Monday, June 26, 2017


And I drink decaf, for God's sakes.
I've given folks plenty of reasons to question my mental stability, but now it's been proven by my breakfast routine:

Such a finding opens up a can of (paper-filtered) worms. Can Yuban be considered a murder accomplice? Would a trial for a crime committed while drinking Irish cream-flavored coffee be held in The Hague? Does slurping a Venti automatically carry a longer sentence than a Grande?

With researchers named Christina Sagioglou and Tobias Greitemeyer, I figured this was one of those let's-see-who'll-publish-this-nonsense hoax. Even the official title, "Individual differences in bitter taste preferences are associated with antisocial personality traits" sounded so serious as to be a gag. 

There's your proof, in black & white.
But no, it's for real, alright, running 24 pages (minus footnotes and pastry). Chris and Toby surveyed 500 people via Amazon Market Turk, which is described as "an online market labor marketplace", but is actually one step above indentured servitude. People completing the survey were paid 60 cents, which is comparable to most "jobs" offered there. 

What kind of person is willing to spend an hour filling out a survey for 60 cents? Probably someone pissed off enough that he needs the 60 cents so badly that he could just kill someone. So already the survey is skewed.

If only she noticed the coffee pot in the check-in area.
Now before you organic chamomile drinkers get on your vegetarian high horse, the study also finds that psychos enjoy radishes, celery, beer and tonic water, too. Had my wife known the reason behind my dietary preferences, I'd still be single, and she'd be married to the yoga instructor down the block.

Luckily, I have a few things on my side. If I'm breakfasting at a restaurant, I'll put cream or half & half in my coffee. I rarely buy celery, but only because there are so many pieces in a bunch that half of them wind up in the composting bag in our freezer. And as I think of it, I drink seltzer, not tonic, water. These caveats are enough for a good lawyer to get me probation. 

I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him.
And being a coffee drinker, I would throw him.
And if my mouthpiece were really on the ball, he'd explain to the judge that the study "confirms" that "Bitter taste preferences most robustly predict everyday sadism". I don't prefer bitter foods -- I simply enjoy flavors that shout, rather than whisper. Even if they're hot enough to make me shout. If anything, this smacks of masochism.

However, I admit to feeling an affinity for the phrase "everyday sadism", which will be the title of my forthcoming memoir.  It conjures up images of me examining my plantar fasciitis at the kitchen table, making threatening gestures at noisy children, and forcing my wife to watch any 1940s B-movie populated with fedora-clad yeggs and tawdry molls.

Does that make me a psycho? Let's talk about it over a cup of coffee. My treat. 


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