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Everything is Debatable

(You can listen to this piece on S2E39 of the podcast.)


The hall tittered with hums of agreement alongside grunts of dissention as the two team captains volleyed their perspectives back and forth more like a tennis match than a debate tournament. On stage, a diminutive, brown-skinned with saucer-shaped eyes and long dark hair argued pointedly into her microphone.

“The nutritive needs of teenagers are great, and I submit to my opponent Mr. Hansen the undeniable diversity of meat, dairy, vegetables, and grains. Our position is that the fresh ingredients alone provide several key vitamins required for healthy growth and development.”

“I believe it is our rebuttal?” asked the tall, freckled-face boy to the panel of judges though he didn’t wait for a response. “And with to Ms. Tucker’s arguments I say that the same nutritive benefits are found in my option. One can choose from an assortment of options that can be tailored to dietary restrictions and needs. Not to mention, this option is less labor intensive than the one proposed by Ms. Thompson and her team and with greater appeal to the teenage palate.”

Again, the hall buzzed with excitement. Heads nodded and shook in tandem to the arguments presented on stage. Students in attendance representing various debate teams across the city were particularly riveted by the current topic of conversation.

“Enough,” cried one of the judges in a gravely voice. He stood up, creased face clearly vexed as he held up a finger to silence the hall. “We are taking a lunch recess. Cheese and pepperoni pizzas are on the menu. Not burritos,” he emphasized as he glared at Yessica Tucker and her team, “nor personalized pizzas,” he emphasized as he turned his attention to the Thomas Hansen and his team. “You are dismissed.”

The kids groaned. All around the room teams and spectators alike collected their items and filed out of the school auditorium towards the cafeteria.

A pair of bemused retirees from a local knitting circle shook their heads, tickled at this bit of entertainment injected into their usually mundane schedule. “After an eloquent debate about imposing clean-air sanctions on developing nations, I didn’t anticipate that sidebar.”

“That was a hoot,” her friend said, “but I’m not surprised. My grandbabies come over every so often, and I tell you, kids these days believe everything’s up for debate.” her friend replied.

“Oh yeah,” said the first friend. “And even that’s debatable to them!”



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