Barry Bonds and Summer Logic
Imagine my surprise to find that my coworker, Charles Plyter (yes, the Charles Plyter from Michael Cornnell's blog) and I have the same instinctive reasoning process. It's a model we like to call, "If you think someone's doing something bad/weird/inappropriate/illegal/borderline-maniacal … they probably are." (Patent pending).
Right now, you might be asking yourself who we think we are to judge in such a fashion. Well, nobody's perfect, I'll grant you that.
The thing is, we don't always stop long enough to analyze situations using the most obvious rubric. Despite the fact that, when you really think about it, some things are so clear-cut they're an outright assault on your common sense. And therein lies the problem.
For example, in sports, if you think someone's taking steroids, he probably is. Honestly, how else can the steroids warning bells be explained away? He went to the gym more often? Um, no, but thanks for playing. It wasn't just an extra round of squats that turned Barry Bonds into the hulking mass of steel and brawn that he is today.
Need another example? Here are a few more:
• If you think that soup is too hot to drink, it probably is. And nothing quite ruins your week like a burned tongue.
• If you think The Dark Knight might be too intense for a seven-year-old, it probably is. Learned that one the hard way.
• And finally: If you think the killer is in an upstairs room, they probably are. It doesn't matter how gingerly you tiptoe up the stairs. It's a trap. The killer is smarter than you, and oddly enough, can walk faster than you can run. Your car probably won't start either.
I recently finished an article on summer styles for our April issue, and to my excitement, a new addition to the "If you think so … it probably is" genre materialized out of the content. It's so obvious, I should have known. But no matter. This is precisely why the system exists in the first place.