Something to chew on

One evening, when Jim was having dinner in a Bucharest restaurant, he struck up a conversation with his waitress. She was eighteen, and had just moved from Piatra Neamţ in northeastern Romania to Bucharest in hopes of winning admission to the university. She had not scored high enough on the entrance exam for her first choice, so she was working until she could apply again.

Evidently, Jim’s questions about her background and plans struck her as extensive, if not downright excessive.

“You know,” she said in reasonable English, “Aries Oatlay said that ‘curiosity is the appetite of the mind.’”

Great line, Jim thought, but he hadn’t heard of the author.

“Who is that?” he asked.

“Aries Oatlay.”

“Why don’t you write it down?” he suggested.

“A-R-I-S-T-O-T-L-E,” she wrote.

“Oh yeah, of course, Aristotle,” he said. How could he have forgotten

Jim tried to think of high school waiters and waitresses he’d met in the United States who quoted Aristotle. He’s still thinking.

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