I’ve been reading Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s All Wound Up
which I got for Christmas from my wonderful mother-in-law and I’ve been having a laugh and trying to read it slowly so as to savor it and not use up all the humour in just a few hours. One of my favorite chapters is crytoscopophilia which is, of course, the act of looking in someone else’s window as you go by and then, to carry it futher as the Yarn Harlot does, make inferences about the people who live within those windows. We just passed a car on the New York State Thruway coming home from New Year’s Eve festivities and the first thing I noticed in the car was a Woodbridge box. Woodbridge is a wine maker and that initially made me think of the excellent wine we had on New Year’s Eve. Then I noticed not just a second wine box, but also a third and a fourth and then the inferences stated piling into my head before I could say Bob’s your uncle.
- Thought #1 – “Wow, they drink a lot of wine.”
- Thought #2 – “That’s not necessarily true, maybe they just packed their holiday gifts in there.”
- Thought #3 – “If it’s holiday gifts then they and their family must have drank all that wine to have those boxes around.”
- Thought #4 – “Maybe it’s not holiday gifts. Maybe they’re moving because when you move you might likely go to the wine store to ask for empty boxes to use for packing.”
Then I notice the woman in the passenger seat is smoking a cigarette which, let’s face it, you don’t see as often as you used to see.
- Thought #5 – “Smoker. I bet they drank that wine or they’re brining it home to drink.”
The Yarn Harlot is right – we do make inferences and judgements based on those inferences just willy nilly when we see things and is that fair? And that’s what I love about her books. Besides humour and a good laugh she’s a philosopher of the sort that gets you thinking every day. Thanks for the great book Ms. Pearl-McPhee!