Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pod People Screening Exam

Warning: May provoke excessive facepalm and/or an OMGWTF BBQ!!!

From a comment at Orac's site:
I'm apparently the only one who saw just perhaps the faintest glimmer of Maher's opinion beginning to "evolve" in a postive way on this matter.

Above Maher does seem to have moved from confident anti-vax to "teach the controversy." A step in the right direction, I grant you. But not a clear sign of better things to come.

Are my readers cozy? All tucked in under the covers? Then it's time for a little bedtime story. Tonight's selection is called, "Pod People Screening Exam."

Once upon a time in a far away kingdom lived a fair princess who'd been dating Bill Maher. Many days she was happy, for Bill could be charming. Other days she was sad, for when Bill was unhappy he was very insulting. These emotional ups and downs drove the poor princess crazy. So she made an appointment to see Dr. Titmouse at her nest in the woods.

"Oh Titmouse," said the princess, "my feelings were hurt. Bill was to dine at my place around 6:00. But at 7:00 he called to say he was stuck at the mall with his ex picking out appliances or something. Could I put his plate in the fridge? He would try to make it by 8:00. But the time passed. I waited, then I worried. Then I left voicemail on his cell around 10:00 Finally near midnight he was at my door. But he was so tired he didn't want to talk. He kicked off his shoes and crashed on my couch.

The next morning I asked what happened. He was grumpy. He said, "Why are you so demanding? So inflexible? You know what your problem is? You're too needy. You're pathologically jealous."

And so the weeks passed. The princess soon realized that she and Bill would have to part. But this made her so sad she couldn't think what to do.

Then for no reason at all things seemed to change for the better. The princess and Bill were together most evenings. They danced, laughed, talked, and planned. "I was a jerk," Bill confessed, and he explained why: politics at work, balloon payment on the condo, an evil ex making threats --all too much on his plate at once.

The princess wished to cut Bill some slack. "But what do you think?" she inquired of the Titmouse.

"Let me ask you this," said Titmouse, "If the shoe were on the other foot, if you were the one stuck somewhere and he were the one waiting, would you perhaps forget to call?"

"Hmm," puzzled the princess. "Knowing the guy's in love with me? And probably going crazy waiting? No, I couldn't see myself blowing off a phone call. Not in a million years."

Titmouse replied, "Well of course not. You're human. You're not a pod person."

"Pod person?" queried the princess.

"Rent Invasion of the Body Snatchers." said the Titmouse. "Some people only seem human."

"But," asked the princess, "if they seem alike, how do you tell which is which?"

The Titmouse answered, "You must ask yourself the shoe-on-the-other-foot question. If the answer is, 'not in a million years,' then what you have on your hands is a pod person. Cut your losses and move on."
* * * *

If I were in Maher's shoes, if several smart people had been telling me that I'd been talking crazy talk on national TV, would I simply keep on as before? Would I continue to contradict the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Richard Dawkins? Would I insist I was right without a pause for self-study and reflection?

No, not in a million years.


  1. Perhaps he can't pause for self-study and reflection, because that isn't the way he works. He's just a "rebel".

  2. Maher grew up in my neck of the (non) woods:Bergen County, NJ. I seriously think he was permanantly psychologically affected by the highly publicized investigations into toxic waste,and air and river pollution in the '70's and beyond. It made him a-feared of the toxins,toxo-phobic: it's like PTSD,where "T" is for "Toxinz".Denice Walter