Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Can two conflicting emotions exist in the human mind at the same time?

Which I suppose is called cognitive dissonance.

More specifically, upon state vector collapse, can the human mind interpret an event as both underwhelming and frightening simultaneously?

Aaron Broussard and Tim Whitmer charged with violating state ethics laws

I ask because these are the two conflicting emotions which arose in my noodle when I read this story,  "Yeah so what....wait...is this it?".   Let's hope this is the beginning not the end.

The question at hand made me reflect on an adventure I had with my girlfriend (now wife) back in the mid 90's in West Virginia.  We were camping out at Seneca Rocks in WV, and after having climbed the attraction at hand early in the morn, we went to a local, country restaurant to grab lunch.  Our waitress informed us of a "cave tour" right up the road which sounded like a good way to waste the rest of the day.

Upon arriving at the tour location, we were somewhat taken aback that it was someone's house and the path to the cave was a dirt road that ran behind the residence.  Being a hillbilly myself, I wasn't too freaked out and besides there was another couple in the same predicament.  Plus, our guide was a young girl about 20ish.  So off we went.

After hiking about a half mile back to the cave entrance, I started to get a little freaked out by the girl's demeanor and speech patterns.  When she spoke to us she would come to a complete stop and stare at us with these huge owllike eyes before she answered.  After two or three exchanges I cracked a stupid joke about hillbillies and she stopped in her tracks and just stared at me with those owl eyes....I wasn't sure if she got the joke and was pissed or if she didn't get the joke and was just trying to process it.  Either way, I didn't crack anymore jokes.

As we descended into the earth, I got a little more anxious when I realized she was the only one with a flashlight and we were really starting to get into the bowels of West Virgina subterra.  I asked her, "Where exactly are we going and what are we going to see."  She stopped, turned around, shone the flashlight under her chin and said "Just you wait...you'll see."  At that point, wifey squeezed my hand and muttered "oh shit" under her breath.

On we descended into the cavern...me losing the circulation in my fingers due to Shar's death grip.

Finally, we got to our destination....an open cavern about 30 feet wide and 20 feet high.  All we could see was whatever the demon-hillbilly girl shone her sole flashlight on.  It then occurred to me that she may not have extra C batteries in those skin-tight blue jeans....I was hoping the Energizer bunny was with us.

Once we were still and she knew she had our complete attention, she whipped the flashlight around to a stalagmite and said, "The Washington Monument.......".  I let out a nervous laugh because I wasn't sure if she was serious or just shitting us.  I couldn't see her face but I could sense through the chilly, musty air  she didn't like that too much and since she basically had our lives in her hands, I figured it might not be a good idea to laugh anymore.

She showed us about 6 more formations that she had named after monument landmarks, mostly American but I think she did throw in the Leaning Tower of Pisa which I must admit did have a closer resemblance than the Mt. Rushmore comparison.  Pausing between each attraction, she finally came to the grand finale and man was I ever ready for it.  I was thinking....Everest?  Twin Towers?  Grand Canyon?  Two huge hillbilly dudes who tie us up and plant us on their farm to make sausage out of us like Motel Hell?

After an extended pause, she shines the light on this domelike structure....well kind of a domelike...thingie. She shines the flashlight in her face and says......"The capital dome....in Charleston", then shines her light back on the structure.

Dead silence for about 3 seconds and then wifey busts out laughing.  I, of course, couldn't hold back either.  Here is the real dome.  I have to admit it was a golden color, which would differentiate it from the U.S. Capitol dome.  And in hindsight, I guess the whole experience was worth 40 dollars cause I'm still talking about it.

Anyway, I was underwhelmed and afraid at the same time.  Just like I was upon reading this development.  



swampwoman said...

I can think of one example - the mid-life crisis

Anonymous said...

I was hoping this was going to turn into a crazy sex story :(

Anonymous said...

I laughed so hard when I read this story... thanks.

Jason Brad Berry said...

somewhat crazy sex at the campsite the night before, but that's not appropriate discussion for a family site like AZ.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Anon 2, yeah I can still look at Wifey at any moment and say, "The Capital Dome....." and she busts out laughing.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2 responds: Dambala, I told my sweetie, who is a much more regular reader of yours than I am, that he had to read this post, he did, and he laughed, too.

Yesterday, we were totally, totally bored somewhere, and he whispered "the Captial Dome" in my ear, and we cracked up. We got in trouble.

Your joke story create such a feeling of good will in us that later on we got up to stuff not suitable for a family blog.


Anonymous said...

Yes, 2 different emotions can exist. Humans brain is multitasking. nice question and will share this with face book!

American Resume format