You do know logic has its limits…
If you spend a lot of time outside the reach of sunlight, it can create two different parallel psychological worlds.
Back when I was in college, the world was roughly broken into those who believed that “you are what you eat” and those who believed “you are where you smoke and drink.”
It was sort of like the difference between light and dark.
It was the health food people of the Age of Aquarius vs. the hedonists. It was the difference between “Hello,” which has one meaning, and “Hi,” which has two.
Back in college, I was a bartender in a now defunct basement bar in Harvard Square that had no windows.
Upstairs was a high-end restaurant. Its clientele would briefly wait for their table while the rest of our patrons were occasional walk-ins from the street or the regulars who had self-imposed assigned seating every night around the horseshoe shaped bar at which I held court.
There was a juke box and maybe ten small tables with un-emptied ashtrays and an electric candle with a little red shade. I noticed the atmosphere was not conducive to romance when I would announce last call.
Because I am a caring person, I learned that I could control the future behavior of the patrons from behind the bar.
If I turned the jukebox up, dimmed the lights and mixed strong drinks, I could make a wild party, but if I wanted calm, I could make weak drinks, turn up the lights and turn down the music.
Also, because I was a caring person, I got to thinking there could be variations on this theme: Consider strong drinks, dim lights and soft music when I announce last call. Much better. More conducive to romance, or at least intimacy.
Now consider each table as an event onto itself. Dim lights, soft music, and half price to try a glass of our new champagne.
Hey! We making babies now!
I got to thinking I had magic powers, that I was sort of an invisible Cupid.
Wait! No! That’s what too much darkness will do to you.
At that very moment, I realized that I was no longer a caring person. I had become a puppeteer!
I didn’t want to think of people that way. So I had to find alternative hypotheses, but I was still working in a basement bar with no windows.
I wanted to test my new theory that, generally, the amount of alcohol consumed had no effect on the size of the tip.
I decided to work New Year’s Eve, which at that time went on until 2:30 in the morning. Drunk or sober, the tips were pretty much the same, although after 1:30 they were supplemented by all forms of contraband, which was not what I needed.
What good is control if you don’t get what you want? There is no barter, or like-kind exchange, when you are holding contraband and you really need toothpaste.
Woe is me. Logic had failed me.
But then, it’s hard to use logic to justify your existence as a bartender in a windowless basement bar.
Here’s the proof:
You can’t really stop people who are 52 years old and ask if, by chance, they knew whether their parents happened to be drinking in a now-defunct basement bar in Harvard Square with no windows nine months before they were born.
Alas, logic has its limits.