Anyone - Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

"Damned if you do, damned if you don't."

"No, no. It's damned if I do, damned if I don't."


"But I love you."

"You love me? How horrific."

"No, idiot. That's the rest of the lyric: Damned if I do, damned if I don't, but I love you."

"That's stupid."

"Well, you asked."

Arnold shifted in his seat and breathed heavily. Roger could be so obtuse sometimes. Not to mention rude. Or maybe it was just blunt. It was often hard to tell.

"I just wanted to identify the lyric fragment that was running through my head," Roger said haughtily, "I didn't ask for a lecture."

"Well, excuse me for trying to help." Arnold rolled his eyes.

"Oh, don't roll your eyes at me, Mister I-Know-So-Much-About-Music. You don't know everything."

"I know more than you do."

"I doubt that. In fact, I call your knowledge and your taste into question."

"My taste?"

"Yes. That lyric, you said, comes from The Alan Parsons Project. If you were able to identify it, you must like the band."

"I do. They're awesome."

"I rest my case."

"What case?"

"The case that your taste is all in your mouth. Who listens to The Alan Parsons Project?"

"I do."

"Well, then. There you go."

"There I go where?"

"Down the cultural toilet, evidently."

"You can't judge someone based on their tastes."

"I can. I did. You suck."

"Because I listen to The Alan Parsons Project."

"Precisely because you listen to the Alan Parsons Project."

"Well, then, oh great cultural guru and knower of all things... What do you recommend your humble minions listen to, pray tell?"


"Yes, what?"

"There you go, showing your ignorance again. I'm talking about Yes the band, not "yes" the positive answer to a "yes or no" question."

"Yes? The rock band Yes?"


Arnold let out a hissing sigh. "That stuff is pretentious nonsense."

Roger glared at him. "That 'stuff', as you call it, is art."

"Art? Like in Art Garfunkel?"

Roger stood, eyes wide, fists balled. "Don't you ever... ever... compare the reigning monarchs of progressive rock to an aging, shaky-voiced folk singer."

"I'll compare them to whomever I want. They're a bunch of pompous art-rockers who think they're playing classical music."

Roger's face resembled a thermometer as the blood slowly rose up to his forehead. He closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths.

"No," he said with deliberate calmness. "You're confusing them with Emerson, Lake, and Palmer."

"Oh, of course," Arnold said, sarcasm dripping off every syllable. "There's such vast chasms of difference between those two groups. How silly of me."

Roger swallowed hard an sat back down. "Have you ever actually listened to Yes?"

"I have. And I find I like them just about as much as Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, which is to say, not at all."

"And yet, you like The Alan Parsons Project."

"I do at that. I find them very imaginative and musical. They have actual melodies in their songs."

"Melodies!?!? Madonna has melodies! So does Britney Spears! But I don't want to listen to any of their nonsense either."

"You're such a snob."

"And you're a peasant."

The two looked at each other for a moment, mutual animosity swirling in the air between them.

A doorbell broke the silence.

"Ah," Arnold said, getting up. "Pizza's here."

"About time," Roger said. "What shall I put on. Beatles?"

"I think we can at least agree on that. How about the White Album?"

"The White Album? That overblown, pretensious, ego-based..."

The End

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