Why do we do the things we do? Man has asked this question for centuries, and I ask it now, because it is the only tenuous thread that connects this article to philosophical thought.
Whenever I pick up a magazine or flyer, I almost always start at the back and work my way to the front. Now, this has never been a problem for me, but I often wondered why I displayed this curious behaviour. Today I discovered the reason. While talking about Christmas shopping, the Sears Wishbook came up. I told of years gone by when I would take the Wishbook to my bedroom, flip to the back where the toys were, and work my way backward, circling the toys I wanted.
I don't know why, but for some reason I have maintained this perpensity for immediately going for the back of the magazine. I guess a part of me believes that the best part will be at the end.
While I'm on the subject, I'll talk about another epiphany that was very similar. I'm sure everyone has seen one of those clips on the web where you stare at a picture, trying to find what's out of place, and a after a few seconds of deep concentration, something scary pops up and scares the crap out of you. Well in my case, if a still of the girl from the exorcist pops up, I can handle that. Unfortunately, I'm not made of steel. There's one clip where you stare at what looks like a messy room in a trailer or something. Then after a few seconds, a ghostly looking girl figure zooms in through the door and flies toward you. This thing scares the bejeebus out of me. I can't watch it. There's also a scene in the movie Copycat (1995) where Sigourney Weaver gets an e-mail with a picture of a body in a tub. The limbs on the body start moving, the body rises out of the tub, dances, morphs into a hippie chick, then morphs into a skeleton with screaming accompaniment. I couldn't watch it.
So for a while it bothered me that I had no problem with still pictures, but couldn't handle moving ones. I eventually pinpointed the cause. It was the 1990 movie The Witches based on the book by Roald Dahl. There's a scene in the movie where a little girl mysteriously disappears. Her parents have a painting of a farm in their home, with house, barn, pond, etc. One day they notice their daughter is in the picture. The next day, their daughter in still in the picture, but she is now feeding ducks. The next day she's in a different pose. As time goes on the girl gets older, and eventually stops appearing. Bearing in mind that I was probably 8 or so when they played this in school, it really, REALLY scared me. Even now it gives me the chills. Curse you Mr. Dahl, and Nicolas Roeg, and my elementary school teachers who thought this was a good idea.
Again on the topic of scary things on the internet, I'll leave you with this fear that I've yet to unravel. Pictures of ghostly looking don't usually bother me. However, if they have no eyes, I really can't stand to look at them. Any ideas? Let me know.