Exercise in APM
I placed a frozen hot dog in a saucepan of boiling
water today, and Iíd like to tell you about that.
Let me start by conceding that thereís probably a perfectly good
scientific explanation for what I observed.
But Iíve been experiencing minor scientific burnout lately, so weíre
not going to go there.
About all Iíll say on that score is that, throughout the time it was
immersed, the weenie rolled back and forth, back and forth in the boiling water.
The question, of course, is why?
Iíd like to write down some reasons that occurred to me.
My purpose is to demonstrate how differently an event can be described
when we practice that most ancient of human pursuits, anthropomorphism (a big
word that Webster defines as ďan interpretation of what is not human or
personal in terms of human or personal characteristics.Ē)
Iíll abbreviate it as ďapm.Ē
Ideally I should be recording the (anthropomorphic)
interpretations of many people, and not just myself.
Better still, I should have gotten the opinions of a bunch of children.
Children are without equal when it comes to apm.
The important thing for now, though, is that all of the apmís Iím
about to relate to you made perfectly good sense, and were a lot more fun than
trying to describe the rolling thing scientifically.
My first thought was that the hot dog was in agony,
rolling to and fro in the boiling water.
ďPoor thing!Ē I cried out.
(You see how quickly this apm stuff becomes real to us.)
as I waited (remember, this was a frozen wiener to start with), I began to
Why this dog isnít in agony at all.
Itís in ecstasy!
After sitting in my refrigeratorís freezer for I donít know how many
months (or years) the frank was rolling around in the warm water in sheer
It hit me about then that I (not the wiener ... at
least not yet) was on a roll!
What were the other possibilities?
As it turned out, I had a classical CD playing, and my next thought was
that this dog was pretending it was conducting a symphony orchestra.
And why not?
Iíve been known to do that myself (when nobodyís looking, of course).
I also dream that Iím a great pianist.
But thatís another story.
My next thought was very disquieting.
It suddenly became clear that this wayward wurst was flirting with me.
Like a doll at the beach, it rolled back and forth, daring me not to pay
attention to it.
But nah, that one didnít fly.
No ... but you get my drift.
Perhaps this crazy hot dog was feeling cooped up and
was pacing back and forth like a caged lion at the zoo.
Atavistic anxieties ... the kind that our distant ancestors might have
felt as they cowered in caves at night ... raised the hairs on the back of my
This thing might jump out and go for my throat any moment!
But wait a minute!
Go for my throat with what?
(I verified this by peeking in over the saucepanís edge.)
Anyhow, itís the eatee ... Iím the eater here!
This thought of course reminded me of why I was
standing there: I was hungry!
But a weenie with a cold center (not to mention a cold heart) just
doesnít cut it.
So I decided to play it safe and wait another minute.
Time for one more apm.
Just when I thought the well had gone dry, it hit me!
This dog wanted to relieve itself!
Like a kid doing the potty dance, it seemed to be whining, ďPlease,
Mommy, Iíve got to go now-w-w.Ē
When I thought about it, this apm made the most
sense of all.
For Iíd read in more than one health book what hot dogs are stuffed
(Why I continue to love them Iíll never know.
There was that bully who once told me that I eat sh ... NO!
Youíre ruining a good thing here, man.)
OK, time to lift this puppy out of the water.
With my trusty tongs I place it in a bun, on a bed of chopped onions.
Ah-h-h, lots of mustard (just in case).
You prefer ketchup?
Get your own hot dog!
And now for that first bite.
But what was that little squeak?
Did I hurt the poor th ... STOP IT!
Itís only a weenie!
(I think Iíll fix a hamburger tomorrow.)