June 25, 2011

Context is King

You know when I was talking about being a brain-paraglider and how I'm going to launch a whole new career called 'brain para-gliding'?

Well, here's what gave me the idea that it was possible.

More and more often, on the Internet, I see people who make a living as 'life-coaches'. Like you have 'soccer coaches' and 'tennis coaches' you actually have 'life coaches'.

Up until now, I thought life was something that came naturally to most human beings. You stumble, you fall, you get up and you get back going. That's the one skill God thought of giving us before he sent us on this earth.
That, and in my case, my geniusness.
Actually, the geniusness was also allowed in Albert's case.
Albert Einstein.

But now, we have rendered ourselves incapable of performing this very basic task. Or maybe, because it's so time consuming to do it on our own, we have decided to outsource it. Instead of learning the hard way.

So life coaching has become a full-blown career.
And probably a lucrative one at that.
This means that brain para-gliding has a chance at becoming a popular career choice. A very good chance.
I just have to belieee-ve.
My life coach told me so.

One of the topics that life coaches talk about the most often is self esteem. In today's highly competitive world, everyone is left feeling a little less than the other guy. So you get advice to change your perspective. To talk yourself into feeling better about yourself. To leave post-it notes on your fridge for yourself. To kiss the mirror and so on.

Of course it's important to love yourself.
To know that you're quite okay.
To know that you're special in your own way.

But what happens when the mirror kissing becomes a habit?
I don't mean that literally, but for some, even the literal sense would apply.
I know… Eeewww.

What happens, when you think that your specialty is all there is?
And those who aren't either the same or strive to be the same are lacking in some way?

Why doesn't she read about spirituality?
She's so stupid.
Why doesn't he have an opinion on capital punishment?
He's dumb.
Why does he waste his life partying when he could learn German?
He's an idiot.
Why doesn't she wear make-up?
She could look so much prettier.
How dumb is he to not understand Shakespeare?
Why won't they improve their grammar?
Why do they pronounce 'either' as ee-th-er instead of eye-th-er?
They shouldn't even bother talking in English.

By trying to measure everyone using their own myopic scale, they reduce the scope of their world so drastically that they will only be happy when the world is filled with German speaking, grammatically correct, spiritual gurus with make-up on who talk about their strong opinions on capital punishment, in old Shakespearean language.
As Scooby-Doo would say: Zoikes!
Don't ask me why I thought of Scooby Doo.
Short attention span, I guess.

I think it's important to know that you're not less than anyone else, but it's even more important to know that you are better than no one.

There's a small exception, but you'll have to read the rest of the post to get to that.
Don’t you dare scroll down.
I will know if you do.
I kid you not.

It's always easy to ask why? But it's harder to think of an answer. Because it involves understanding the context. It involves putting ourselves in the other person's shoes. It involves an exercise in empathy. It's a long forgotten skill in this cut-throat world of ours.

Why doesn't she pronounce 'either' as eye-th-er? Why does her grammar suck?
Maybe it's because she didn’t have the opportunity to go to an English speaking school like you did. Maybe, any English she talks at all, is self taught. Which makes her much, much better at English than you, because you had someone teach it to you. So instead of pointing fingers at her pronunciation, you could learn the valuable lesson of perseverance and never giving up. At the very least, admire her willingness to learn something new.  
By the way, I do know that 'either' can be pronounced both ways.
Both are correct.
I just couldn't think of another word as an example.
Ummm...You need to focus on my message here.

Why can't he understand Shakespeare?
Maybe because he was never interested in it. Maybe when you were reading Shakespeare in your room he was listening to his favorite music. So maybe you can quote a line from Act 2, Scene 3 of Macbeth but he could annihilate you when you start talking about techno music, because he knows everything there is to know about it. So instead of pitying him for not understanding Shakespeare you could admire him for being thorough and passionate about something.

Why doesn't she read about spirituality?
Maybe while you were reading the 367 Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle books last year, she was training herself to just place her trust in God. So she may not have a sophisticated vocabulary of zen, chakras, auras, energies other spiritual gobbledygook but she could be far more spiritually enlightened than you. So instead of dismissing her as a spiritual amateur you'd be better off getting her perspective on life and happiness. 
Notice how I deftly included the word gobbledygook without anyone noticing.
I like that word.
It reminds me turkeys.
I don't like turkeys though.

The point I guess I'm trying to make is this.

EVERYONE makes sense in the right context.
By mistaking yourself as being better than anyone, you make the bigger mistake of ignoring the context. You compare apples with oranges and you rob yourself of the opportunity to learn from the other person.

Daniel Goleman, author and psychologist, has done a lot of research on social intelligence. He tells a story of three 12 year olds walking to gym class on the soccer field. Two of the boys, obviously athletic, are snickering behind the third, a chubby classmate. "So, you're going to try to play soccer," says one of the athletes, his voice dripping with contempt. The chubby kid answers, "I'm going to try. But I'm not very good at it. I'm great at art—show me anything, and I can draw it. Now you," he adds, pointing to his antagonist, "you're fantastic at soccer. I'd like to be that good. Maybe if I practiced…" The athlete, now flattered and disarmed, even offers some help.

Okay, I gotta admit.
I'm taking this story out of the context it was originally meant for.
I think it also illustrates my point equally well.
Which isss…
  • The athletic 12 year old thought he was better than anyone else, the chubby kid in this example. The minute he did this, he robbed himself of the opportunity to maybe learn how to draw.
  • The chubby kid, (in an awesome display of restraint and good judgment, by the way) jumped at the chance to learn something from someone who knew more about it than him. So what, if it had nothing to do with art?
And if I might add, so what if he acted like a conceited little punk?

Who gained something in this story?
Ding. Ding. Ding.
Round 1 goes to The Chubby Kid.

Lets face it.
All of us have judged someone at one point or the other.
When I worked at the bank in London, I'd find it hard to imagine a career that was serious and had nothing to do with finance. And so, when I'd meet someone who was a writer or an artist. I used to think, 'hm… that's a 'cute' career!'

I can't believe he does that for a living.
That's so weird.

If only I'd known, that one day I'd be writing a blog for millions and millions of readers. And drawing little sketches to illustrate my point. I'd have talked to them longer. And taken down notes. I'll never get that chance again.
If only I hadn't been so full of myself…

My cleaner may not have known anything about finance, but I'm sure glad I talked to her while she ironed my clothes every Sunday. Gabriele gave me some of the best marriage advice I could have asked for. And a free lesson in optimism in the face of hardships.
No, I'm not married yet.
But where does it say I can't take notes to prepare for it?
I stayed in touch with her via e-mail long after I'd left London.

The dumb guy from high school who wouldn't be able to carry on an intelligible conversation if you hit him in the face with it? If you could just get over yourself and talk to him, he could teach you how to have fun. Instead of wanting to have an intelligible conversation all the time.

Take it from me.
You'll never be the best at everything. And you'll never meet anyone who is.

When you meet a person, you have a choice. To look at him and say, he's lacking in blank-blankety-blank, so I want nothing to do with him. Or you could say, he's better than me at blank-blankety-blank so I could learn something from him.

Do what's in your best interest.

Now, a note for the skeptics.
The ones who think they're too cool.
Too cool for school.
Yea. You know who you are.

I'm not saying that you need to be in love with every person on this earth. Although, that would be ideal.
Most religions of the world have gone hoarse, by the way, trying to teach us that.

"We are all the leaves of one tree; we are all the waves of one sea"   
-Thich Nhat Hanh

But sometimes, even when you understand the context, it's not enough to make you want to bring some people into your lives.

For example, take a 20 something-year-old spoilt brat who blows up his dad's money on new cars, partying and alcohol. You understand why he's like that. He's never had to pay rent or utility bills. He's never faced hardships in his life to bring in a different perspective, so he will always live in that rosy little bubble of his. Until age, responsibility and maturity poke, push and shove their way into his mind, it's too much to expect for him to change. I guess one thing you can learn from him and his friends is how to have a good time. But is that enough to make you want him in your life?

Probably not.

But it's enough to help you understand him. And not hate him.

And that's a big step.

Understanding this is a big step.
Huge, I tell ya.
Don't short change it.

Because once you understand, you stop judging and you start accepting.

I know what you're thinking.
Judging shmudging.
Is there NO ONE that I can think of being better than?
Are all of us banished to always be the same as everyone else?
Not worse, but never better?
Where's the fun in that?
I'm just building up some suspense here.
Herein lies the beauty of this message.

You are always, undoubtedly and undeniably, better than anyone who thinks he's better than anyone else. Anyone who is stubbornly rigid in their opinions, even in the face of new information. Anyone who imposes their ideas or tastes on anyone else. Anyone who tries to fit the world into their mold.

You'll be surprised at how many smug, know-it-all, smart alecks live amongst us.
And most of them aren't even aware of it.

Such people have, inadvertently, stunted their growth, forever. 

As the saying goes:

Best is good, but better is best.

I'm going to let you chew on those words of wisdom now. So I'll end this post here.
Before I say something stupid and ruin the moment.
Think I just did.
Darn it.
Did it again.
So close.
Dude, I feeleth liketh I be fighting for a lost cause.
I'm gonna stop now.

June 20, 2011

The Citizens of Numerocity

I didn't like math in school.
I didn't struggle with it. In fact, I was quite okay at it.

I wasn't a genius but I was okay at it.

But even that didn't help me like it.

Every time I'd have to calculate 7 times 8, I'd feel someone gripping my stomach on the inside. It wasn't because I didn't know the answer. I knew the answer was 56. I had memorized it.

But I just didn't like multiplying the two. Why should the number 7 have anything to do with number 8?

Why can't they live their lives separately and not get into each other's way?

I'd hate to multiply 6 with 9.
My stomach would ache with this inexplicable fear for the number 6.
Like number 9 would harm her.

Why, God, WHY do I have to multiply 6 and 9?
Why can't I multiply 6 and 7 instead? Even 5, 4,2 or 1 would do.
Why 9?

What's that?
Ohhh… yea sorry.
You're lost aren't ya?
No idea what I'm talking about?

Here's the deal.

Ever since I started this blog, I've been talking about life and lessons, and…well... life's lessons. Today, I'm talking about nonsense.

That isss different.
I'm going to ignore your little wisecrack there.
You're hanging by a thread, dude.
A thin, little piece of thread.

Anyway. Aristotle once said:

There was never a genius without a tincture of madness.

So here I am, embracing my inner genius and the madness that comes along with it.

A child's imagination is a wonderful place.
How many of us were afraid of the monsters under our bed?
A gianormous crocodile for me.
How many of us ran out of the bathroom screaming and shouting, right after flushing in the fear that we'd be flushed down with the water?
How many of us believed that toys would come to life at night and walk around our room?
And then I watched Childsplay, and that ended my love for all plastic dolls.
For Good.
I'm 27 now, and I still feel uncomfortable when I'm in the same room as a plastic doll.

If you say you never believed any of those things, you're lying.
Or you're weird.

Because every kid believed that at some point or the other.

Why else would they have made movies like Monsters Inc., Flushed Away or Toy Story? Why else would they have done as well as they did?

Anyway, before this post starts making any sense, I want to document a childhood belief of mine. A belief that has travelled with me to my adulthood and geniusness.

At some point in my life, after I had learnt how to write numbers and before I began learning calculus, something funny happened.
Okay, a LOT of funny things happened.
But this is one of them.

I began ascribing random personalities to numbers.
I can't really say what it was that led to it.
Though, I'm beginning to think it's my geniusness.
It happened almost automatically.

Ever since I have grown up, I've tried to find an explanation for why this happened. If there's a pattern in the shape of the numbers and the personalities I assigned them.


Either way. These personalities always flashed in my brain, every time, I handled numbers. So without further adieu, I introduce to you the characters of the city of numbers.
Or, as I call it:

The number 1

Plain Jane.
Okay I don’t know what that word means. I mean to say, she just exists.

Picture a woman in the late 19th Century.
Preferably in black and white.
The long, calf length dress with the white apron. Thick white stockings to cover any skin that might be left uncovered. The puffed sleeves and those horrendous black shoes with the buckle. The bonnet on her head. She lives her life without enthusiasm but without depression. She exists to play her role in society.

She won't ask for jewelry but will thank you politely if you get her some. She will wear it like it's her duty to you. She will make meals for you, wash your clothes  and clean your room. She's a deft seamstress and cook. She does embroidery or crochet in her free time. The quintessential mother and wife.

She goes about her daily chores in a zombie like state. She gives love as it's her moral obligation to do so and she'll scold the children when she's supposed to. She will smile when you tell her a joke and frown when she hurts herself. But in neither case will she slip up and have an animated reaction- of any sort.

She will never be passionate or vivacious.
She will never be evil or conceited.
She will always just be.

She always exists, in her personality-less state for all eternity.   

The number 2
Hee hee.
Just saying number 2 makes me giggle.


The number 2
Hee hee.

He's the 'Bob the Builder' of Numerocity.
He was born in dungarees and with a yellow construction hat on his head.
He's the blood, sweat and toil of the 'number economy'.
The maintenance guy, the plumber, the electrician all in one.

He punches in at every factory and punches out at 6 everyday.
At the end of the work day, he's drenched in sweat and is grimy from all the manual labor he's done.

He goes home, takes a shower while his wife (probably number 1) lays the table.
He has a quiet dinner with his wife and kid.
He kisses his wife good night and heads down to the pub at the corner of the street.

He has a couple of beers with his neighbors, colleagues and friends. He discusses the government and reforms. He doesn't really care, but it serves as good conversation. He's happy as long he gets to live the peaceful life he's leading and can put food on the table. 

He comes back into the house kisses his kid goodnight and sleeps, to wake up the next day and do it all over again.

The number 3

With the birth of number 3, the first traces of evil and vice were born into the number world.

He isn't evil for evil's sake. You have to hand him that.
He wouldn't willingly hurt someone else, for no reason.
But once he has a reason, he won't notice the people he's stepping on to get ahead in life.

Principles and ethics are words that are hollow to him. They serve no other purpose than to mask his real intentions. He actually thinks of them as obstacles to his success.

When capitalism made it's forays into the world of numbers, number 3 was the first guy to adopt the 'profit at any cost' principle. He reminds me of the directors and big-wigs at Enron. Or in the current context, the guys at Goldman Sachs who ate up all the money but then went begging to the American government for more.

Number 3 is a glutton for riches and has cravings that will never be satisfied. He dreams of a big mansion and his own yatch. A private jet with pretty air-hostesses. He will go to any lengths to get it. And he won't stop once he does.

He's a sycophant if he needs to be. He's a parasite. A minion of the devil.

The number 4
When Number 2's kid grew up, he was number 4.
He's at university now.

He's an earnest guy.
Really hard working and sincere.

Like any regular kid, he works and he plays.
He has a crush on a pretty girl in his class but he doesn't have the nerve to tell her.

He's not a nerd though. Just a regular kid.
He tries not to miss any classes and likes hanging out with his friends.
He wants to do well at college and get a job that will make his dad proud.

It's a pity though.
With all the hard work he's put in and all the dreams in his head, he'll never make it to that job.
In the hierarchy of numbers, he's always going to be number 4. The kid at college, studying, and hanging out with his friends. A number four can never turn into anything else, but a number four.
Trapped in that role. Forever.
Being a number isn't all it's made out to be.

Got a little philosophical there.
Moving on.

The number 5

If there's one person in the human world that describes the personality of the number 5, it's Santa Claus.

He's a short, old, adorable man.
He has a long white beard and a big belly. And guess what?
When he laughs, it does shake like a bowlful of jelly!

He doesn't wear the red suit though.
He's got a golden retriever and he plays the ukulele.

He lives in a nice little wooden cottage just outside of the city.
It has floors made of wooden planks that creak under your feet.
There's a calm, familiar warmth when you enter. And there's always a plate of cookies and a glass of milk kept on the table, waiting for you.

Mister 5 is like a sponge that soaks away all the negativity in the world. When you go to him in a foul mood, at some point when you're having the cookies and milk, listening to him, you realize that you feel so much better. You can't even remember what you were mad about in the first place.

Mrs. 5 went to heaven sometime ago. Mr 5 giggles and says that God really wanted to try her apple pies. So he called her to make them for him up in heaven.

Everyone likes to visit Mr 5 and Mr 5 loves having everyone over.

I wuv Mr 5.
I do.
I weally weally wuv him.

The number 6
Number 6 is like a breath of fresh air.
The pretty girl next door.

She has long brown hair and lovely skin.
She's polite and courteous.
She's the personification of innocence.
She's like Snow White.
Or Cinderella or Rapunzel.
Whichever fairytale princess floats your boat.

She's a die hard romantic.
She has just graduated from high school.

And she loves number 7.

Her heart skips a beat whenever she sees him.
When she goes shopping at the mall, she only buys the colors she thinks number 7 would like. Whenever she bakes cookies, she always bakes an extra special batch for him.

She has imagined her wedding a million times. Her white dress. And number 7, dashing and handsome at the altar. The wedding reception. The first dance as   Mrs 7 on ' you look wonderful tonight'.

She is willing to wait for eternity for number 7.

Enter number 7.

The number 7

'With great power comes great responsibility. This is my gift. My curse.'

He's the Jean Claude Van Damme of the number world.
Without the cocaine addiction.
He's their spiderman and superman all in one.
Chiseled jaw, broad shoulders and strong build.

He is the savior of the helpless, the fighter for the meek, the hope of the poor.
His heart aches when he sees suffering. His blood boils when he sees injustice.

He has the discipline of an army general and the strength of the Incredible hulk.
He stays awake at night so that everyone else can sleep peacefully. He stands for everything that's right.

This, however, doesn't mean he's a muscle-head.
He has dreams too.
He would like nothing more than to settle down with number 6 and have a little house in the suburbs, where he would teach his children to ride their bikes and play catch.

I think Spiderman really hit the nail on the head, when he said:

'Who am I? You sure you want to know? The story of my life is not for the faint of heart. If somebody said it was a happy little tale... if somebody told you I was just your average ordinary guy, not a care in the world... somebody lied.'

He realizes that the duty he has to perform means that he cannot give number 6 the happiness she deserves. She deserves a caring man who would love her and care for her. But he, just isn't capable of that. The weight of the duty on his shoulders is too heavy.

Again, Spiderman elucidates:
'Peter Parker: I want you to know, that I will always be there for you; I will always be there to take care of you. I promise you that. I will always be your friend.
Mary Jane: Only a friend, Peter Parker?
Peter Parker: That's all I have to give... '
* Sniff *
* Sniff *

The number 8

The devil's sidekick.
By the way, number 9 is  the devil.
More on that below.

Number 8 does the devil's bidding.
He's the right hand man.

Want a severed horse head to be arranged on someone's bed?
Want a Godfather style toll booth shootout?
Want anyone shot, stabbed or otherwise slaughtered?

Dial 8-8-8 for assistance.

Number 8 has no conscience. He has no heart. He, obviously, has no morals.

He has ambition though.
When number 9 dies and goes 'downstairs' to run hell, he's going to take over his evil empire here in Numerocity.

He's using his present to prepare for the future.

He's number 7's nemesis.
He's the reason Number 7 and 6 can never be together.
He's the mafia don of the Numerocity underworld.

So what if he does it on behalf of number 9?
He enjoys doing it.
He'd probably do it anyway.

If number 7 is Sean Archer (from Faceoff) then number 8 is Castor Troy.

I hate number 8.

Number 8 is twisted.
Quite literally.

The number 9

Imagine that you've been kidnapped.
No seriously.
You've been shoved into a shiny black car, where your hands are tied behind your back and you are blindfolded.

After a couple of hours, you feel the car come to a stop. You're led into another place, where you feel the air whizzing past. Then, another place, when the light filtering through the blindfold is obliterated. You've reached some place that feels like a basement.

You hear the beeping of a few buttons being pressed and a few sliding doors, and computerized voices confirming access.

Your blindfold is removed. When your eyes adjust to the new environment, you realize you're in a big, big hall. The floor is glossy red. There are 81 (9 times 9) armed guards, standing in attention, all dressed in black, holding huge machine guns and wearing Ray-Bans.
Yes. Even though they're in an underground lair.
I said number 9 was evil. I didn't say his bodyguards were smart.

On the left, there's a glass panel on a wall. It's a shark tank. You see a shark swim by. Then a couple of sting rays. Then a giant squid.

Your eyes finally focus on the centre of the room. There, you see a raised platform. It has a trench built around it, and from that trench you see tongues of fire threatening to engulf the entire platform, but falling just short. And on that raised platform, you see him.

In a black suit and with a red velvet cloak, atop a golden throne, sits he.

(Da da da dummmmmm )

The Number 9.

He has a perilous smile on his face. If he could, he would shoot laser beams from his eyes and turn you to dust, right then and there.

Number 9 is the villain of villains.

He uses number 8 as his pawn. He doesn't care for him. He has no plans of handing over his empire to him.

He wants world domination.
Number world domination.
He wants to enslave the other numbers, exploit them and then have them for dinner.

If Jason Voorhees, Hannibal Lecter, the Green Goblin and The Joker merged into one big mass of evil, even they wouldn't be able to defeat number 9.

That completes the list.

Does it all make sense now?
Why I would feel a sense of security when I multiplied 7 and 5?
Imagine Mr 7 sitting with number 5, having milk and cookies.

And disgust when I had to multiply 3 and 6?
Or 4 and 9?
Poor innocent number 4. What did he ever do to deserve being multiplied with 9?

Why every time I would add 6 and 7, I'd feel this warm glow of romance inside.
I'd be like , awwwww, 6 and 7.

I guess these mathematical operations like addition and multiplication, stand for life in general in the number world. Like humans, numbers too have different personalities. They have good people and bad people. They have virtues and vices. They, too, are forced to deal with different kinds of people at different times in their lives. Sometimes, you're lucky and you come across nice numbers. And sometimes, you come across bad ones. And you have no choice but to deal with them. If you don't, your life will always be like an unsolved problem. An incomplete equation.

Who am I kidding.
I couldn't give meaning to this post if someone paid me to do it.

It's just mindless banter.
And hey, mindless banter is fun, once in awhile.

I know you feel the same way.

If you didn't, you wouldn't have read this till the end.
I don’t see a gun pointed at your head.


June 15, 2011

Goosefraba: Part 1

You know why pillow fights are so much fun?

You get a license to kill.
Well not 'kill' really. But to beat the stuffing out of someone.
And no one to answer to.

Everything's fair in love and war.
And, man, a pillow fight is war.

It's a honey coated weapon of passive aggression.

So when you see those scenes in romcoms where the male protagonist and his love interest are courting each other and they engage in 'friendly' or 'romantic' pillow fights- don't be fooled. Each blow to the face from that down filled head rest is a craftily devised punishment for hidden grudges harbored since the first time they met.

THAT'S for not returning my smile at the coffee shop.
And THAT's for acting pricey the first time I spoke to you.
And THAT's for ordering the expensive lobster when I took you out for dinner for the first time.  

That's what I think.

And while we're on the subject of what I think, I have another classification post. Like Kings, Jacks and Noblemen. This time, I classify people according to their anger profile.

If you weren't already awed with my literary acumen, prepare to be dazzled by my psychological perceptivity (yea, that's a word) and keen observations and discernment-ness.
Yes. I know. That's not a word.
Geez. Someone's a little uptight about their English.

So, here's a very broad categorization of angry people, àla ME.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to introduce my new terminology, to demonstrate this revolutionary theory of anger.  

  • The ang-extroverts.
Who will be referred to as angextroverts from here on.

  • The ang-introverts.
Referred to as angintroverts below.

  • The Punch liners.

  • The Cry-o-holics.

  • The Cucumbers

Let's take an external stimulus.
Someone walks into the room and yells, 'You're a jerk'.
Don't laugh.
It could happen.

Angextroverts will give themselves very little reaction time. They start raving and ranting in a fit of fury. Often their arguments are unintelligible. On the inside, they feel intense heat and the tingling feeling it brings. And there's a rush of blood to the face. Their eyes widen, brows draw in and their nostrils flare. They'll start breathing harder, partly due to the increase in blood pressure and partly because they're out of breath from the screaming. Sometimes, they will show signs of physical aggression. Their name implies that they vent their anger on the outside. Hence, the merge of the words anger and extrovert.
I know.
I'm a genius.  

The angintorvert: the angextrovert's alter ego. Obviously.
They have the same physical reactions on the inside as the angextroverts. Intense heat, tingly feeling, rush of blood, quicker breaths, heart pounding, increased blood pressure. The outside, though, gets paralyzed. Limbs don't co-operate. Tongue goes limp. They want to say something, defend themselves. But their brain shuts down. The external stimulus leaves. And it takes sometime before their brain reboots itself. But nothing has been forgotten. The angintroverts are seething from the feeling of being incapacitated. They take it out on themselves.
Why didn't I say anything?
What the h*ll's wrong with me?
The least I could have said is, 'No, you're a jerk'. 

The Punch liners are the gifted few. They have a brain that functions quickly and uses it's wit as it's weapon. Again the reaction time is very little. But it's enough. Enough to do damage that the external stimulus will take a while to get over. I'm not sure about what goes on on the inside. I think they're like angextroverts but in control. They don't get caught up in the moment and they DO NOT rant. Just like the punch line in a joke, they deliver the full impact. Concise and accurate.
Bada-bing. Bada-boom.

The cry-o-holics. The name says it all.
It's safe to say that the proportion of women to men in this category is quite high.

They are like angintroverts with over active tear glands. They feel the intense heat, tingly feeling, rush of blood. Then their breaths quicken and their lips start twitching. Their vision starts getting blurry because of tear filled eyes and their quick breaths now turn into sobs. Now one of two things can happen. Either they try to force words out of their mouth. But they are incomprehensible through all the weeping. Sometimes the words are a little clear but they can't possibly have the impact of the punch liner or angextrovert because they have ceded a lot of ground to the external stimulus because of their tears. Their arguments are long, drawn out, focused on the outside.
You're the jerk.
You're the reason I'm a jerk.
Your whole family is full of jerks.
I hate you, you jerk.
The hybrid of angextrovert and cry-o-holic. 

Or in the other case, their tongue goes limp and their limbs only perform the function of wiping their tears. Or maybe, not even that. And the fit of fury lodges itself inside their throat like a sneeze that hasn't found its way out. And the tears form a puddle on the floor. And they wonder what's wrong with them? Why can't they say anything? Why do they have to start crying like an immature imbecile?
Yup. You guessed it.
A hybrid of angintrovert and cry-o-holic.

Finally, the cucumber.
The guy who never feels the intense heat, or the rush of blood to his face.
He's calm and composed.
Cool as a cucumber.
Get it?
Cucumber. Cool.
Again. I know, I'm a genius.  

He begins therapy for the stimulus.

I'm sorry you feel that way young man.
Here have a seat.

Cucumber ( C): What have I done to make you feel that I'm a jerk?
Stimulus (S): I don't know. It's the way you look. (He pouts).
C: Hm. Is that because people ignored you when you were young because you weren't a 'cute' child?
S: Maybe. I don't know (His lips start quivering).
C: That's a shame. That's not fair.
S: I know it's not. (He holds his face and the waterworks begin).
C: Now now, calm down child. Remember that was just a phase. It's all over now. Let go of your emotional baggage. You'll feel lighter.
S: Thank you, oh great Cucumber person.
C: You're welcome son.

Maybe not ALL cucumbers are like that. But more or less. They stay collected and serene. They see why the stimulus has acted the way he has. They forgive. They move on. Maybe they impart a few words of wisdom. Maybe some tough love. All for the benefit of the stimulus though.

Now a qualification.
There are certain people that exhibit the outward appearance of the cucumber, but this can be misleading. These are the people who have not really heard or comprehended the external stimulus. They don't react or show any of the symptoms of the other categories. They seem to be walking around with ear-plugs in their ears. Or counting sheep jumping over the fence. In broad daylight. An exemplary example is George W. Bush.

For the purpose of my theory, they don't exist.

For the record, I'm an angintroverted cry-o-holic.

I'm sure you think that I've left a lot of people out.

But, I'd like to think of these categories as similar to star signs. You could be an Aries with an ascending Scorpio moon and a descending Libran sun or something like that. What I mean is, that you could have some elements of different categories. They aren't mutually exclusive.

To help you find out more about your anger profile, I've assembled a flowchart to lead you to a conclusion (click to enlarge). Just follow the questions and it will lead to the diagnosis. If you belong to more than one category, just repeat the cycle as necessary.

I've really done my homework for this one.

P.S. If you get mixed up along the way, it's your fault. Not the flowchart's.
       Just start again, okay?     

Also its possible to have a different anger profile under different circumstances. You could be an angextrovert in front of your best friend but if a cop calls you a jerk, chances are, you might act like an angintrovert or a cry-o-holic.
If you're a punch liner, sticking to your usual behavior could get you a night in the slammer.

It's time to bid farewell to the cucumbers now.

Since you have already mastered the art of anger management, you don't belong with us lesser beings. You can go counsel the poor guy who's walking around calling everyone a jerk.

(Exit Cucumbers).

Stupid cucumbers. They think they're so cool with their coolness.
Ooh, ooh look at me.
I'm a cucumber.
I'm so cool. I'm so calm.
They make me barf.
If you're smart, and good-looking, and cool, you'll want to read Part 2.

If you don't then you'll be a loser.
All your friends will laugh at you.

I think you better read Part 2.
For the sake of your reputation.
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The Pious Hippie by Ms. Pious Hippie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.