Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My Core Beliefs

by Robison Wells

All people, to some extent, base their lives around some ideology. For example, your staunch Stalinist ways may color the way you do everything, or, your religious devotion might alter how you live. Kerry Blair is a Quaker. Stephanie Black is a rage-filled anarchist. You get the idea.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'd like to explain some of the ideologies to which I cling. I hope that, through this open, honest communication, we will come to a better understanding of one another, and ultimately you will become a fellow Nu-Skin distributor.

First of all, I'm a Luddite. Not in the real sense, of course, with its advocacy of sabotage and zipperless clothing, but in the sense that I hate cell phones and generally think they're the devil's playthings. Most other technologies I'm perfectly fine with. My laptop, for example, is rad to the max, as is its trackball mouse and 19" monitor. I'm not a fan of Palm Pilots, but I think that's just because I used to have one and it got stolen (at the University of Utah -- the devil's other plaything).

But cell phones -- hoo boy, what a nightmare. In a recent study (which I did NOT make up!) ninety percent of cell phone users said other cell phone users are often inconsiderate, talking loudly at inappropriate times. But the study also said that only 15% of cell phone users ever thought that they themselves were rude. Conclusion: not only are cell phone users garishly annoying, but they're dumb and oblivious. And I hate them. Hey you! Yeah, you with the cell phone! I hate you.

(Disclaimer: yes, I know that they're really handy in an emergency, but how often are they used in an emergency? Contrariwise, how often are they used while you're standing next to me in line at the checkout counter and you're going on and on about that dinner you ate with, like, the beets and one fell off your fork and, like, stained your shirt -- you remember the one with the pink and the thing? Yeah that one -- and Josh just laughed and laughed and laughed, but things just aren't working out with him anyway and you've decided to see other people, and there's this guy you met at the Gap, and he's, like, such a dreamboat!)

The second ideology to which I pledge allegiance is anti-heliolatry, which is a big word I just made up and means I detest the sun. I prefer any kind of weather to a sunny day (yes, even sleet!). Similarly, I prefer any season to summer.

And lest you think that all of my ideologies are based on hatred and rage, here's the third: Perfect Food Theory.

I've been developing Perfect Food Theory for several years now. One day I hope to spring it on the unsuspecting public to much critical claim and monetary success. It's not a diet, in the sense that it won't make you lose weight. I don't know really what purpose it serves other than to make me happy.

Here's the theory: every food has a Perfection Quotient attached to it. It gauges two things: taste and ease of eating. To achieve a perfect score (100%), a food must be very tasty and very easy to eat. And, even though I don't have a mathematical equation worked out, you can be assured that ease of eating (EOE) outweighs taste (T) at least two-to-one.

Examples? I thought you'd never ask.

A hard-boiled egg earns a very high Perfection Quotient: somewhere in the 75% range. It's incredibly easy to eat -- it comes in it's own disposable wrapper, for goodness sake. The taste is questionable, but decent.

A banana ranks even higher -- perhaps an 80%. Again, taste isn't great, but the wrapper is even easier to use, and quicker to remove. (Plus, the banana peel gives you something clean to hold on to while eating -- it's like nature's own Big Mac!)

A fried chicken leg? 90%, easy. Taste is unmatched -- a perfect score. Plus, it comes with a handle.

Low scorers: oranges are pretty close to the bottom. The flavor is okay, but you've got to peel them -- and not the easy hard-boiled egg, flesh-of-the-thumb peeling, but aggressive fingernail peeling, leaving your hands covered in smell and white fruit starch. (Also: juice dribbles all over the place.) T: 40% EOE: 20%

And currently holding the record as lowest scorer: crab legs. Lots and lots of prying and cracking and squishing, and your hands get messy, and the end result is just a tiny little piece of meat. Good meat, yes, but so very very not worth it. T:30% EOE:5%

In conclusion: I hate modern technology, and yet I thrive on modern convenience. Also: I hate the sun.

Fun game: Why don't you comment and tell me your life-shaping ideologies? If you have good ones, you'll win the grand prize (Kerry Blair coming to your house to cook you breakfast in bed -- hard-boiled eggs, bananas, and fried chicken. Yum!)


At 6/20/2006 1:01 PM, Blogger Matthew Buckley said...

So then this:

Has to just drive you nuts, because it's a picture of the sun, displayed using modern technology, and there is not a hard boiled egg to be found anywhere in the article, let alone fried chicken.

At 6/20/2006 1:28 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

But I bet the chicken would fry pretty quick.

At 6/20/2006 1:55 PM, Anonymous Fellfrosch said...

Every example of your Perfection Quotient ignores taste and bases itself solely around ease of eating. I think you used the phrase "the taste is okay" on almost all of them. That doesn't seem like a very well-thought-out or implemented theory to me. I call fraud! And I demand my research investments be returned.

At 6/20/2006 1:59 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Like I said, Ease of Eating outweighs Taste every time. If I had a perfect theory based on whether or not food tastes good, what kind of crappy theory would that be?

At 6/20/2006 2:24 PM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

I want to know where fun factor comes in? For example pop rocks taste like nothing, are a pain because they get sticky and wet after you put your fingers in your mouth, but are a lot of fun. You've got to consider the ff. Watermelon has a very high ff because of the seed spitting.

My personal philosophy has to do with rating vacations by the amount of UINT (un-interupted napping time) I get. For example Disneyland has a very low UINT. (Although if you just keep sitting through the Abraham Lincoln show, you can seriously up the UINT.) The beach has a fairly high UINT if you bring your own shade. But if you take a vacation day while your kids are in school. HIGH UINT.

At 6/20/2006 3:37 PM, Blogger Sariah S. Wilson said...

I have a GMEO meter - or how many times a movie makes me want to gouge my eyes out so that I no longer have to watch it. Hillary Duff and Amanda Bynes movies have very high GMEO quotients. Most romantic comedy Mormon movies are typically also very high. Saw "Cars" last night for FHE - low GMEO. Good movie.

I have other ideologies of things I don't like, but fear libel suits. (Or is it slander when it's in print?)

At 6/20/2006 5:17 PM, Blogger Bryan Hickman said...

I have but one life-shaping ideology: no dating cyborgs. Seriously.

At 6/20/2006 9:44 PM, Blogger annegb said...

I hate the sun, too. Seriously. I get depressed all summer. I don't really come alive till the sun goes down. I have the opposite of seasonal disorder.

Hence my vampire fascination. I think you should make your monster handsome. Handsome can be scarier. Although Alien is such a great movie.

I just went back and read that thread where I fought with you guys. Geez, how tactless was I? I really had no clue, had never heard of you, so pathetic. sorry.

I recently read Jacqulyn Mitchard's book about a Mormon girl. and you know what? She made the same mistakes. I don't think she's an excellent writer, but she did not know how to interpret us, either.

I have discovered Levi Peterson. But he cusses and talks about sex in mechanical farm machine terms which would not make you think of sex at all. Just wonder, "huh?" You do sort of have to brace yourself, though.

At 6/21/2006 3:51 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

I think they should make a whole grocery store according to ease of eating. On one side of the store the high ease and the other low ease. It would make shopping easier.

If you are in the mood to not hassle with food, you head to the high ease section. Of course, the high ease section would be more expensive because that is what food manufacturers try to make anyway. The reason every one buys the T.V. dinners and pre-packaged food is because it is easy to make then starting from scratch, but also more expensive. Sounds like your formula should contain cost as a factor.

At 6/26/2006 11:06 PM, Anonymous Tristi Pinkston said...

Rob, I have yet to decide if you're an insane genius or just insane. But while the jury is deliberating, let me ask a question.

Does the high ease factor in a food get off set by the taste factor? Take for instance, the pine nut. Very difficult to peel, yet very tasty to eat. Say it gets a poor score because it's difficult. Does it get bonus points for being tasty? Or do the two scales not intersect at all?

At 6/27/2006 10:51 AM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Tristi, I can't answer the question about the high ease/taste factor thing -- mostly because I don't understand it -- but I can set your conflicted mind at rest regarding your first paragraph. Rob is just insane.

At 6/27/2006 5:19 PM, Anonymous Tristi Pinkston said...

You know, Kerry, I had just about decided that. But it's not a scary, hide-under-the-bed-when-he-comes-to-your-house kind of insane, it's more of a hey-I-can't-wait-to-see-what-he-comes-up-with-next sort of insane. Not that he's ever come to my house, but he may if he likes. As long as he calls first so he doesn't catch me in my purple Tweety-bird pajamas.

At 6/27/2006 5:55 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Whatever you say, Tristi. But I'd hide the purple Tweety-bird pajamas before Rob's visit, if I were you. Also the silver.

At 6/28/2006 2:54 PM, Anonymous Tristi Pinkston said...

Duly noted. And thanks for the warning.

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