The Direct and Indirect Method


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Joys of Irish Humor
Wolverine Café posting of February 7, 2005

Here is a tale from Joys of Irish Humor by Henry D. Spalding, to indicate there is a direct way, and an indirect way, to achieve a desired result.


The new father was visiting his wife in the maternity ward, where they had been animatedly discussing possible names for their infant daughter.

“I’ve made up my mind what we’ll call the baby,” announced the young woman. “We’ll cll her Maureen, after my mother.”

The name at once evoked some dark thoughts in the father’s mind, but he altered his face so that it would look halfway agreeable.

“Maureen, is it” he cried, as though it was the best choice imaginable. “Now that’s a fine Irish name! The girl I almost married before I met you was named Maureen. Ah yes, the name recalls some pleasant memories!”

The wife maintained a stony silence for a whole minute before she made her final decision:

“We’ll call her Margaret, after my favorite aunt.”

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