Saturday October 20, 2007
Staring is brought about by rips in the normal fabric of life. People like to look at things that they can’t imagine happening (car crashes), doing (wire-walking) or being (7ft tall). We generally stare at things that are new and need extra mental processing. A pink car needs staring at because we’re not accustomed to pink cars. We also need to keep staring to see who gets out.
When you’re talking to someone, it’s rude not to blink and occasionally look away, otherwise they’ll get the unnerving impression that you’re seeing them too clearly. Lovers stare into each other’s eyes because it makes them feel incredibly intimate. Look closely enough and you can see yourself reflected in your lover’s eyes – which is really what that stage of love is all about.
Staring is generally considered rude because it’s a sure sign you think someone is abnormal. Exceptionally rude people vocalise their staring by adding, “My word, you’ve got a big chin!!” Even worse, they often say, “Look at his big chin, everyone!!” You can’t even embarrass them by asking what they’re staring at, because they’ll simply reply, “Your massive chin!!”
Celebrities are abnormal in that you know what they look like before you see them. This is such an unnatural phenomenon that it always prompts staring. The effect of celebrities when they are out in public is remarkably similar to a continual moving car crash.
It’s a general rule that the thicker you are, the more you stare. That’s because, when you’re thick, you have a very low gawp threshold. Staring open-mouthed is the preferred pastime of the very simple, and largely explains why village idiots are never bored. Proper wide-eyed staring happens rarely in life. This is when you receive more stimulus than you can process, and your eyes go broadband to cope with the flow. Being “stark staring mad” refers to people in a condition of permanent mental overload.
One of the most popular places to stare is into the middle distance, because it’s neither here nor there, it doesn’t require processing and no one can bother you while you’re in there. It’s almost impossible to look at the middle distance deliberately. If it were easy, we’d all spend most of our time in there.