Grossness on a plane

I realized on the plane to Minneapolis (for this, which is wonderful. At least for the six hours I’ve been here) that I am a mathist. I am biased against people who like math.

The man sitting next to me today had a big bunch of printouts with complicated looking math problems on them. I figured that someone who does math for a living must be boring and unpleasant (because what kind of nutjob would do math if he didn’t have to?) So I decided not to make polite, trivial conversation with the guy. Because obviously math people are losers. See what I mean? I’m mathist. I know there must be nice, charming people who have a job involving algebra and equations and all that boring numbery stuff. It’s just hard for me to believe.

I decided that I needed to stop making silly biased judgements and just talk to the guy who would probably turn out to be lovely.

As I was debating this, I watched the math man out of the corner of my eye. I watched him reach up and pick his ear. And then he looked at whatever he found inside. And then . . . he ate it.

I know.

It was hard for me to believe too. But then he did it again. And continued to do it for the next ten minutes.

I will be remaining a mathist.

| Filed under Bad Things, Funny, Yuck

10 thoughts on “Grossness on a plane

  1. I love math and have to admit that I would totally look at something I picked out of my ear, but I wouldn't eat it.

    Maybe he put his ear in chocolate before he left?

    Maybe ear wax tastes good and we are all missing out.

    Maybe he was afraid that the woman sitting next to him who was obviously liked books more than math was going to try to talk to him so he grossed her out to avoid conversation at all costs.

    What I want to know is why you didn't ask him how it tasted!

  2. I actually feel like I could throw up after reading that. I am glad that you have such interesting adventures on the plane though. Most of the time I don't even realize what is going on around me because I am too busy handing out snacks or finding something in my bag for the kids. It must be nice to win a trip and travel alone…and watch people eat things out of their ears. Maybe he thought that would be cheaper than shelling out cash for the snack packs.

  3. First of all, the guy on the plane sounds disgusting. But I like math, and I like to think I'm somewhat normal. I worked full time for 9 years doing math stuff, and I worked with a lot of "math geeks". A few of them were pretty weird I must admit, but many of them were nice, charming, interesting people. Seriously! 🙂

    As a side note, don't let your fear of math prevent you from going to architect school if that's what you really want to do. If you need a math tutor, call me. 🙂

  4. This is the comment that I was planning as I read the first half of the post:

    "My husband does math for a living and he is often quite nice and pleasant. But he might not want to make small talk on a plane because he would rather do math, so I don't think you made the wrong decision."

    But this is the comment I have to make now that I've gotten to the end of the post:


  5. Regarding your pet peeves:

    If you haven't already, you should visit the blog of unnecessary quotation marks.

    I really do think there are some people for whom cooking is so far from easy or intuitive that it's almost as if they can't do it. I base this on my observations of people trying to sew or do handicrafts–once in a while I've seen someone at, say, an Enrichment night (yes, I know they're not called Enrichment nights anymore, but I'm talking about the past) who had such a hard time figuring out something that appeared easy to me that I thought: really sewing should not be their hobby. Kind of like you saying that you can't do math. Of course you CAN do math (and you will if you have to) but it's almost not worth it in this short mortal life.

    On the other hand, I do agree with you that most people who say they "can't" do something really just mean they don't want to.

  6. I am offended by your mathism. Maybe that poor man misunderstood "food for your brain" with "food from your brain." Totally honest mistake.

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