Readers Speak: Tri-City Socrates Cafe

By Art Kehler

Over the last few years, there has been a rebirth of interest in philosophy across the land. As a result, chapters of what has come to be known as “Socrates Cafes” have been established in numerous cities and towns. The chapters consist of small groups of citizens who gather in local businesses to discuss profound, truth-seeking questions.

Always eager to enhance our avant-garde reputation, associates of the local “out of the snuff-can” thinking set, recently thought it high time to suggest founding a “Tri-City (Harrison-Norris- Pony) Socrates Cafe.” If agreed to, meetings would be held monthly, rotating between businesses in all three municipalities. Lastly, if all goes as planned, members would then gather to discuss timeless philosophical concepts. However, in an innovative effort to distinguish the Tri-City chapter from run-of-the mill chapters, deliberations would also consider how those concepts relate to our natural-resource-based culture. After exhaustive contemplation, I have magnanimously submitted the following list of gripping philosophical topics for discussion during the first meeting:

  • Is the unexamined life worth living or is it any worse than the examined life, dawdled away, obsessing over what one has already messed up?
  • Would mixing Viagra into cattle feed increase calf numbers? If so, would the brouhaha caused by decreased Viagra availability for folks in nearby towns, negate any bovine benefits?
  • To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, at least someone is looking out for you!
  • Is a frog’s butt water-tight? If not, does a sudden attack of indigestion pose the threat of drowning?
  • Just what is the intrinsic value of a tick?
  • If a cow pie falls in a pasture and no one is there to savor it, is it still aromatic? If not, why should old Bossie even bother?
  • Do moose stumble over their noses at night? If so, does that explain the abrupt crook on the tip of their proboscises?
  • Would sprinkling Prozac over salmon streams increase survival rates among spawned-out, adult fish? If so, would it also lessen the severity of post-spawn depression amongst local bears?
  • If a bear hibernates all winter, does it proliferate all summer?
  • Does the length of a moose’s snout vary with the amount of annual snowpack? If not, because they often feed on the bottom of ponds, wouldn’t they starve in high water years?

Certainly the above listed pearls of wisdom and the veritable thunderclap of inspired deliberations sure to follow, favor establishment of the Tri-City Socrates Cafe. Only time will tell. We’ll keep ya’ posted.

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