couch dweller
a monkey stole my juicebox
(Jill) said bleakly, «This is your house, Doctor Harshaw, and we are in your debt. I will fetch Michael at once.» She stood up.
«Hold it, Jill.»
«Sir?»
«Sit down — and quit trying to be as nasty as I am; you don't have my years of practice. Now let's get something straight: you are not in my debt. Impossible — because I never do anything I don't want to. Nor does anyone, but in my case I know it. So please don't invent a debt that does not exist, or next you will be trying to feel gratitude — and that is the treacherous first step toward complete moral degradation. You grok that?»
Jill bit her lip, then grinned. «I'm not sure what “grok” means.»
«Nor I. I intend to go on taking lessons from Mike until I do. But I was speaking seriously. “Gratitude” is a euphemism for resentment. Resentment from most people I do not mind — but from pretty little girls it is distasteful.»
«Why, Jubal, I don't resent you — that's silly.»
«I hope you don't … but you will if you don't root out of your mind this delusion that you are indebted to me. The Japanese have five ways to say “thank you” — and every one translates as resentment, in various degrees. Would that English had the same built-in honesty! Instead, English can define sentiments that the human nervous system is incapable of experiencing. “Gratitude”, for example.»
«Jubal, you're a cynical old man. I do feel grateful to you and I shall go on feeling grateful.»
«And you are a sentimental young girl. That makes us a complementary pair. Let's go to Atlantic City for a weekend of illicit debauchery, just us two.»
«Why, Jubal!»
«You see how deep your gratitude goes?»
«Oh. I'm ready. When do we leave?»
«Hummph! We should have left forty years ago.»

@темы: robert a. heinlein, quotes