The “multiplier effect” is an economics term that means so much horseshit or some such. (Economics is the branch of sociology that specializes in humans fucking each other and not in a fun way.)
I’m here to tell you about the real multiplier effect.
It works a little something like this:
A store notices, perhaps even by accident, that products with a red dot sticker are selling slightly faster than non-stickered items.
The produces a sexual response within the store owners, but that’s a story I’m saving for another post. Click here to buy access to my premium content.
We were driving down a busy two-lane surface street in Portland, Oregon. We were in the left lane. A few blocks away we would need to make a right turn in order to reach our destination which was, ostensibly, the ultimate goal of the expedition.
You can probably see where this is going. Kudos to me. I have done my job as a writer. This is called foreshadowing.
Everyone in the right lane was somehow able to sense my need and aggressively squeezed together like sardines in a can. It was truly something to behold.
Dammit, I thought angrily to myself. I knew I should have changed lanes when that open spot presented itself 42 miles back. Who knew that would be my one and only opportunity? But that’s the way this shit works.
I could have done what everyone else does and slammed on my brakes while nudging to the right daring everyone to miss me but that’s not my way. I like to be different. I like the path not taken.
In this case that was a few blocks further on down the road. And that’s where this adventure really begins.
History is written by the victors.
–Winston S. Churchill
I have this personal pet theory. It goes a little something like this:
What do I mean by this? It’s time for a tale of hungry dogs, drowning by garden hose, buxom secretaries, altered birth certificates and who’s car is parked next door.
Survivor is a delight as a little microcosm of humanity. An animated diorama world of greed and bad behavior inside the magic box. What’s not to like?
Twitter, with its 140-character limit, is a short and sweet. In the right hands it can be art form. In the wrong hands? “I’m on the can” or “I’m drinking a smoothie.” Often in the very same tweet.
I’ve been religiously watching Survivor since day one when Richard Hatch won the inaugural season in Borneo. I never miss an episode.
Earlier this year, when Survivor Cagayan, the 28th season, was announced, I did something new. I used Twitter to interact with some contestants on the show. The worlds of Survivor and Twitter collided like chocolate in my peanut butter.
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When one is an atheist in small town conservative America, one learns to play things close to the vest. Maybe later, after getting to know someone, the truth may be divulged. But it is known that premature sharing comes with a significant amount of risk. It’s a lovely place where the wrong bumper sticker will get your car keyed.
One company in that small town, named after a biblical location no less, asked about my religious beliefs during a job interview. That was my first clue that the game was afoot.
Later, when applying for another job in that same small town, my due diligence ended up freaking me out. I didn’t particularly get a good feeling from my research and, thanks to the internet, learned the owners of the company were flamboyantly religious. I was on a quest to get out of the frying pan and into the fire, so naturally I didn’t let this slow me down.
Despite shouting his religion for all to see, the man was one of the most unethical business people I’d ever met. And that’s saying a lot. He was no slouch. Yet there he was, up on the high ground, at least in his mind, looking down his nose at everyone else. Compensate much?
When office discourse finally turned to matters of politics and religion, I defiantly let fly with my disclosures. His reaction was one of thoughtfulness and class. “Atheist, eh? I have a question. Why don’t you kill people?”
Although flabbergasted by the audacity, I still think I handled it with style and aplomb, especially considering the source. “You don’t kill people because God forbids it,” I said. “I don’t kill people because I choose not to. It’s my decision.”
Right and wrong. Good and evil. Yin and yang. Night and day. Black and white. Betamax and VHS. DVD and Blue-ray.
But now, after assessing more empirical data, I now think, perhaps, I was a bit hasty. It’s time to bust out with yet another theory. I got a million of ’em.
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Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do
I have another puzzle for you
Oompa Loompa doom-pa-da-dee
If you are wise, you’ll listen to me
Who do you blame when your kid is a brat?
Pampered and spoiled like a Siamese cat
Blaming the kids is a lie and a shame
You know exactly who’s to blame
The mother and the father
Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-da
If you’re not spoiled, then you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do
(My emphasis added.)
Like I’ve always said, parents are the absolute worst people to have children.
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As a person that constitutes a form of life (or so I assume) there are two realities that I’m reasonably sure exist:
- My own (that I’m fairly familiar with)
- All that other shits
Note: If you get lumped in with the latter group please don’t take it personally. I don’t make the rules.
Even with the stark duality of this view, however, I imagine certain explorations into that other realm where y’all live are still possible.
For example, using inference, deduction and other external stimuli, I can attempt to discern what’s going on in that gray matter you recklessly call a brain. Clues might include things like your primitive vocalizations, ritualistic dance and other movements, and how you are adorned.
That plumage on your head in the form of a fedora speaks volumes. I interpret that as a rather pronounced attempt to establish position within your group. Am I right? Judging actual intent of other life forms can be tricky. It’s always murky guesswork. But I’m pretty sure I nailed it.
I mentioned to my wife the other day that I would deliberately do the opposite of what I really wanted if I perceived that it might be perceived by other people as an attempt to be cool. Think about it. That’s a very deep thought. I’d literally do the exact opposite of what I want, which, by definition, is that which I hate.
I’m committed. And now, a brief case study.
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