“Socrates, thank you for taking the time to come over to my place to have dinner. I’m thrilled and honored. When I applied to college and was asked who from history I’d most like to have dinner with, I never thought it could come true. But, here we are.”

“Yes, your university scientists do good job bringing me here to your era. I only just learn English but I happy to discuss with you here. This is first time I leave lab and I must get back to scientists soon, for how your scientists say–investigations.”

“I know, so while you help yourself to dinner, let’s get into it. I’m fascinated to know your thoughts on life. Tell me about the nature of humankind.”

“What this here?”

“It’s a panini.”

“You make?”

“Yeah, it’s easy. I used a panini maker.”

“You have machine? It just make pa-nee-nee?”

“Well, kind of. I mean, you have to buy the bread and ingredients and then you put it in the machine and it presses the sandwich.”

“Mmmm, it is good. I enjoy.”

“Thank you.”

“Okay, let us get back to what we were discuss.”

“Yes, by a miracle, I’ve got Socrates here. So yes, let’s discuss the nature of humanki–“

“No, I mean discuss pa-nee-nee maker. Where did you get? You make this maker?”

“No, I didn’t make it. I bought it from Williams-Sonoma.”

“This man Sonoma make. He make good machine. This sauce? What is this?”

“It’s a pesto basil sauce. But, getting back to the nature of–“

“This man Sonoma also sell sauce? I get from him?”


“Where does sauce come from?”

“I bought it from Whole Foods, but it’s Italian in origin, I think.”


“Yeah, it’s from the country of Italy. It’s the Roman area in your era.”

“Many things change over time. But, the nature of man is eternal.”

“Yes, exactly. I want to discuss that.”

“Yes, we discuss nature of humankind. The nature of humankind is both awe-inspiring and troublesome. Wait, what that? Is that pa-nee-nee maker?”

“No, no, that’s a television. A TV.”

“What does it make? Tee-vee sandwiches? I try tee-vee sandwich.”

“No, it doesn’t make food. It shows TV shows. Like the plays you have back in Greece, but these are beamed onto a screen via a satellite or cable or something.”

“So, it shows plays?”

“Well, not plays per se. Like, taped plays about cops and stuff. Or sitcoms, which are funny shows. And things called reality shows, which, funny enough, are anything but realistic, Socrates. But, you were saying about humankind…”

“Can I watch this taped play? I turn on?”

“Um, well…yeah, that’s the on switch…”

“What this is?”

“It’s a show called Home Improvement.”

“What happens in this tragedy?”

“It’s not a tragedy.”

“So, is a comedy?”

“Well, yeah, a lot of people thought so.”

“What this is about?”

“It’s about a guy who hosts his own show, or taped play, about fixing up your home but then, when he goes home, he often has trouble fixing things with his family. So, it’s like “improving your home” on two levels.”

“Sound sad. Why is there some laughter coming?”

“That’s like, a laugh track or maybe the studio audience.”

“Ha, look at him! This IS comedy! See, he has trouble fixing pa-nee-nee maker.”

“No, that’s a lawn mower, not a panini maker. You know, I’ll be in the other room reading. Let me know if you need anything before you get back to lab.”

“More Sonoma pesto basil from Whole Foods, please.”

“Yes, right away.”



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