Thursday, November 30, 2006

You Won’t Get Me!

With the number of Hidden Camera shows around -- and four-five new ones cropping up every week -- I figure my chances of inadvertently appearing on one of them to be significant enough to be worth pondering upon. I’d hate to end up looking like one of those confused folks I’m always seeing on such shows. My current plan is to be a constant lookout for hidden cameras everywhere. However, this slows my day down considerably. You know, get up, look around bedroom for camera, brush teeth, look behind bathroom mirror for camera, take a dump, look around behind flush for camera... . Get the picture?

Also -- despite the fact that I wouldn’t hold the intelligence of the people making these shows in too high regard -- I’d have to believe that they aren’t COMPLETE idiots either. I’m guessing they’ll be able to hide the camera well enough to avoid detection -- even though I’m looking for it. That’s their job, after all.

Fortunately, I have a supplemental plan to go along with my Constant Hidden Camera Detect Mode. I try to pretend, at all times, as if I’m on camera. This way when they finally do catch me, I figure I’ll have already acted as necessary. If things get even slightly out-of-tune, my senses switch to high alert.

For example, if my burger at McDonald’s looks even the slightest bit rubbery, I immediately glance all around for a suspicious looking guy standing near me with an attaché case that may or may not be concealing a camera within. I then push him to the ground, yelling, “Get away from me, you perverted reality-TV freak!” I also stomp on the case he’s carrying and throw the burger in the face of the guy serving it to me. By this time, I can normally make out from the way things are going, whether my suspicions were right or not. (Surprisingly, I’ve never been correct as yet, but you can’t take chances, you know.)

If I see someone standing beside a lake yelling that their friend/sister/father/child has fallen in and can’t swim, I sweetly smile back and say, “Hah! Nice try. Almost got me there!” I then stick my tongue out at the person thrashing about wildly in the water and continue on my way. I figure one life is worth the cost of avoiding coming out of the water looking like a drowned rat, only to be told, “Haha! Gotcha!” (So far three people have drowned because of this policy of mine. However, I haven’t heard any of those three complain.)

Of course, none of this is going to make me very popular. But given a choice between being slightly disliked by half of humanity or looking like a chump on national television, I know which of the two evils I’d rather choose.

(I wrote this post fully clothed for once. You never know where the cameras might be.)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Why I Can’t Stand to Be Around Some Funny People

Someone once said, “In every group there’s always one guy who’s the the idiot that everyone hates. Look around and if you don’t see that person, you know it’s you.”

Okay, this post has nothing to do with either idiots, group-related properties or even pithy sayings for that matter. I just thought I’d say the above sentence in the beginning itself and get that out of the way. Now to get down to the meat of the matter at hand.

Have you ever noticed how there are some people who are consistently trying to say something humorous? It’s like a disease or something. No matter what the situation is, they’re trying to come up with a wisecrack. I’m talking about the guy who whispers to you at a funeral, “I’m not surprised they aren’t cremating him. Considering where he’s going, why bother?” Or the kind of sky-diving partner, who when he realizes -- midway through the jump -- that you can’t get either your parachute or safety chute open, says, “Hey! That’s what I call jumping to conclusions!” Well, you get the picture.

The other thing about these people is that whenever you say something funny, they’re always trying to top it. You crack a joke, and they’ll contrive to come up with a witty extension to it. Or an even funnier joke. Like it’s a competition of some sort. Because that’s the way they are -- they just HAVE to be funny! All the frickin’ time!

I hate these kind of people. I can really stand to be around them too much. And I’ll tell you why -- it’s because I AM one of them! And when two people from this God-forsaken race meet or are in the same room, it’s usually one crazy never-ending ping-pong game of wisecracks and repartee. Now that may be all fine and merry with the people standing around and watching, but I don’t enjoy it at all. When I say something funny, I’m looking for a little appreciation and a few laughs, not someone trying to jump on it and squish it with an even funnier line, sometimes even before I’m done speaking. Hell! That’s MY job!

For some strange reason, every group usually has one of these people, too. So these days, I’m always looking around. (If you see me suspiciously casting surreptitious glances at you, you now know why that is.) And as long I don’t see anyone fitting the description, I’m one happy camper.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Why You REALLY Want to Eat That Thing That Your Doctor Warned You Not To

I’ve heard a lot of people complain about how “everything that is bad for your health always tastes good”. Or conversely, most of the foods that are healthy taste like dog turds sprinkled with dried shrubs. It’s true, of course. But aren’t the reasons quite obvious?

Let’s look at the why a human being might eat something on fairly regular basis:

1. It’s healthy
2. It’s tasty, or
3. It’s both healthy and tasty.

In other words, if something’s both unhealthy and doesn’t taste good, we WOULD NEVER EAT IT! Or to put it in yet another way, unhealthy food that isn’t tasty, is -- well -- not food. So we don’t even stop to consider it in any such argument. For example, arsenic. Terrible for your well-being and tastes worse than spoonful from hell. But that’s exactly why it isn’t food. I’m sure if arsenic tasted good enough, there’d be at least a bunch of people who’d be dying to have a swig at it. (Pun intended.) You’d hear stuff like, “Oh sure, it might kill us -- but what a swell way to go!”

So basically, the more unhealthy an item is, the better it has to taste for humans to have incentive enough to call it food.

Similarly, the more healthy an item is, the less necessary it is for it to taste good. Hence, a lot of health foods taste terrible. It’s all so obvious, I wonder why people still complain!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thinking Win-Win

I’m a big fan of Win-Win situations. Or rather Win-Win outcomes to situations, since the same situation may have multiple outcomes, not all of which are Win-Win.

Now, I’m not referring specifically to monetary Win-Win situations. I’m not really sure if these even exist in the first place, or whether -- quite like energy -- a monetary gain somewhere necessarily implies a monetary loss somewhere else. For example, two people could stumble across a bag of cash on the street, which they then decide to split among themselves. Win-Win. For those two guys, at least. But I suppose it’s a Lose outcome to the person who dropped the bag there in the first place. Of course, the guy who lost the bag may have had some incentive for doing so, and hence ends up winning too. But we shall not bother ourselves with such situations.

What I’m trying to focus on over here are emotional Win-Win situations. Interactions where all parties concerned walk away “feeling happy”. These, of course, are not only quite possible but actually pretty commonplace. I’ve used the vague term “feeling happy”, and since different people have different causes of -- and even definitions for -- “happiness”, it’s not too difficult for many people to all feel happy with their role in the interaction.

I’ll describe one such kind of Win-Win situation, which I’ve sometimes come across. Imagine person A who speaks only English and French and person B who speaks only English and Hindi. Now for normal conversation, the two will use English. Let’s say at one point, A’s a little bit cheesed off about something B’s done. So he swears at him in French. B, obviously, doesn’t get a word A is trying to say. But from A’s tone he realizes that he’s being cursed. So he curses back at A in Hindi. And back and forth for a little while. Finally, they both decide to stop each feeling that he’s got the better of the situation. Win-Win.

Moral:- Next time you’re angry at someone, hurl invectives at the person in a language he or she doesn’t understand.