Archive for January, 2005

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Driving, Part Deux

The way I figure, if one is supposed to drive “defensively,” and the best defense is a good offense, I acted appropriately.

Unfortunately, the cat’s owner did not agree with me.

Hawaii

I have a birthmark on my arm that kind of looks like Hawaii (if you squint a bit). Yeah, I know people have interesting talents – being able to wiggle their ears, oppress the destitute masses of an undeveloped country, or conjugate Latin verbs (stuck up overachievers in the corner – are you listening?), for instance. But this is Hawaii! We’re talking about the 50th state on my arm, for Pete’s sake!

Wait. Who’s this Pete character, and why are people always worried about his sake?
Why don’t you worry about my sake every once in a while, for a change?
I bet you Pete isn’t out there worrying about your sake, while I….Ok, so I don’t worry about your sake much either. But hey, at least I’m better looking. And I have that birthmark. I bet you Pete can’t top that.

Butting In

I’ve been on vacation, and therefore too sluggish to write. Or slug-like, at least.

But I did get a chance to check out that bastion of excellent pop-media magazines, TIME.
(By the way, did you notice that TIME magazine’s site is actually www.time.com? Wouldn’t you think that such an impressive domain name would go to some person or institution who dealt with – I don’t know – time? Just my opinion. Then again, it is a magazine whose title is in ALL CAPS, as you can see on its cover as well as its website. That must count for something.)

So, anyway…where was I? Ah, yes, the article in TIME. This article was discussing happiness. I found it rather interesting, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I gave it 4 stars. Or, rather, I was going to do so, until I came across the following (completely unaltered) quote:

Asking people how happy they are, Kahneman contends, “is very much like asking them about the colonoscopy after it’s over. There’s a lot that escapes them.”

Did you catch that? I promise I’m not making this up. Ok, well maybe a bit of context would help you, but I changed nothing in this quote. In case you missed it, let’s look at it again:

Asking people how happy they are, Kahneman contends, “is very much like asking them about the colonoscopy after it’s over. There’s a lot that escapes them.”

I’m not sure what to say. Understand that this guy Daniel Kahneman is, according to the article, a Nobel-Prize-winning psychologist from Princeton University. Did he really just compare happiness to a colonoscopy? Did he honestly juxtapose a general feeling of elation and joy with one of the most uncomfortable medical procedures performed in a regular checkup? If this isn’t one of the signs of the apocalypse, I don’t know what is. Ok, maybe a heavenly rain of fire and brimstone upon the wicked. But in terms of pre-brimstone signs, I’d say that happiness-colonoscopy comparisons are right up there.

And furthermore, the double entendre there is just sick. (Go back and read it again. You’ll get it. Then you’ll wrinkle your nose in disgust.) I can’t touch that one. Not with a ten-foot pole, not with anything. I mean, I’m beside myself. Heck, I’m behind myself. You’d have to be some sort of uncaring bum to use people who need colonoscopies as the the butt of your jokes. Making fun of poor souls such as those is crueler than pulling an old dog’s tail. Sick, sick, sick.