When normal is disturbing

22 01 2008

ObservationsSome time ago while visiting an amusement park, I noticed a girl carrying three big monkey stuffed animals in a jumble. Why anyone would need three big monkey stuffed animals is beyond me, almost as beyond me as why amusement parks insist on giving prizes so big they can’t even be carried. Regardless, this girl was waiting in line for a roller coaster near me and I didn’t think too much of it at the time. Then we boarded.

As I sat patiently, the girl, who by now had realized she couldn’t take all of her prizes on the ride with, walked to the edge of station where many bags had been unceremoniously thrown by boarding guests. The girl proceed to slowly pull each giant stuffed animal out of the pile she carried and carefully them down side by side against the wall as if they were small children. This should have bothered me only because the girl took so long, but it bothered me on many other levels.

I could think of five possibilities to explain what had just happened:

1. The girl preferred order over chaos, even in one of the most chaotic atmospheres possible. She simply wanted everything to look like she was used to them looking.

2. The girl thought people might think badly of her for throwing her prized monkeys as if she didn’t care for them. People might make assumptions that she isn’t a prissy princess.

3. The girl didn’t want the stuffed monkeys to get dirty, except where they would probably (I mean definitely) sitting once at home.

4. The girl didn’t even notice that she was making a decision at all; everything was guided by her subconscious.

5. The girl thought the monkeys wouldn’t like laying upside down or contorted and wished to accommodate whatever needs they might have.

To my wonderment, I could not decide which of those five choices corresponded best to the situation. While the fifth option was certainly the most amusing – I can only imagine what a tea party with three brightly colored monkeys is like – I think all of the choices suggest that she really wasn’t thinking at all. She was a fish out of water, a girl who acted the only way she knew how – with order – though she was in an environment that didn’t demand it. As a result, I think we all need to take some time and reflect on the bizarre motives behind choices we make and whether or not our free will is being used effectively.

After returning home, I felt a horrible need to turn all my stuffed animals upside down.


If this pictures bothers you, it’s because you’re normal.