Monday, 10 December 2007

I'm fine, thankyou. Can I go home now?

Trousers' recent post has got me worried. I'm convinced I'd never be let out in the event of finding myself mistakenly admitted to the care of a psychiatric hospital. For those of you yet to meet me, please don't get the wrong impression - I'm not stark raving bonkers. Having said that, I've learned over time that I do occasionally have thought processes which other people find unusual, to say the least.

Here's an example from this evening: On the way home from training I got rather annoyed at the excessive quantity of dog poo littering the Thames path. It's not an easy substance to see in the dark, and it's unpleasant, and I'd rather people put it in the pup poo bins provided. It was cropping up with alarming regularity, and being of the non-littering persuasion, and also being more of a cat person, I was getting A Bit Pissed Off with those people who couldn't be bothered to take a bag with them whilst walking Rover to relocate their precious mutt's excreta to the nearest (and liberally supplied) dog doo bin.

So far, so good, I would think. It's probably not too different from experiences you yourself may have had. However, the Geek in me wasn't satisfied with this observation. Oh no. Not precise enough. It needed more information. The Geek in me was compelled to measure.

Hence, having got home, I am now in a position where, should I so choose, I could report that along the stretch of the path from the rowing club to my home, the furthest it is possible to walk without encountering doggy doo is 46 paces.

But I won't report that, because other people might think it's A Bit Odd to measure the spacing in strides between incidences of dog poo. In fact, it's exactly the sort of behaviour which I think would prevent me from ever being discharged from the hypothetical psychiatric unit I find myself accidentally consigned to. So I will instead keep it to myself, and not mention this remarkable little observation to anyone, and continue to exude the impression that I'm a well-balanced and thoroughly normal person. [Those who know me, stop laughing.]

Of course, I may be completely wrong, and it may be exactly what you found yourself doing the last time you were out walking in town. If that's the case, do let me know...

11 comments:

trousers said...

Worry not, but why, the people in the experiment volunteered to aim to get themselves admitted to hospital: I'll only feel concerned if you try and do the same :)

As mentioned at the end of that post, I may write up some more personal thoughts on the subject (very broadly speaking): put it this way, I personally don't think it's unusual to have thought processes which could be described as unusual. Or at the very least, that's what I tell myself by way of reassurance...

ALF said...

Not odd at all - sounds like something I would do!

Found your site from djkirkby's - just stopped by to say hi!

But Why? said...

Trousers,
How very kind of you to offer me your reassurance. I certainly don't intend to try to get myself admitted, no. In fact, I intend to avoid it at all costs, even if it means donning a suit and reading the Financial Times in an attempt to pass myself off as a sane and trustworthy member of society.

Alf,
Hello. And thankyou for your vote of confidence. However, would you mind awfully if I ask you on which side of the hospital gates you reside before I take confidence from this example being something you yourself might do?

(And by the way, has anyone ever told you that this sort of behaviour is frankly A Bit Odd?)

Wayfarer Scientista said...

Ah, but counting those lengths is entirely too logical and the least of your sanity worries. After all there are many a wonderful thesis on feces.

But Why? said...

Wayfarer,
Ah, now you come to mention it, I think I did see an Ig Nobel going to the guys who did the "Pressures produced when penguins pooh —calculations on avian
defaecation" paper. I had a hard enough time studying water for three years - I don't think I'd have fancied getting as up close and personal if my subject matter was crap...

Mid-lifer said...

I think it's just evidence of the scientist in you.

Now I would merely rail and moan and tell everyone I meet about it. but that's just me. I dramatise and catastrophise rather than measure and define!

Thanks for dropping by my blog.

But Why? said...

"I would merely rail and moan and tell everyone I meet about it"

I've blogged it - should I be doing more? Perhaps I should answer the phone with my usual cheery "Good morning, But Why? speaking", hotly followed with "There is an inordinate amount of dog poo inbetween home and my local rowing club. It's most distasteful. How may I help you?"

Then again, I might just keep it to myself, on the off chance that those on the other end of the phone might find this a bit strange!

KindaBlue said...

This just goes to show: excreta occurs.

But Why? said...

Kindablue,
Wise Words. In fact, I'm sure I've heard that sentiment before...

Casdok said...

You won my WW pic, if you care to drop by and collect!

Diane said...

I'm a dog owner but I find it extremely irresponsible when others who have dogs don't pick up after their dog. All you need do is carry a baggy with you, pick it up and drop it in a bucket (trash). Here in Canada, they even have dog walking areas and dog parks that are supplied with scads of trash bins for that very purpose. If I were encountering this dog poo, I would be very vocal and would be writing so many letters to city officials they'd be doing something just to get rid of me
:-) ... see, it bothers me too :-D
You're not bonkers, but I must be!

Cheers from Canada!
Diane, Sand to Glass