enabler

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ingarten

Senior Member
Ukrainian - Russian
Hello!

What is the meaning of enabler in the context below? Who do you call an enabler? Is this the person who connives? What other synonym would you use in this context?

Thank you!

- A grenade launcher! Just like the one my dad liberated in Afghanistan!
- I thought your dad just went out for smokes and never came back.
- All right. The truth is, he left on the first ship colonizing Mars. That's why he can't call or send checks. But he did send me this. (showing MARS candy bar)
- What? That's just a lame-o candy bar.
- I need this, Bart!
- Fine. Your dad's on Mars.
- Haw-haw! You're an enabler! Deadly.
 
  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    An enabler in this context is someone who, often with very good intentions, allows someone to continue with their delusions/bad habits/problems.

    It is often used to describe the partner of, say, an alcoholic or drug addict, who loves and takes care of them when they get unconscious/overdose. They do it through love and kindness, but this 'enables' the addict to continue with their addiction because someone will always pick them up and care for them until they recover. The addict is unlikely to stop his habit while he has an 'enabler' around.

    In this context, it's obviously a joke. Bart knows the other guy is lying/fantasising, but in the end he pretends to accept that the guy's father has gone to Mars. Bart is 'enabling' the other guy's delusions.

    The other guy is laughing at Bart for backing down so easily and pretending to believe him.

    'enabler' can, of course, be a very positive word. Someone who is an 'enabler' in a work context, for example, is a person who really helps get the best out of other people, or makes sure that what needs to happen, happens.
     
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