At the Harry Truman presidential library.
After a robust study of the problems facing the world and middle America in the late fourties and early fifties, we stepped into the courtyard. Corb stared at the twin walkways running parallel between a row of bushes and punctuated at both ends by flagpoles with a big old waving American flags. He wrinkled his nose. "I hate symmetry," he said.
"I like it," I replied. "Only, I like one thing to be slightly askew, so it's not completely symmetrical."
"That means it's not symmetrical, bonehead," laughed Corb.
"No, no!" I protested. "It's like the Aztecs and their rugs. They deliberately placed flaws in their works so that--"
"Those were the Amish and it's a complete fabrication," said Corb, smugly, and I thought, 'most rugs are complete fabrications,' but stopped myself. Didn't matter. Corb was on a roll. "Aztec quilts. Hah!"
Now I was starting to see red. "First off, I didn't say anything about quilts. I mentioned rugs. That's not the same thing."
"You said quilts."
"I did not."
"You said quilts."
"I DID NOT!"
"And secondly, it's actually the Amish, not the Aztecs," said Corb at his most patronizing. "I just read it in a book about common American myths, and the whole thing a lie. The Amish didn't do that with their quilts. I know, I just read it!"
Really, I did try to sound calm, even though every fabrication in my being (it's a joke, son) wanted to rip out his lungs. "No. It was the Aztecs. I'm not denying what you read was about the Amish, but I can assure you, what I read was about the Aztecs, and I read it many years ago. It stated that they believe that if a certain craft was too perfect, it was..."
"An insult to God, yeah yeah yeah," said Corb, waving it away. "Maybe you just messed it up after all these years. It was about the Amish, and they actually didn't do anything of the sort. Aztec quilts. Hah!"
"I SAID NOTHING ABOUT AZTEC QUILTS!"
"YOU DID SO!"
"I DID NOT!!!!!!!!!"
"Hmmm," said Corb's cousin, sounding slightly stunned, as we walked out of the courtyard and into the research area. "Kind of wish I had taken my own car, today..."
Six hours later, as I was relaxing in the hotel room, I came across the following internet post:
"I could have ripped it back, but I refer you back to that philosophy of the Aztecs, who deliberately introduced flaws into their work, as they knew that if they one day found a perfectly crafted item, it had to have been made by the Gods. I don’t necessarily have the same belief, but it makes me chill out when I make mistakes that won’t make my whole piece unravel!"
Justification! I copied the post and sent the link to Corb and Shelley. It's the little things in life that make it worth living.