Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Crown Princess of Pareidolia

Alright, now think about this:

A triangle. A dating meme. It’s probably sexist; I don’t know. I can never keep up with that stuff.

And this triangle, at its corners, it says, “Smart,” “Sane,” “Good-looking.” At its center, it says, “You may pick two.”  The implication being, I suppose, that every woman is dumb, ugly, or insane.

Thus my warning about it probably being sexist.

But still, if we can accept, arguendo, our probably sexist triangle as holding some tiny grain of wisdom, a rule of thumb or kernel of truth, then I ask you: Where does that leave me?


It leaves me at a real disadvantage, that’s where.

It leaves me two corners shy of a full triangle.

Sitting here on a first date at a seafood restaurant called the Aquatic Ape Theory, I figure I’m running about a corner short. She may pick one. I’m about to tell this poor, wonderful woman here that I believe I am a Grim Reaper.

So much for sane.

And though I went and got all gussied up for this evening, with makeup and heels and the works –

– I’d call my “Good-looking” corner shaky. At best. If I’m going to stand a chance – any chance at all – then I’d better make her believe that I’m really, really smart. Really. Really. What with all of those two-corner girls out there in the world to choose from…

Here we are, the two of us, at the Aquatic Ape Theory. Me with my Bear Fin Soup. Her with her Bacon-of-the-Sea Special. And I’m about to drop my Grim Reaper bomb on her next chance I get because, well, because Aesop dared me to.

So much for smart.

I say to her, “So why DID you move around so much as a kid?” because I practice active listening, though “Polite” doesn’t get its own triangle corner.

She offers me a bite from her bacon and seaweed twist. It smells like it’s rancid and it looks worse.

She sighs. She says, “Okay.”

She says, “Here it is. You see, I’m what’s called the crown princess of a monarchy that got overthrown. Went away. Poof! And every once in a very long while, when the government of Pareidolias poll numbers drop, somebody goes and tries to have a go at a restoration.”

She says, “When they do, things get a little tense for us here. When they do, we usually pack up and move.”


Well now, ain’t that a bitch? Makes my whole Grim Reaper thing look like amateur hour.

Then she gets up and runs to the restroom.

I stab at something on my plate that resembles a gill.

I text Harry: “Research. Kingdom of Pareidolia – I’m on date w/ crown princess? Possible? Bullshit?”

And just like that, she’s back. A swift pisser.

She’s back doing battle with something on her plate that’s got a tentacle and hooves. For a minute there, things look like they could go either way.

I watch her. Closely now. I wonder, “How many corners does the princess have? May I choose… two?” And the conversation’s died but then my phone starts to buzz and the one-word text reads:


I’m on a date with the crown princess of Pareidolia.


This revelation makes what I am about to do seem just that much dumber. I am hijacking a perfectly pleasant date, but I mean, c’mon. A bet is a bet.

I say, “Okay. You were honest with me. I’ll be honest with you.”

I say, “I’m a Reaper.”

I say, “I go around collecting the souls of the recently deceased. That’s my job.”

What would they call a lesbian queen’s wife in a monarchy, anyway?


  1. Replies
    1. Of course. You don't have Aquatic Ape Theories up there? I thoguht they were all over.

  2. So you went on a date where you planned on goofing around with some bet but she beat you to the punch with some other line of metaphorical gobbledygook about being the princess of misperceiving a pattern where one does not exist? This makes me reevaluate my stance on small talk. I'll take talk about where someone grew up or recently seen movies over a competitive abtruse reference-off on a first date.

    1. You're not familiar with the Republic of Pareidolia? It's right there near the Synesthesian Islands...

      Pareidolia's a great place if you want to just go people-watching.

  3. Your insanity complemented her insanity perfectly. What more could you ask?

    1. But there has to be balance in every relationship.

      I've dated a couple people where I've had to put my foot down. "Hey, now. I'm the crazy one in this relationship. You need to calm down."

    2. Well, there IS THAT, I suppose. It depends upon whether your crazies complement each other or not. As crazy as I am, I've found some women whose crazy complemented mine perfectly. It was other issues that got in the way.

    3. That's the thing about relationships: Even if you learn a lesson from one doomed relationship, there are plenty of other, spectacular ways left to mess up on the next one.

      Dana Carvey's George HW Bush once said: "We will not make the mistake of Vietnam again. We have learned the war lesson of Vietnam which is: stay out of Vietnam!"

  4. OK, this is no shit! I once had drinks with one of the daughters of the Sultan of Java. It was fun until the religious police showed up...

    BTW - the landshark at the Aquatic Ape Theory Restaurant is to kill for

  5. What - and you didn't have Jesus staring bank at you from your plate? That proves it - she's a fake! Die Kröwnprinzeß I mean, not Jesus. Hell, you ought to at least have seen the Caliph al Baghdadi on your plate. FFS.

    As for me, if I were a woman and gay, I'd go for you in half a heartbeat. The looks side of the /_\ can go to hell anyway. Not that you're lacking in that of course.

    1. I'm fascinated by pareidolia and apophenia. Mostly because it looks like much of what forms a person's view of the world can be explained by it. Finding patterns that aren't actually there and all.

      On "South park," after 9/11, there was an episode where the government found terrorists in the clouds, identified them as an immediate threat, and got ready to bomb them.

      That pretty well sums it up. I do it, too, of course. But it's nice to be somewhat conscious that I'm doing it.

  6. In a monarchy, the lesbian queen’s wife would be "The Queen's Consort"
    I do home you're not going to leave us hanging like this, but if you do, I'm OK with that. It allows me to...

    1. Well, that title makes the whole thing a lot less appealing, doesn't it?

      I think I'm going to try to keep on going with this Grim Reaper line of posts. We'll see how good my attention span is over the next few weeks...

    2. Home? I wrote home?
      Sorry Katy, I meant to write hope!

    3. You never have to be ashamed of doing home around me.

  7. Yeah, I'm too lazy to look up all those big words. But it was a fun post!

    1. Which ones? "Sane"? "Aquatic"?

      They don't come up that much in conversation, so you can probably just figure it out by context.

      I'll explain it all when I stop by for your soul!

  8. "Polite" should definitely get its own corner. It take effort and concern which are way more valuable than either of the labels shown.

    Now I have questions:
    1. Why do you collect souls?
    2. What are they used for?
    3. Do they make noise?
    4. Have you ever misplaced one?
    5. How big is a soul?
    6. Does a soul speak in the same language as its former owner?
    7. Why so grim?

    1. Hey, I am proud of myself. I really think I sold it on this date.

      She believes that I believe I'm a Reaper.

      I told her that I store the souls in clay pots. Once they're in the pot, I drop them off at a bookstore across town. I don't know what they do with them after that.

      I tried to talk about it like it's just another job.

  9. I think the term is "Bottom Bitch." But I may be confusing pimping for royal monarchy.

    Also, crazy talk beats "So... how about this crazy weather?" any day.

    1. It's getting hard out there for a bottom bitch.

  10. Okay, right off the bat (and someone should look up that adage, because it's either about flying mammals or baseball) I'm convinced your triangle has about five corners... which underscores my high school math grades. Maybe you're more of a double-triangle, star of David thing? I can help you fill the boxes, if you think there are far too many.

    Not sure I'd put "sane" anywhere near a corner, but that's what makes you all the more interesting.

    And you should check with your friend... I'm pretty sure he sent HER in to pull the same prank on you. It's like telling two mutual friends who haven't met that they'll have to speak up at dinner because the other guy's almost deaf, even if you're speaking to me. Wouldn't want anyone to feel left out of the conversation. What ensues is three people shouting at one another over dinner for no reason.

    Not as complicated as Grim Reapers and Pariedolia Monarchies.

    1. I believe that there's probably something to your theory that this was a set-up.

      It sounds like something Aesop and I would pull on one another.

  11. your triangle says more about you than you think it does.

    1. I saw it somewhere a long time ago and it has stuck with me for some reason.

      And when I went and tried to search online for it for this post, I couldn't find it, so I had to recreate it.

      My own triangle would probably be heavier on the "Good taste in music," "Good listener," and "Doesn't mind making tedious phone calls for me."

  12. I hope you two go on enchanting each other. Who needs triangles if you can have that.

    1. Thank you, Rupert!

      I hope you're getting your top ten album list together. I'm counting on you.

  13. I don't mean to be nit-picky, but that picture of you isn't remotely Grim Reaper-ish. If that's standard date attire you may need to work on this a bit.

    1. This isn't the sixteenth century anymore, man.

      Grim Reapers could be your neighbors, your rtelatives, that guy at the grocery store who seems to be hovering too close.

      There's a lot of misperceptions about soul collectors.

  14. Personally I think you're both a little insane based on where you chose to dine, but then again I'm a big fan of Red Lobster so no judgment here. And for the record, I think you're smokin' hot and incredibly smart. And you write like a beast. And you're delightful as all can be...that triangle doesn't have enough corners. Fuck the triangle. We need a new shape.

    1. Thanks, Sandra! I agree with you about the triangle.

      About the restaurant, well, I get creative when writing about restaurants. I had one post occur at a restaurant where the plates are all based on astrological signs. In another one, my date ordered, "the raw squid with feta cheese and grape leaves. Heavy on the celery."

      Some of the restaurants don't actually exist.


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