Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn – #16

Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn

Volume 16

(other than This Lawn Looks Like Crap)


Interesting, if not always deep, thoughts often pop into my head while I’m doing battle with my lawn. And yes, I do battle with a non-gas, non-electric, old-fashioned push mower. An actual reel mower. And my mind tends to think of some semi-interesting crap while I push along.

Mower and Statesman

Welcome to Volume 16 of Crap I Think of While Mowing the Lawn.



I think that most people who know me would describe me as being a fairly sensitive soul—and not only sensitive to my own plight. Indeed, when I’m not talking, or thinking of what I’m going to say next, I’m a damn good listener.

That quip aside, I think that I am a very sympathetic, and sometimes empathetic, person. I care deeply about others, and seem to pick up on other people’s emotions, feelings and thoughts pretty easily. I truly care about others, and my behavior (words and actions) usually bears this out…

Oops. Should I change everything I just wrote to the past tense?

Thanks to a Facebook Friend, I was greeted—the other day—with one of those online quizzes that I couldn’t pass up. No, it wasn’t one of those “Betcha can’t name a US city that doesn’t use the letter Z” quizzes that people actually respond to, or something like “Which gargoyle were you in a previous life?,” which is determined by which candy bars you dine on. NO, this one had enormous value, or it wouldn’t be titled, “Can You Read People’s Emotions?” And yes, it appeared on a NY Times blog, so it must be legit.

I do pretty well on vocabulary-type quizzes, even if I’m not always pleased with my gargoyle matches, so I was ready to ace this one. When I clicked on this link, I was greeted with these two questions: Are you tuned in to the emotions of others? Or have you been accused of being insensitive? They should’ve made one question out of those two, but that’s not the point. Yes, I’ve always been tuned in to others, I thought, and no, nobody in their right freakin’ mind would ever accuse me of being insensitive.

On this test, first posted last October, one is given 36 pictures of the top half of someone’s face (I think half were men, half were women) and asked to pick which of the four emotions the person was projecting, mostly through their eyes. Do you want to give it a go? It’s right here.

I’m hoping that my own results don’t come up when you click on the link, but if you do, you will notice the following. The average score is, apparently, between 22 and 30 out of 36. At under 22, it is recommended that you take some type of sensitivity training. How did I do? I flunked this sucker with crawling colors: 15 out of 36, and I had to rally to achieve that lowly mark. If I could have changed six of my wrong answers (yes, cheat on almost 17% of this test), I still wouldn’t have received a passing grade.

This score hit me hard, until I realized that it’s all a steaming pile of bullcrap. Sure, me insensitive?! F that sh*t! I mean, how many times in real life will anyone be asked to give comfort (or avoid, as the case may be) to a grainy, black-and-white half-face, devoid of lips, ears, arms, legs, and any kind of motion? I thought so. How many times will we make decisions based on no other signals, including words?

This quiz really got under my skin, because it had no answer key, and really, there are no objective answers to something like this. It just showed you whether you were right or wrong each time, and as I kept racking up “incorrects”, my mood started to reflect many of the objectives offered as choices: puzzled, bewildered, embarrassed, anxious. HOSTILE. I wanted to poke the eyes out (figuratively) of each of these models, and mostly, that of the University of Cambridge prof, Simon Baron-Cohen, who developed this nonsense. Oh, by the way, Baron-Cohen’s cousin is Sacha Baron-Cohen, and the movie Borat stunk. It stunk on ice. Really sucked.

How dare these pricks call me insensitive!


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