Babies: They are everywhere. They’re small fleshy factories relentlessly turning food into poo and unintelligible gurgling. How dare they?
Now that I think of it, adults are pretty much the same, except we do our unintelligible gurgling late at night into our cellphones, then wake up the next day and fearfully review our call logs. That’s when the Vulture of Shame arrives, flapping his great black wings mournfully.
Thankfully, someone out there is using science to explore the intricacies of the human experience by making babies uncomfortable. I learned this morning of something called the “Still Face Experiment”, in which a mother plays with her baby as normal, then turns away. Then she faces it again, but this time she doesn’t respond to her child’s movements in any way.
So, it turns out that even babies realize when someone is being a bitch to them. You might think you’re getting away with being snide to that toddler on the train into the city, but she is recording your every move, and what’s more, the Vulture of Shame even now is perched upon your shoulder.
That’s how it is with the Vulture of Shame. Sometimes he is unseen. Then you realize he’s been there all along, and his effect is even more powerful than before.
Doctor Ed Tronick, a Director at the University of Massachusetts Boston (or a DUMB for short), has plans to continue his research on the effects of bitchiness on people of all ages. I think this is important research, and leads perfectly into my efforts to study the Vulture of Shame’s habits.
I have noted, for instance, that sometimes in the past I have thought myself to be the target of bitchiness. It was only later that I detected the ghostly rustle of a certain mighty black bird’s wings and I realized that I was, in fact, in error. Sorry about that, Cheryl.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I must review my texts from over the weekend in hopes that I can discern from them exactly what actions I should be regretting.