A Frog in a Pot of Boiling Water
“Can I ask you something, Henry?”
“Shoot” I lazily reply, cocking my fingers like a pistol.
“How are you, like, planning to get a job with a useless philosophy degree?” Evan asks in a tone of mock concern.
I retaliate by flinging a handtowel across the sauna at my long-time friend.
“Come on, dude” he proceeds with an air of mischief. “What do they even teach you? Endless Plato with a touch of Camus? Or are you just discussing dumb parables like the ‘toad in the pot of boiling water’ over and over?”
“First of all, knucklehead, it’s the frog in the pot of boiling water, and it’s a great parable” I reply. “Next of all, I’m all out of lemonade, so if you’ll excuse me-“
I move to stand up.
“False, my man” guffaws Evan, mopping his head with the handtowel. “It’s tremendously shit.”
“Why are you always such a contrarian, Evan?” I sigh, sitting back down again.
“I’m just saying” Evan argues, “your dumb frog theory is totally debunked.”
“You do know that analogies don’t need to be 100% scientifically accurate, right?” I answer in a dry, matter-of-fact voice. “Anyway, like I said, I need to grab a glass of lemonade before I pass ou-“
“Sure sure, abandon your argument like a sinking ship” tuts Evan, smirking at me.
Once more, I retake my seat on the bench. Dehydrated or not, I wasn’t going to be bested by an anthropology major.
“The point of the metaphor” I explain lethargically, “is that incremental change…is often more deadly than sudden change…if people can’t perceive the presence of danger…then they don’t react in time…understand?”
Evan apparently isn’t convinced, continuing his rant.
“The frog comparison is your classic reductive, fear-mongering, appeal-to-slippery-slope fallacy, Henry. Take taxation for example-“
“Whatever…you win!” I groan in frustration. I am way too exhausted and cramped in this wooden box to debate advanced political philosophy. “Evan…I thought you invited me…to your family’s lake house…to chill the fuck out…”
“You’re right, man, I’m sorry” Evan apologises. “Lemme get you that lemonade”.
Exiting the sauna, he suddenly pauses at the door and flashes me a sinister smile, muttering through the humid, incapacitating air.
“Can’t believe Harvard gave you of all people a full-ride scholarship. Enjoy your full-ride to hell, compadre.”
Bewildered by his menacing words, I unsuccessfully attempt to follow him outside.
By this point, however, I’m already halfway unconscious.