Christoph and I, having eaten our weight in deep dish pizza, sit down to watch Master of None on his laptop. Dev is not alone. We all have a lot of questions.
Two minutes into the show.
Aziz Ansari: I didn't want you to think I was being stingy with the Ubers.
Christoph reaches over and pauses the show.
Me: It's like miserly. Cheap. You don't want to spend your money.
C goes to get a notebook from another room. He returns, neatly makes a new column in the notebook, and writes "stingy."
C: Wait. What's that word you said? Mi....
Typing into a handheld translator
Me: Miserly. Miser. It means exactly the same thing. You know, like that play by Molière. In English we call it "The Miser." I don't remember the title in French. What's the title in French?
C: I don't know this play.
Me: Well, look it up.
C: I can't. This is just a translator. It's not connected to the internet.
C picks up laptop, does a search in German Wikipedia
Me: (completely incredulous) l'Avar? Like avarice? But that doesn't mean the same thing at all. Avarice is greed.
Me: Yes. Avarice is greed, wanting more and more; miserliness is cheapness, not wanting to spend what you have. Look up "miser."
C: "A person who hoards money. Often living in wretched circumstances to save money."
Me: (excited) Yes! That's what The Miser or [sneeringly] l'Avar, is about. This rich man who lives in shambles because he won't spend a penny. But avarice is different. Avarice is greed.
Me: Stop saying no. It is a fact. Avarice means greed. Wait. Am I crazy? Does avarice not mean greed? Look up "avarice."
Me: Okay then. Not the same thing.
C: Right. In German we would say _________ or _____________. Maybe the French don't differentiate these ideas? [pause] Isn't avarice one of the seven deadly sins?
Me: Yes. I think so. Yes.
C looks up seven deadly sins
C: Yes. Okay. It's here. Avarice. [pause]. But how is this different from gluttony?
Me: Avarice is money. Gluttony is food. Like how I'm about to eat a cookie even though I just ate half a pizza.
C: Ah. Okay. [pause] I didn't know you could say a person was cheap.
C puts laptop back on table. Fifteen minutes have elapsed. Hits play. We proceed to minute three of the show.