Guy no Logical Gibberish III


Most of us have been reading for so long that we fail to appreciate what a complicated exercise it is. Those of us who read every day are shocked when we read that literacy rates are not 100% across the board in the United States. The U.S. literacy rate matches the world literacy rate at 86%, but with as much as the U.S. taxpayer pays on education, the U.S. citizen should be angrier that it’s not higher. As low as it is, it’s double the literacy rate when JFK was the president, when it was 42%, and that more than tripled the literacy rate of Abraham Lincoln’s childhood in 1820, when only 12% of the world was literate. Our eyes glaze over when we hear that Lincoln was self-taught, as self-taught has taken many meanings over the years. The bar of our current definition of self-taught now is much higher than it was in Lincoln’s day. Lincoln’s formal schooling, he once said, wouldn’t have amounted to a full year. He had too much work to do as a child.    

Those of us who read something every single day assume that human beings have been reading for as long as human beings have been on the earth. When we hear that some famous historical figures were either illiterate, or barely literate, it’s noteworthy to us. “They accomplished that with little to no education?” When we learn that Abraham Lincoln was mostly self-taught, after reading his speeches, we think, “What a teacher!”

Books are such an unlimited commodity today that we take them for granted, but as far back as Abraham Lincoln’s day, the future president and others walked miles to borrow a good book. They didn’t have many books, newspapers and pamphlets were a limited commodity, and they didn’t have the internet of course. They appreciated the limited commodity of books, and they loved to use their brains for the complicated past time of reading.

If we take this one-step further, how complicated is it for the average citizen to write a book? For most of my life, our lives we’ve heard how difficult it is. “I wrote a couple novels in my spare time,” Actor George Kennedy once said. “It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.”

Kurt Vonnegut counters, “Writing allows a stupid person to seem halfway intelligent, if only that person will write the same thought over and over again, improving it just a little each time. It is a lot like inflating a blimp with a bicycle pump. Anyone can do it. All it takes is time.”

***

Planning to go to an Easter Egg hunt, Nephew #5 was in the basement with a stick practicing fencing techniques on a wall. He was two-years-old, but he apparently watched enough video to know lunge techniques and some counter attacks. Sister-in-law #3 said his facial expressions were so intense, he looked angry.

“What’s the stick for?” she asked.

“My nana said we’re hunting the Easter Bunny,” he said, “and my mom won’t let me bring a gun.”

While still two-year-olds, nephew #5 had a real phone that was not plugged in. He picked up the phone and said, “Maury, my girlfriend and my wife keep arguing, and I can’t take it anymore.”   

***

My first nickname for a woman I knew was “unfair”. I considered it unfair that she should have all of the characteristics boys like. Most of us have an abundance of one characteristic and a deficit of the others. My guess is that anyone else who saw considered it just as unfair that God decided to be so stingy with all of our superficial characteristics while giving her everything. Those who believe our characteristics are solely genetic and a result of everything our forebears passed down, have to wonder how all of the optimum characteristics filtered down to her. My guess is that her relatives, or those who didn’t have all of the optimum family characteristics passed down to them, hold a lifelong grudge against her. When her relatives, and anyone else who sees her walk down our employer’s hallway, see her, they know how unfair life can be. I developed another nickname for her, through the years. I called her “The Godfather”. Every time we went to a bar together, guys would come up to her and whisper in her ear. We sat at these bars together, in a group, for about 90 minutes on average, and it never failed. Some guy, from some part of the bar, would walk up and whisper something in her ear. One night, in particular, four different guys whispered things in her ear. She told us she knew two of them, and two she didn’t. What were they whispering? She didn’t cite the Southern Italian code of silence and the code of honor that forbids telling outsiders anything that is discussed, but she wouldn’t break their trust and tell us what these guys were whispering to her.

***

An eight-year-old boy asked me if I wanted to hear examples of the extent of his knowledge of swear words. I asked him why he was so fascinated with swear words. He didn’t know, of course, as he never dissected it. My guess is that it’s independent knowledge he has attained outside the home, and the psychology of it fascinates him. He knows it’s taboo and that fascinates him.

***

Some people complain that other people, mostly men, waste huge chunks of the precious time they have left on earth watching NFL games. Watching the NFL is a complete waste of time in the sense that we get little to anything out of it, but it’s no more a waste of life than watching any other TV show. I found an even greater waste of time, paying attention to mock drafts.   

True NFL fans are almost as concerned with next year as they are this year. As such, they waste huge chunks of their precious time left on earth reading Mock NFL Draft experts guess what college player NFL teams will select in the upcoming draft. The NFL Mock Draft industry is now a multi-million dollar business built almost single-handedly by a guy named Mel Kiper, a man some claim “built an empire out of nothing.”

Why is spending countless hours reading, listening, and watching what these experts think such a huge waste of time? A writer named Derek White graded Kiper, Todd McShay, Peter King, and other top experts of mock drafts in 2014, and he found that top, universally acclaimed experts picked the player an NFL team would select 4.6 times out of 56. Reading other, more recent grades for the experts, they often correctly pick an average of 6 times out of 32. This inflated score includes a heavy asterisk, as the first draft pick is often set in stone by draft day, and the next two are often so obvious that we shouldn’t give these experts any credit for stating the obvious. If these admittedly debatable points are true, then the true prognostication of NFL Draft experts begins at pick four. At that point, the top experts in this field average about 3 correct picks out of 29, or just under 10%. These experts watch countless hours of game film, they have insider access to insiders of each team, and they spend hours studying their algorithms before they sit before a massive NFL audience to reveal their findings. They know way more than we do, and they correctly pick the college prospect an NFL team will select less than 10% of the time. Do these mock draft experts take abuse for missing, yes, but before we feel sorry for them remember that they are paid fairly well to do something most of us pay to do. The question isn’t why do they do it, but why we waste such a huge chunk of our precious time left on earth watching, listening, and reading them do it? 

***

In 2015, a writer for the East Oregonian wrote that major league pitcher Pat Venditte was the majors first major league pitcher to switch hands pitching in 20 years. The writer for the EO picked up a story from the AP and wrote, “Amphibious Pitcher makes debut”. I believe the writer intended to write that Pat Venditte was the first ambidextrous pitcher in 20 years. I know Pat Venditte. I might not know him well, but he’s never been anything less than a mammalian to me.    

Some 30 years prior, while former NBA player Charles Shackleford was at North Carolina State, he told reporters, “Left hand, right hand, it doesn’t matter. I’m amphibious.”

The Voluntary Visit to the Dentist


“As nice as you are, I’ve come to realize that you are not my friend,” I told a dental hygienist named Ms. Mary after she provided me a deep cleaning procedure that involved the sights and sounds of my worst nightmares.

Ms. Mary is a very nice, professional woman. Some might even go so far to say that she’s a sweet woman who engages her clients in pleasant conversation. Ms. Mary also has such an unusual, almost melodic laugh that we can’t help but smile and laugh with her. In a place many of us consider one of the scariest places in the world, Ms. Mary’s bedside manner (or in this case chairside) sets us completely at ease. At some point, however, and we both know that this moment is inevitable, Ms. Mary will be putting that chairside manner aside to get to business. Her business is not kind, sweet, and endearing. Her business involves something called a Sickle probe, a Scaler, and the most feared of all dental tools the drill. She doesn’t cackle when she picks that drill up, and no one cues up harrowing music to inform us that the setting is changing. She just quietly turns around to gather her tools, perhaps while we’re answering her last question, and she returns to us in a manner that allows the worst elements of our imagination to take over. 

Some of Ms. Mary’s tools make the most awful sounds, and some of the other ones help her chip away at the plaque and other buildup her patients have so recklessly acquired over the years. They’re all painful. At some point in her process, we inform Ms. Mary that we obviously don’t have enough painkiller, and at another point in the process we realize there never will be enough. Ms. Mary appears to do her best to accommodate us, but we know, somewhere deep in our heart, that Ms. Mary is an awful person who enjoys this far too much. 

When I tried to assure Ms. Mary that I was just joking when I said ’you are not my friend,’ she said, “Oh, don’t worry about that. I love my job.” That convinced me that she knew I was just joking, but it also led me to wonder if she might be something of a psychopath. She loves doing this to me? She loves doing this to kind, well-meaning people like me so much that she’s been doing it for over ten years? Ms. Mary appeared to be such a pleasant, well-centered, and happy person that I’m sure I’ll feel different about her next week, so I have to write this now.

I know this is Ms. Mary’s job, and I know someone has to do this job, and I know that neglectful clients like me need someone to do this to me, but I can’t help but suspect that if Ms. Mary enjoys doing such awful things to otherwise pleasant men and women like me, who never do anything to harm anyone, she might have some psychopathic tendencies. If as Diffen.com says, “[Psychopaths] can pretend to be charming and loving, so those around them can’t always detect their lack of empathy,” I think Ms. Mary might have some tendencies that remind us of psychopaths. Before we dismiss this idea, I think we should look up the job history of some of our country’s worst psychopathic serial killers to see if we can find some corollaries. My bet is we find one who says:

“I was a dental hygienist for a couple years, and I found it absolutely thrilling, but I realized I needed to inflict more pain after a while. There was a reason that I was attracted to the profession in the first place though.”

No one portrayed the sadistic tendencies of a dentist better than Laurence Olivier in the movie Marathon Man. There was one relatively horrific scene in this otherwise boring movie in which Olivier threatens to pull a healthy tooth from his patient without painkillers, unless the patient gives him the information he needs. The reason I consider the horror in this scene relative is that when I’m nowhere near a dentist’s chair, I don’t understand why anyone would consider having a healthy tooth pulled without painkillers so frightening that they would give up state secrets. When Ms. Mary and the dentist liberated me from their office, after a couple hours of a level of torture most of us know, however, I remember that movie scene with a shudder.

The entire scene of lying supine, mouth open, awaiting whatever they have planned, is such a vulnerable one. I know I would’ve talked if Laurence Olivier prodded some sensitive nerves, telling me, “You need to take better care of your teeth.” If he hit those sensitive nerves with the high-pitched sounds of his drill, and I had no painkillers, I suspect I might give up every state secret I knew.

Some talk about the high-pitched sounds of a drill with abject horror. This conversation is so common and the need to address the fear is so prevalent that most dentist office’s now provide their clients headphones to drown the sounds out. Clients and prospective clients also talk about how much they hate the pain involved, so they take all of the painkillers the dentist has to offer, plus the nitrous oxide. Some potential clients seek dentists who have all of painkillers the state will allow. 

Prior to this particular dentist office visit, I informed these people that I turned down all but the basic painkiller, because I just want to hurry up and end whatever procedures they proscribe for the horrors going on in my mouth. I preferred to endure the pain to expedite the process. I did not want to wait for the nitrous to take hold. I just wanted them to start, so they could end sooner. Something changed for me this time. I don’t know if I psyched myself into a frenzy or what, but when they started drilling, I raised a hand and asked for more painkiller and more time for the nitrous to take hold. I took all the painkillers they had at their disposal this time and the headphones.

***

I’ve heard about the Stockholm syndrome in which the captive begins to develop unusual feelings of trust and affection for their captors. Some of the captives, used in various case examples, developed an emotional attachment to the captors who tortured them, and they did so because they became reliant on their captors for survival. At some point in the torture, they slipped from being a hostile captive to a cooperative one, and finally to one who unwittingly began to side with their captors’ cause. Everyone develops coping mechanisms for stressful moments, and while we understand that sitting in a dentists’ chair is not in the same league with all of the various forms of torture, it does give those of us who know nothing of real torture some insight into what we might do if our captors knew the right nerves to hit to get us to talk. 

My coping mechanism for dealing with this low-level stress was writing the article you’re reading right now. I wrote most of this article, in my mind of course, while Ms. Mary chipped away at my plaque, and I completed it when the dentist did what he did. When Ms. Mary tapped a sensitive nerve, I laughed. I did not laugh because I’m impervious to pain. I laughed because I thought of a great line that I hoped to add right here … but I lost it after my drug-induced state wore off. I remembered thinking that it was such a great line that I should hurry up and do something before I forgot it, and I knew that it would get lost in the ether, or to the ether, and I probably should hurry up and write it down. I didn’t write it down, or even say it to Ms. Mary to make it more memorable, because as much as I live for great sentences, I didn’t want to prolong the process for even a minute more.    

I experienced a small window into how I might fare under torture when Ms. Mary drilled into a nerve that was not sufficiently dulled with painkillers. She responded in the manner I hoped she would, but I couldn’t help but think of what I might do if my captors not only didn’t stop when they hit that nerve, but they continued to explore the extent of my pain to get me to do whatever they wanted. We’d all love to think we would be that heroic captive who never talked, but receiving a drill to a tender, exposed nerve reminds us why we revere those who endured what we cannot even imagine. I thought about how much I might hate the people doing this to me while they were it, and I thought about how glorious it would be for me when they decided to stop. 

When the dentist finally decided I had enough, I appreciated his mercy so much that I felt grateful. It’s over, I survived, and I appreciated his contributions to my survival. The Stockholm syndrome suggests that the captive might appreciate their captors mercy for stopping. Those who study this effect say it doesn’t always happen to captives, but it’s obviously happened so often that we’ve developed a term for it. For those who want to understand how this anomaly might happen, try going ten years between dentist visits. When the scraping, grinding, and drilling finding stops, it feels like they’re being merciful, kind, and sympathetic, and the euphoria you feel might lead you to inexplicable feelings of affection that you don’t have for people who have never drilled anything into your face for a couple hours.

***

The thing about going to the dentist is that it’s voluntary. If we want to keep our teeth, and keep them in such good shape so that they might last for most of our lives, we must visit the dentist biannually. Yet, it’s still voluntary. When we don’t visit the dentist’s office, no one will think less of us, because no one will ever know. They might see the destruction of our teeth, over time, but no one suspects that it has anything to do with the fact that we haven’t visited a dentist’s office in a while. They just cringe when we smile, and they think less of us, but they don’t associate it with how often we visit the dentist.

My dad had a miracle cure, milk. He thought the calcium in milk helped preserved his teeth so well that he didn’t have to brush, and he didn’t visit a dentist’s office for most of his life. He thought milk, and the calcium therein, were the miracle cures to maintaining oral health to the point of having his natural teeth into his old age. A high school friend of mine never brushed his teeth, and he never visited the dentist’s office. His miracle cure was Listerine. Both men found the error of their line of thinking in “the most painful experience I’ve ever had” when they eventually found their teeth so painful that a visit to the dentist proved to be the lesser of two evils. 

If they hadn’t volunteered this information, we would’ve never known, because no one lauds a responsible person for responsibly visiting a dentist biannually, and no one talks about a person who doesn’t. “There goes Bud, he hasn’t visited a dentist’s office in ten years.” I’ve never heard anyone say this, or anything else, about a person and the regularity of their dentist visits. There’s no peer pressure, parental pressure, or any form of pressure, other than internal, to routinely address what could be a problem if we don’t.

“It’s voluntary? You mean I don’t have to subject myself to pain if I don’t want to do so? I have to be self-motivated to subject myself to the pain involved? Even those who regularly visit the dentist responsibly experience some pain in every visit? Who, in their right mind, would do this on a biannual basis?”

“The longer you wait the more painful it will be.”

“So, the only motivation to endure regular visits, and the resultant pain involved, is to stave off the prospect of more pain?”

Most of the rewards for enduring everything Ms. Mary has at her disposal on a biannual basis, to maintain a healthy mouth, are not short-term. If we maintain that regular schedule, it’s possible that we might never experience a toothache. Yet, if we never have a toothache, how much do we appreciate it? If there are so few tangible, short-term rewards, what are the long term ones? Well, if we’re lucky enough to live to our 70’s, 80’s, and beyond, we might be able to luxuriate in the idea that we’re one of the few who still have most, if not all, of our natural teeth, but we’ll have to wait decades to lord that over our peers. How will they respond to that? What will be our lifelong reward for having the various dentists and their Ms Marys drill into our face for a couple of hours two times a year for decades? If we’re lucky enough to live that long, we might one day receive nothing more than an unceremonious shrug from that guy who is now forced to wear dentures.

It Wouldn’t be Easy Being Lime Green, but I Would’ve Enjoyed the Ride


I wish I had the guts to paint my apartment lime green back when I was single and living in apartments. I know that sounds odd, but some people wish they had the guts to commit suicide. “I really wish I could commit suicide, but we Stanleys have never had the guts to follow through.” I never really wanted to live in a lime green world, but I wanted to do something to cause a reaction. I loved reactions back then. The paint didn’t have to be lime green, but it had to be a color so shocking that my peers would talk about it when they returned to the office on Monday.   

“What happened?” they might ask, looking around my apartment with wide eyes.

“What do you mean, I chose this color. I told the apartment complex’s office that I would be painting, but,” and here I might speak in a hushed, conspiratorial tone, as if this was our little secret now. “I didn’t tell them what color.”

What would my guests think of me? Would I have trouble in the dating world? Would decades-old friends begin questioning what they thought they knew about me? Would I still be single, if my future wife saw my lime green world?

“I’m sorry,” she would say as I knelt before her. “You seem like a nice guy, and all that, but I just can’t get past the whole lime green apartment thang. And before you say it, I know you can just change the color, but it worries me that you chose that color in the first place.”

Would decades-old friends begin questioning what they thought they knew about me? “We’ve been friends for a long time now, but this…” they would say, looking around. “I wasn’t expecting this.”

“So, the friendship is over?”

“No, I’m not saying that, but if you’re going to party here, and you want me to invite my friends, you’re going to have to repaint.”

My apartment could’ve been my own little, personal psychological testing lab, a petri dish that I could use to compile a delicious list of reactions now that I could report to you now.

“There goes Stanley, seems like a nice guy and all, but I hear he has a lime green apartment.”

Some psychologists state that lime green might be a mood booster, as it recalls nature and budding love, and it might not have narrowed my world as much as I think.

They also suggest that lime green helps us relax, and it’s useful for people with depression. Most of their conclusions are guesses, of course, as color affects us in wildly divergent ways, and if there is any effect it is largely subconscious. My best guess is that if color has any effect, it’s negligible. Perhaps the only effect would occur within the four-walled world of the office where people talk. A single man with lime green walls would become the topic of the many conversations otherwise bored people have trying to establish their bona fides through comparative analysis. “I know he seems nice, but did you know that he painted all of his walls lime green? I’m thinking he probably spends too much time alone, thinking strange thoughts. Kind of creepy, right?” That’s probably the reason none of us have the guts to paint our walls in such colors.

“Hey, you’re Stanley Roper right?” someone might say, stopping me in the hall. “Is it true you have a lime green apartment?”

“Yeah, the complex told me they were going to paint,” I’d lie, “but I had no idea they were going to go with lime green.”

“Why don’t you move?”

“I still have eight months on my lease.”

Over time, the peer pressure would probably grow so intense that my resolve would wilt. I’m impulsive, but I’m not immune to wanting people to like me. I’m sure some dagger, like “he probably spends too much time alone, and thinks too much” would lead me to believe that following my irrational but impassioned impulses were a mistake.  

I do love, and I mean love spotting a bright orange truck roll down the highway. That feller’s got a pair on him, I think. He doesn’t care what anyone thinks. I so wish I could be that guy. I think about how liberating it would be to drive down a primary thoroughfare in a bright orange truck with black highlights. Six months to a year in, however, I know that glory rubs off. I did it in grade school. I wore a shocking pair of bright, baby blue tennis shoes, and I loved the instant reactions it caused. I was a fella who shocked his world in a pair of bright blue tennis shoes, but I went from being a guy with those shoes on to the guy who wore a shockingly bright blue pair of tennis shoes, and I didn’t enjoy that characterization over the long haul. I tried other things. I tried a shocking, new hairdo. I received all the reactions I wanted and then some. I found that there were days when I wanted to shock my world and others when I didn’t, but once you start shocking the world it doesn’t matter what you want tomorrow. You don’t have the light switch control you think you do. Their impressions become the impression they have of you. 

***

Most of the websites that discuss the psychological elements of color devote most of their space to the positive, pleasing reactions to them. Their reads on the effects of color remind me of descriptions of personality types under the zodiac: mostly positive with a few nuggets of negative information thrown in to make it interesting without offending anyone. Awful people are out there too, and I think we would all give astrologists and psychologists a lot more credence if they allowed for that. “All astrological signs are uniquely wonderful in their own unique ways, except for the Taurus. We’re not going to say all Taurus are awful, as we’re sure a few of them do some nice things for people, some of the times, but an overwhelming majority of them enjoy watching other people get hurt, and they are prone to lie, cheat and steal if they think that will give them an advantage in life. Most Taurus are pieces of dung.” If a reputable and respected astrological publication put out such a reading, its audience would probably bombard them with letters calling for a retraction. “My aunt Mary Louise is a Taurus, and she is the nicest, sweetest human being on the planet. How dare you suggest that she’s a piece of dung.”

“First of all, sir,” I would reply, “that’s our reading, and our reading is gospel. Your aunt is probably a piece of dung, and either you’re not willing to admit it, or you don’t know it yet. She’s probably old and done with life now, but when she dies, you’ll probably hear all the piece of dung things she did in her prime. You should also know that there’s no evidence behind anything we write. We just make dung up as we go along, and your suggestion that we change our reading suggests that you know that. We’re just writing dung for dung consumers who believe in this dung. It has no bearing on personalities. If you believe us when we write that you, as an Aries, are a trailblazer with boundless energy then you’re dumber than you look. Furthermore, if our Taurus reading actually offended you, sir, you’re probably not ready for primetime. Thank you for your letter.”

If we’re going to analyze a group of people in anyway, I would suspect that we would arrive at some negatives. Thus, if we are going to create a relatively specious way of analyzing human nature through astrology, their favorite color, or their favorite football team, we should have to create some negatives just to counter-balance all of the positives. Doing so might lend greater credibility to the reading, and establish some level of science to it. It might seem an impossible chore, but I think we would all appreciate the effort.

Some websites do provide some negative attributes, but they’re usually in the bullet points beneath the primary paragraph, and they usually attribute negatives to extremes. There’s nothing wrong with the color orange, for example, but be careful to avoid intense colors of orange, as they can lead to aggression.

“What is going on? Every time I invite someone into my home, they try strangle me. Last week, the meter reader started pointing his meter-reading gun at me, making gun sounds, like a little kid. I thought he was joking, but he had this menacing expression on his face while he did it. I forced him into my mauve kitchen, and got him a glass of water. He finally calmed and said, “I don’t know what came over me.””  

“Wow, I thought the color orange reflected emotion and warmth.”

“Well, I didn’t go with a soft, friendly tone. I went with an intense color.”

“What’s wrong with you? Didn’t you know that intense colors of orange can lead to acts of aggression?”

If I had the guts to paint my apartment an intense orange or a lime green, thus creating my own little petri dish of an apartment, I might see how profound the affect color can be. I might not see acts of aggression, but how would such colors affect the otherwise mundane conversations I’m having with them in the foyer? Would their emotions alter in any way based on their surroundings? I’ve witnessed the effect music can have, as I switched from one extreme to another with the volume level at the exact same level. There were at least two occasions where the switch was so extreme, it was almost comical.

What would be the long-term effect of a bright, loud orange? Would my friends avoid me if they learned about my lime green world? What would my co-workers say if they found out that I decorated my home with nothing but periwinkle home furnishings? Would they eat the food I served them if it came from a maroon kitchen, and the kitchenware on which it was served was a uniform canary yellow?

“You’re not talking to Stanley anymore, because he served you veal cutlets on a canary yellow plate?”

“You don’t understand, the silverware was canary yellow too,” they would reply. “You didn’t see his feldgrau cabinets, or his cerulean coffee table. Who paints a coffee table cerulean? You weren’t there. You don’t know unsettling it all was. You weren’t there.”

I know it sounds odd, and a weird way to waste money, but I would’ve loved to do all this and hire an independent body to interview my apartment guest before and after their brief stay in my apartment. I would love to have intricate and intimate details of how their perceptions of me changed. The final, and perhaps most interesting, interview might be the one of me.

“Did you achieve everything you wanted to by painting your apartment lime green and purchasing an intensely orange truck?”

“I did,” I would say. “Some people won’t talk to me and others can’t stop talking about me. Now that it’s all over, though, I must admit I regret it, because now I have to live in a lime green house and drive an intense orange car to work. I wanted to be that guy, but I now realize I didn’t want to become that guy, not long term, if that makes sense.”

I might be alone when I write this, but I think some of us find “the weird” intoxicating. We would love to enter a room wearing a clown nose just to get some sort of reaction. Every other element of our entrance in that room would be normal and deadpan, except for the clown nose, and we would provide no explanation for it. What would people do? What would they say? How would that affect our relationships with them going forward? Am I so uncomfortable in a normal world that I need to do, say, or be something different to shake up their world to prove their normal world is not so stable anymore? Or, do I relish my ability to take that clown nose off and prove to the world that I am actually relatively normal and thus worthy of entrance into their world? If we were sentenced to a life of weird, we would do everything we could to convince the world that we were normal. We know normal, and it bores us so much that we wish we had the guts to test the boundaries of what’s acceptable, so someone, somewhere might call us weird, until they find out how normal we are. That’s a reaction, and it’s interesting, hilarious, and all that, but we don’t want to test those boundaries, because we want to have friends, girlfriends, a wife, and a normal life. After we achieve that, we appreciate it for what it us, but we still would’ve loved just a little taste of what we could’ve achieved with some lime green walls, if we had the guts to follow through with it.