An essay by Dr. Distacco, as provided by David Pring-Mill
Art by Dawn Vogel
I have spent a lifetime studying the ways of the human peoples. Human socialization is particularly complex. It has many subtleties and unwritten rules that must be adhered to, or else the person doing the communicating may elicit adverse reactions, you idiot.
Some people would rather get drunk than expend effort trying to deal with other people. I recently went into a bar. It had been a long time since I’d last had a drink, and I actually forgot the name of my preferred beer. I told the bartender that I wanted a “Heinz” when I meant to say “Heineken.” He just looked at me confusedly until finally I requested a Corona. Had he brought me a bottle of ketchup to emphasize my stupidity in that moment, I could have redeemed myself by saying, “And now I want a hotdog.”
To avoid such social confusion, you can always choose to stay at home. Many people spend a lot of time in their living rooms. Keep in mind, a living room is oddly named, because people can actually live in every single one of their rooms. A waiting room may be unpleasant, but at least you know what you’re getting into when you go to a waiting room. A waiting room doesn’t exaggerate. You wait there and leave when you’re done waiting. A living room resorts to scare tactics–it retains people by threatening that they could die if they leave it.
If you want to socialize but are afraid to leave your living room, you can always have guests over. When a guest comes over, the guest usually notices the doormat. Many doormats have amiable greetings such as “Welcome,” yet the purpose of a doormat is for a person to wipe his or her feet and remove muck. It’s strange that a visitor is expected to tarnish a friendly message. It would make much more sense if the mat was insulting, e.g., “I have mixed emotions that you’re here.” Shoes would get cleaner that way.
To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Summer 2014 collection.
Dr. Distacco holds a PhD in Sociology. Well, he never literally holds his diploma, due to crippling germophobia.
David Pring-Mill is a writer and filmmaker. His film “Strangers in the Snow” won Best Romantic Comedy at the 2011 Mountain Film Festival. He recently completed production on a sitcom pilot. His writings have appeared or are forthcoming in places as diverse as Poetry Quarterly, The Higgs Weldon, openDemocracy, Independent Voter Network, and elsewhere. Follow him online: @davesaidso, pring-mill.com.
Dawn Vogel has been published as a short fiction author and an editor of both fiction and non-fiction. Although art is not her strongest suit, she’s happy to contribute occasional art to Mad Scientist Journal. By day, she edits reports for and manages an office of historians and archaeologists. In her alleged spare time, she runs a craft business and tries to find time for writing. She lives in Seattle with her awesome husband (and fellow author), Jeremy Zimmerman, and their herd of cats. For more of Dawn’s work visit http://historythatneverwas.com/Follow us online: