I’m sorry we can’t be friends. It’s not you. It’s me. Really. You see, I like you and I think we’d make wonderful friends, but I currently have four friends and four is really plenty. You see I drive a simple sedan. That means there’s a seat for Zack, Stephen, Kenny, Tom, and me. If we decided to let you be my friend, then, well, we’d either sit very uncomfortably and risk a traffic violation or we’d forfeit the luxury of riding in an automobile. For all practical purposes, making you a friend would be detrimental to my happiness and that of the group. Not that there isn’t a positive value attributed to you and your potential friendship. I feel your friendship would be very positive. However, when we account for the gross happiness generated between you and me and then take into account the group’s happiness, the net happiness such a friendship would offer is sadly negative.
Perhaps one day I’ll invest in a minivan. If I were to drive a minivan, rest assured that you’d be the first one sitting in the very back seat. As you already know, Zack would sit in the front seat, Stephen and Kenny in the middle row, and … oops. Actually Tom would be the first one in the far back seat, you would be the first person to join the group and you’d sit in the far back seat of the minivan with Tom. I’m sure you and Tom would make wonderful friends in the back of the minivan. If you’re worried that the speakers in the back would hinder our ability to communicate while you and Tom were sitting in the back seat, be assured that the volume would be adjusted so that we could hear each other’s voices.
However, if one day I made two new friends, these friends might potentially yield a gross happiness value greater than yours. These hypothetical friends would probably not gross higher points than Zack, Stephen, Kenny, and Tom since they also carry sentimental value. Therefore, you would be most at risk for possibly being banished from the friendship. I wouldn’t say we’d be ex-friends. You’d merely go back to being an acquaintance that used to sit in the minivan with Tom.
If this were the case, heaven forbid, you would still have a chance to be my friend, if and when I invest in a bus. When the day comes that I purchase a bus for personal use, rest assured that your seat will be guaranteed. You’ll sit three rows back, right behind Zack, Stephen, Kenny, Tom, and the two hypothetical new friends who supplanted you. Think of the fun we’ll have riding the bus. We’ll travel the world, all of us on the bus, 82 friends and me. If I had a bus, I’d never have problems keeping friends again.
I hope I’ve cleared up any confusion. I’ll let you know if my vehicular status changes. Until then, look for me on the streets.