After 11 weeks of law school, I can no longer think like a sane person.
My wife says, “Good Morning.”
Is it really? How do you quantify “good?” Is that better than “okay” or are the two analogous? Is “good” too subjective of a standard to properly categorize morning? How would a reasonable person define “good” in relation to morning? I didn’t step on sharp child’s toys barefoot nor any overnight surprises left in the hallway by cats. Can you—should you—define good in the negative? Is it good if something bad has not yet happened? But that implies that good is a constant state of existence unless some outside force acts upon your good morning. Who is this outside actor and would they be liable for infringing on your good morning? What does the Restatement say?
Morning. Is it morning or has the day transitioned into that quasi-time sometimes referred to as mid-day. Which time zone is the official record-keeper of morning? Television programs list their starting times as 9/8 Central. If that is the rule, then morning ends at 11 a.m. Central time, since it is already noon on the East Coast. Unless the mid-day gray area takes affect. Is mid-day a minority jurisdiction rule or a majority? The clock reads 11:05 . . . 11:06. Did my wife make the statement before 11 a.m., which might make the statement correct, or did she say it after 11 a.m. Central, in which case her statement is totally inappropriate? I didn’t make a note of the exact time. Okay, assuming her statement was made before 11 a.m. and we are operating under the majority jurisdiction rule of morning ending at noon/11 Central, then she was technically correct in the statement, which forces evaluation of the next question:
Does an accurate statement of “good morning” require a response under standard common courtesy rules when the speaker is your spouse of several years and the modifying adjective “good” has no ascertainable authority?
Common courtesy would necessitate an answer according to local custom. Wait. What’s my authority? Crap. I’ll have to look that up. I can’t do it now. She is looking at me. She looks annoyed. Perhaps the custom has policy roots in self-preservation. Go with it. Since local custom and courtesy require an answer, one must be given. However, under Rule 11b I can’t provide an answer that I don’t believe to be factually accurate. But, I am free to amend my answer once within 21 days.
At 11:08, I look up.
“Yes, the chair has four legs.” I say. Then I walk out of the kitchen carrying the sugar bowl and leaving my coffee in the fridge where the milk should have gone.