Bitch on the Blog

May 13, 2013

Right? Wrong!

Filed under: Bureaucracy — bitchontheblog @ 17:14

I like my father. A lot. Still, he does get on my nerves. About thirty years ago he offered me a bet. On the year Goethe died. He was one year out. I won. As hollow victories go that one was bottomless. To this day.




  1. I’m not familiar with Goethe. Sounds German.

    Comment by bikehikebabe66 — May 13, 2013 @ 17:43 | Reply

  2. I get the point now. Some the things you never forget. AND you don’t want the other person to forget either.

    Comment by bikehikebabe66 — May 13, 2013 @ 17:45 | Reply

  3. U, I don’t know what I’m “liking” here. Did you and your father make a bet that he would die one year after Goethe did, but he didn’t, meaning he is still alive and driving you a bit bonkers? But you’re happy about it.

    Did I get any of that right? Or am I wrong? Hey, maybe I finally figured out one of your titles! 🙂

    Comment by Lorna's Voice — May 13, 2013 @ 17:49 | Reply

    • Please don’t tie me into knots, Lorna. If my father had died a year after Goethe, more would be the pity, I’d be mummified by now. And ‘bonkers’. Miss Havisham, a woman of grace and one I admire, not least because she took lace to aesthetic heights, comes to mind.

      Wrong? No, no; RIGHT!


      Comment by bitchontheblog — May 13, 2013 @ 18:39 | Reply

  4. Yeah, explain yourself U. I looked him up. Goethe died in 1832. We aren’t German so we don’t know these things. At first I thought the bet was WHEN will Goethe die. OK the bet was to KNOW the year he died.

    Comment by bikehikebabe66 — May 13, 2013 @ 17:58 | Reply

    • Yes, it was, Cynthia. Ridiculous. What do I care what year anyone long dead died? Still. It was my father who made the bet (Can’t remember whether he paid up). Maybe he just wanted to determine whether I am the betting kind (I am not). To this day you will find me in the casino of life but NOT at roulette. Red or black. Though would love to be a gifted poker faced player.

      What brought on my post? Earlier this afternoon my father and I had the most ridiculous (though intellectually stimulating) conversation about God and the World. No, make that the world. In the words of my mother, and I believe her, little makes my blustering father happier than a conversation with his eldest daughter. If I weren’t like him I’d be exhausted by the end of it.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — May 13, 2013 @ 18:32 | Reply

  5. Is that the only time you got the best of old dad? It reminded me of the American tv show – ‘Are you smarter than a fifth Grader?’ I never watch it. I explain this as having nothing to gain. If you don’t get the right answers then you have lost intellectually to a fifth grader. If you win, you’re only smarter than a fifth grader. It’s a no-win situation – nothing to feel good about. Once we know more than our parents, something magical is lost.

    Comment by reneejohnsonwrites — May 13, 2013 @ 22:47 | Reply

    • You ask whether it’s the only time I got the better of my father. I am not competitive. I really couldn’t care less how much more people know than I do. What I do care about (and that is most certainly what my parents instilled in me) is what you DO with your brain cells. How you rub them together.

      My father is phenomenally well educated. His memory for the most obscure facts legendary. However, and he’d be the first to say so, it’s not WHAT we know (though it helps) but how we put our knowledge together. Snippets of knowledge (as in facts) being just building blogs. A sort of foundation on which to build your castle. His foundation is sound. Mine is more airy fairy. Up in the clouds. I make up ‘facts’ as I go along. And painstaking detail has never interested me.

      As an aside: I despaired with my son’s history lessons. I was INCREDULOUS. I had to bite on one my three beautiful pieces of driftwood to stifle my screams at him wasting three months on the wives of Henry VIII, yet not being taught a timeline, not knowing the significance of, say, 1066. To spare myself I do not go there. I do NOT wish to know what my son doesn’t know about history. That his schooling didn’t even give him the option learning Latin I shall overlook. With pain. But then that’s Britain for you. Which reminds me: In yesterday’s conversation with my father I said: Pane et circenses. I believe it was Cicero (though it wasn’t) who advised that to keep a people happy you give them bread and games. Not necessarily lions and gladiators but you get my drift. Nowadays we outsource our wars to countries far far away.

      Naturally, my father, and rightly so, corrected me: It’s not pane. It’s panem. Pane being Italian today, not Latin of yesterday. What I enjoy about conversation with my father (and another friend of mine who is so sharp I don’t even notice when I have just cut myself, bleeding) is the constant battle of intellect. It’s like fencing. An elegant dance with blades. Sharpening our tools. Relentlessly. Needless to say that we sometimes talk over each other. That way neither of us knows what the other has just said. And that’s ok too. I swear by the concept of osmosis.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — May 14, 2013 @ 06:42 | Reply

      • So much fun to read that. I LOVE YOU.

        Comment by bikehikebabe66 — May 14, 2013 @ 14:33 | Reply

  6. Did you win the bet because you knew the correct year, or because your father got it wrong?

    People knew more things thirty years ago. These days, you’d have to soften the challenge a lot — maybe bet on which continent Goethe was from.

    Comment by bronxboy55 — May 16, 2013 @ 12:11 | Reply

    • Charles, so enthralled and amused I was by your comment I clean forgot to reply.

      You clearly are a father yourself. Otherwise you’d never been able to ask your first question. As it happens: I won the bet because I knew the correct year. Otherwise I’d never won because my father is always right.

      What still makes me laugh, and I had no idea that people inhabiting your continent (other than Gore Vidal) can be so s(n)arky: “… which CONTINENT Goethe was from”. That is so brilliant if I had to lie down now and die I’d hug Werther, Faust, clutching “Die Wahlverwandschaften” to my bosom, happy in the knowledge that I haven’t lived for nothing.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — May 24, 2013 @ 16:26 | Reply

      • You’re such a pushover.

        (Did that sound snarky, too?)

        Comment by bronxboy55 — June 1, 2013 @ 12:50 | Reply

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