and walked into the room. There were dozens of loud arguments filling the room and I was ready to take my rightful place in the wonderful, emotionally fulfilling world of arguing.

Art Stevens is a longtime columnist for the Sanibel-Captiva Islander. His ironic humor is always offered with a smile.