During a Meetup event, the inquisitive one was chatting with an acquaintance. The acquaintance mentioned an unfortunate need to take a trip to the local department of motor vehicles. As it happened, the inquisitive one had the same unfortunate need. The two decided to visit the DMV together.
Early one chilly morning, an hour before it opened, they met at the DMV. There was already a long line. They stood together, in the cold wind, for an hour. With frozen fingers, faces, toes, and bones, they finally entered the building. They each took a ticket. Then they sat for hours on hard plastic chairs that didn’t fit the curves of their butts. The high, flickering florescent lights were round and ugly. The floor was spectacularly dirty. Finally, the acquaintance’s number was called, and the acquaintance stood up.
“If I don’t see you on my way out, have a nice afternoon!” said the acquaintance.
“You, too,” said the inquisitive one. “This was fun!”
“It was!” said the acquaintance.
At the next Meetup event, the inquisitive one and the acquaintance fell into conversation again. The inquisitive one mentioned an unfortunate need to file taxes. As it happened, the acquaintance had the same unfortunate need. The two decided to meet at the inquisitive one’s house and work on their taxes: separately, but simultaneously in the same room.
The acquaintance arrived at the inquisitive one’s house with a laptop and a large stack of papers. For many hours, they separately muscled their way through various forms and schedules. They puzzled over whether their dividends were qualified, ordinary, extraordinary, or woefully incompetent. They tried to recall how the Washington hockey team had played during 2018, so they could claim their Capitals gains (or losses). They had both, fortunately, kept records on how many times they had passed sugar around their tables, so they easily filled in their respective lines next to “Lump sum distributions.”
Both the inquisitive one and the acquaintance had several setbacks and restarts, upon realizing they had made mistakes. The heads of both the inquisitive one and the acquaintance started to hurt very badly. The two of them toiled and toiled until, finally, the acquaintance announced completion.
“Congrats on finishing your taxes!” said the inquisitive one. “I’m almost done, too. Goodbye, and have a great evening!”
“Good luck, and see you later,” said the acquaintance. “This was fun!”
“It was!” said the inquisitive one.
At the next Meetup event, the two approached each other.
“Hi!” said the acquaintance. “One of my favorite musicians is performing at a local venue next month. Do you want to go with me?”
“Why on earth would we do that?!” the inquisitive one cried out.
“Oh!” the acquaintance cried out.
“Just kidding!” said the inquisitive one.
“Yay!” said the friend.