Caveat: Acute Malignant Optimism

My life here in Rockpit, Alaska, with my uncle Arthur has evolved some very stolid routines. One of these routines is that after dinner (which is always promptly at 5 PM), we watch TV for one or two hours.

Arthur chooses the programming. Some I like better than others. Recently we have been watching episodes of the 2001-2002 series A Nero Wolfe Mystery, based on the detective novels and stories by Rex Stout.

Arthur and I were watching the episode entitled “The Silent Speaker“. This line, “acute malignant optimism,” was used in that episode. There are lot of entertaining and interesting turns of phrase in the series, reflecting the unique voice of the original writing by Stout. I find it entertaining.

Arthur, who rarely reacts to the TV these days (much less than in my memories of the past), laughed out loud. I found it interesting that that was the biggest laugh I’ve heard out of him in a long time. It suited his character, I suppose.

We are suffering, here, of acute malignant optimism. What to do?