I first stumbled across Max Shulman’s short story, “Love is a Fallacy,” in a high school English textbook. Go figure. It came to mind today as I was finishing the last article in my series on “speculative love” for the online journal, Speculative Faith. The story’s aged well, though it was penned back in 1951, and the characters say things like “marvy,” “keen,” “Holy Toledo,” and “in the swim.” A raccoon coat plays a prominent role.
It’s the tale of an ambitious college freshman with a plan to woo and win the ideal woman…well, almost ideal. The coed of his dreams is one key quality short of perfection, but no worries, our intrepid hero has the skills to polish this diamond-in-the-rough to a fine sheen.
Of course, the problem with plans is that they never quite work out according to plan.
A side benefit of reading “Love is a Fallacy” is a whirlwind tour of common logical fallacies that mark poor or disordered reasoning. If you want to improve your debating acumen, or serve a big can of “shut-up juice” to an annoying internet troll, this is a fun and easy place to start.
Just don’t forget your raccoon coat.