Why is it…?
Posted by Nancy Northcott Jan 16 2013, 12:33 am
I sometimes wonder what moves people to do certain things. Or, in the alternative, why they don’t see a down side to their actions. For example, do you own an iron? We do (not that it spends much time anywhere besides its box). Have you ever actually read the box? If you have, maybe you’ve seen a conspicuously marked passage like the one on the package insert that came with our iron: WARNING: Do not iron clothes while wearing.
Like, who would do that? Why would someone think that would be a happy choice? But clearly, someone did. Or someone thought someone would.
And if you’re wondering why someone would read the package insert on the iron, the answer is, “Because it’s there.”
Our dog occasionally engages in baffling behavior. Yeah, I know I said “people,” but she thinks she is one, so let’s humor her. This is Herself, Christmas a year ago, enjoying her gift.
No, we don’t usually condone eating on the sofa, and no, we don’t take her food or treats away once we give them to her. So we’re not sure why she felt the need to go in a somewhat isolated corner to enjoy her gift.
Because she’s a rescue dog, we speculate that other dogs where she lived before may have taken her food, and so maybe she’s hiding behind the tree to protect it out of habit. Maybe. But there’s enough floor space for her between the couch and the tree. She did the same thing this year.
It’s like when the dh gives her a tidbit in the kitchen and she brings it into the bedroom to eat it. I’m tempted to wave and go, “Hello? I’m here. Watching you. Just like he would be watching you in the kitchen.” All kidding aside, we think this is some sort of low-in-the-pack-order behavior, but we still find it baffling.
As our regular visitors know, I have a book out. That’s still a thrill for me to write. Or to tell people. Or just to think about. *g* To help people decide whether they’d like the book, I have an excerpt on my website. I’ve discovered, though, that not everyone supplies excerpts.
Because writing hasn’t made me any less voracious a reader, aside from diminishing the time I have to do it, I still love discovering new authors. You may have read the post I did about that New Year’s Eve, and those were only a sampling of the books and authors who made me into a fan in 2012.
If I happen across a new author in a bookstore, I’ll read the blurb and then the first page and then maybe a few random pages. If I like the author’s voice and the characters I encounter in that brief sampling, I’ll buy the book.
But stumbling across a new author in bookstores is increasingly difficult. When I see an interesting book mentioned online, I go to the author’s site to check it out. Several times lately, I’ve found no excerpt.
I realize I can download a sample, but that’s more work, and then I have to go through the steps of deleting it from my iPad if I don’t want to buy the book. So that’s still more work. It’s not complicated, no, but it takes time. Going to the author’s site, clicking a link, and reading is faster. I’ve bought books online a couple of times, only to find that while they were perfectly okay, I couldn’t get into them, so I don’t buy a book anymore if I can’t check out the author’s voice.
This baffles me. I understand waiting until the copy is edited before posting it, but when we’re talking about book one of, say, four, why would an author not put an excerpt up for people to sample? Am I the only holdout who prefers to sample and do it as easily as possible?
Finally, why would someone approach and feed an alligator? Yes, really. On our research trip to the Okefenokee Swamp in November, the dh and I drove around Chesser Island, which may be the largest dry ground in the refuge. I was gobsmacked to see this sign.
The sign isn’t big enough to read here, but it says “Alligator Safety. It is illegal to feed or harass wildlife. Do not approach Alligators.” The italics and the capital A are in the original text. I looked at it and thought, Really? People feed alligators? So I asked the ranger about it when we finished our drive.
She assured me that yes, notwithstanding that alligators are predatory carnivores with very large mouths full of very sharp teeth, people do feed them. ”Then the alligator loses its fear of people,” she added, ” and starts following them around, so it has to be relocated.”
Alligators are afraid of me? Seriously? If I were an alligator, I wouldn’t be afraid of me. If I saw an alligator following me, I would take care of relocating myself as fast as possible, so relocating the alligator would not be an immediate need.
But her point was that feeding alligators is a bad idea for the alligator’s sake. I’m sure people don’t stop to think about that, and there are some places, like our local park, where you used to be able to buy a handful of food for the ducks for a quarter. The appeal of feeding birds or small, furry animals, I can see. But big carnivores with huge mouths and lots of teeth? Not so much.
How about you? Do you have any idea why people would feed alligators? When you try a new author, do you like to read a sample, or do you go in blind, as it were? If you sample, do you prefer web excerpts or downloads? (If you’re curious about the Renegade excerpt, it’s here.) Does your pet do anything you find mystifying? Do you have any other example of baffling behavior you’d like to share?
Posted in pets, quirks, reading