“I can’t tell if you’ve accepted me as a student or not,” I said.

“No, I’ve rejected you,” he said. “It wouldn’t be fair to either one of us if I were to take you on.”

I was angry. “You’ve rejected me on the basis of some high-flown theory you just made up,” I protested.

“Oh, no, no, no,” he said. “I rejected you before I thought of the theory.”

– from Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard, p. 189.