The Philosophers’ Stone

Drat. Now I have to go back to Walmart.

I was printing some photos — I know, very 20th century of me — and while I waited for the magic machine to spit them out, I wandered off to buy furnace filters. I know, I do know how to have a good time.

On my way back, I stopped dead in my tracks. I mean, who expects a philosophical moment at Walmart? And in Home Decor?


I was so tickled by the juxtaposition that I had to dig out my phone.

But I think I must be getting old. It was only as I was getting this photo ready for posting that the penny dropped, and I realized each triangular wedge undoubtedly had three sayings on it: these two, and another one I did not see, there being only two wedges left on the shelf. These days, I guess philosophy sells.

But now I have to try to guess what’s on the third side.

Is it a balanced sequence, do you suppose?

A terrible, Terrible, TERRIBLE day. — C’est la vie. — Best. Day. Ever.

Does it lean to the philosophical in-the sense-of acceptance?

C’est la vie. — Meh. — Best. Day. Ever.

Or more to the enthusiastic?

C’est la vie. — Best. Day. Ever. — Now I can die happy.

Is it a thought that ties it all together?

C’est la vie. — Best. Day. Ever. — This, too, shall pass.

Is it a thought that goes sideways?

C’est la vie. — Best. Day. Ever. — Buy low; sell high.

I mean, what would you do? And what would sell?

Drat. Now I have to go back to Walmart.

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7 Responses to The Philosophers’ Stone

  1. Jim Taylor says:

    You have to think about the purpose of having these signs/notices on your desk. They’re intended to let the person sitting on the other side of the desk know what mood you’re in, what to expect when they, umm, ask for a raise…
    Since the first two are positive, even philosophical, I would expect the third side to be rather blunt. I vote for “Fuck Off!”
    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim – Ah, now, I was thinking of a decorative shelf, not a desk. Good point. In a work context, maybe “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” would accomplish the same result as your suggestion?

  2. Tom Watson says:

    You just gave me an idea for a whole line I could market.
    For the serious thinkers: “Cogito, ergo Sum.”
    For someone lacking courage: “Keep your pecker up.” (lest anyone think otherwise, pecker is an old English word for courage – check out the Gilbert & Sullivan play “Trial by Jury”)
    For the psychologist: “If all else fails, be an idiot.”

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – There you go, there’s undoubtedly a whole series possible. Sports nuts. The religiously inclined. Artists. Musicians. Mathematicians. Latin scholars. Now we just need to find a cheap manufacturer in a country that doesn’t abuse human rights, and we’re off!

  3. barbara carlson says:

    You could use John’s wisdom on his 59th birthday…

    “Don’t sweat the big stuff.”

  4. Pingback: The Philosophers’ Stone: Redux | Traditional Iconoclast

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