Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Le Freak, c'est Chic

I know you will find this hard to believe but occasionally I get a little tense. And by occasionally I mean fairly often, and by a little I mean a lot. For whatever reason, my brain has decided that adrenaline production should happen at all times.  A steady, insidious, anxiety producing baseline punctuated by huge physiological over-reactions is what I bring to the table.


Somewhere, way back on the family tree, a line of my ancestors survived by being ready to run at any time. I’m guessing more often than not, a sprint to higher ground was the outcome of some easily explained noise or peripheral movement.  The non-adrenaline folks just watching the one or two of us, looking like idiots, scrambling into the distance. However, it must have worked often enough because there is a substantial minority us of sweaty palmed, angst ridden individuals.


It also worked out, to a lesser extent, for the low adrenaline producers. The ones that could calmly assess a situation and come up with the best possible solution for action in the time it took for the rest of the group to completely freak out. In addition, they were the ones who said enough with trapping the little ground dwelling critters, I want a steak so let’s go take down something substantial.

Obviously the “I don’t know what’s coming but I’m not going to be here when it does,” strategy of survival has the edge on the “whatever it is, I can manage with my pointy stick” strategy of survival. But enough pointy stick people were around to reproduce and we have the adrenaline cowboys as a result. (We also have those ancestors to thank for the low adrenaline psychopaths and sociopaths, but more on them in a minute.)


Bounce back to current days. I don’t experience many scenarios where sprinting in the opposite direction would be at all helpful.  So I am stuck with a nauseating flood of adrenaline.  My compromise response is a mid-level freak out.  No wild-eyed running around, or attempts at assault for that matter, leaving only a verbal barrage of my displeasure. As you can imagine, being instructed to calm down leads to snakes sprouting from my head, a look that can turn people into stone and the sound of Perseus stomping down the hall, polished shield in hand. This is my relative calm and frankly it’s the best you are going to get considering the circumstance.


So the adrenaline impaired psychopaths learn early to hone in on the “inch away from a complete meltdown” people.  One good push and the identified victim moves to irrational, impulsive behavior and exploitation is a piece of cake.  I propose we implant the perpetrator with continual release adrenaline and I am willing to bet criminal activity will decline rather rapidly.


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