From The Lost Journals Of Marvin Himmelsby, Amateur Sociologist
October 24, 2004
Today marks the conclusion of my latest experiment. For the past thirty days, I have unfailingly responded to every situation and every word spoken to me with a double thumbs up and the biggest smile I could muster. My hypothesis was that my relentless optimism would have a positive effect on those around me, resulting in an overall happier environment for me and for those whose paths I crossed.
And I am happy to report that “Operation A-OK” was a SMASHING success.
There were some bumps along the way. For example, some mistook my gestures as sarcasm–notably, my manager Julie; her reaction began with “Don’t be a dick”, quickly escalated to “I’m telling you for the last time–STOP IT”, and ended with me being terminated for insubordination (but on the plus side, I think I won over Rita in HR with my positivity during the exit interview).
There was also the man I encountered last week at the urinal next to the one I was occupying in the men’s room. I didn’t catch his name, but I think I did manage to communicate to him (amongst his shouted threats) that I was not, as he incorrectly assumed, making light of the size of his genitalia. Honestly, I didn’t even look in that direction.
Additionally, there was the man at the ball game I attended the other day who engaged in fisticuffs with me shortly after inquiring what my “problem” was. I know his problem–he was inebriated! (The staff who treated my injuries at the hospital afterwards liked that joke).
And I think Tracy may have moved out. I haven’t seen her in about two weeks, but I do vaguely remember her taking off her ring and throwing it in my direction whilst screaming “Stop LOOKING at me like that, you FREAK!”
But other than those few instances: A SMASHING success.
And now, I move on. My plan is to spend the next thirty days patting the bottoms of all whom I encounter in the manner of professional athletes and coaches engaged in sporting contests.
My hypothesis: People will feel encouraged by the gesture.