Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Neutral Thoughts

When passing someone walking towards me on the sidewalk, my non-vocal options are to maintain a neutral face or to smile. Because of the vast potential for a smile to go horribly wrong (think grimace, leer, maniacal smile, etc.), I choose to maintain a neutral face.

The mind controls facial expressions. To maintain no thought at all is nearly impossible (think Ghostbusters). Therefore, the choice of thought is important to the proper execution of the neutral face. Here are some of my favorite neutral thoughts, the thought that follows after the person has passed, and the resulting facial expression:

1) These gray slacks are okay.
Slacks, grandpa?
2) So what if what's so.
What's what?
3) Puppies are not sexy.
Yes they are. Wait, did you mean...
4) Abbreviate abbreviation: A-B-B-R-period.
Abbreviate exclamation!
5) Distill the essence of the site of the Super Bowl.

As always, readers are encouraged to add their own.


Blogger Jay said...

I doubt if I've ever had a neutral thought in my life.

I end up smiling at everyone, which is a hassle. A small percent of people think if I'm smiling, they must know me, and a larger percent think I'm begging to be hit on. So. Maybe I should learn this neutral thing.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Seth said...

I find that Disturbed or Repulsive thoughts are most effective at controlling my expression, reducing it to a very stoic face.

I often resort to imagining ex-girlfriends, homosexuality or undrunken beer. Neutralizes my thoughts instantly.

9:04 PM  

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