Jumping to conclusions is not only unfair to the other party, it also can be downright dangerous. Recently my wife, the Pearl of the Orient jumped to two conclusions.
First, she concluded the wet pool floor was not slippery, and second that jumping into the concrete block wall would not be too hard on her head.
She was wrong on both counts.
This started off a whole chain of conclusion jumping as, post incident, we walked down the street—the “Pearl” with her beautiful shiner that no amount of makeup could disguise.
When approaching pedestrians got close enough to focus on the damage, they had two immediate reactions. The first was a look of horror at the obvious damage, followed immediately by a palpable cry of empathy.
The third reaction—the jump to a conclusion—was when they immediately focused on me with a mixed look of anger, disgust, and downright loathing. That many eyes were shooting bolts of male-disintegrating rays wouldn’t be stretching the truth.
Before any of them had a chance to swing back a purse for a whack at me, or run me through with an umbrella, I threw up my hands in protest and cut them off at the pass with a forceful, “Not my fault! Not guilty!”
That I was not the perpetrator of this insult to the Pearl’s person should have been immediately obvious to any reasoning person (a. I was not incarcerated, and b. I was still alive).
Had I been guilty, the cops would have had me in protective custody—if I were lucky enough to escape the Pearl’s scalpel skills prior to their intervention.
But even I jump to conclusions occasionally. Like when I’m making the midnight dash for the bathroom and get tangled up in the electric blanket cord that sneaks out from the foot of the bed.
Or when the desk chair mysteriously works its way out from the desk to kiss my little toe as I try to sneak quietly into the bed. Or that closet door that mysteriously swings open in the dark, unobserved, until I walk smack into it.
I immediately and vocally jump to the conclusion the Pearl is just being careless, but then maybe she’s just trying to send me a message. Hmmmm?
On area highways this autumn, there’s been quite a bit of jumping to conclusions. The other night, Moe concluded he could drive home safely in the dark from the ’Peg.
Alas, the terrorist deer jumped from the ditch. Moe jumped on the brakes. The bumper and attendant plastic and sheet metal jumped into the radiator. The air bags jumped from the dash.
The conclusion: The deer was dead. The van was dead. Moe was flabbergasted. The tow truck and body shop operators were delighted. The insurance company was disgusted.
But Giggles was philosophical.
“I hadn’t really bonded with that van yet, so I don’t feel too bad about it,” she mused. “And besides, the weather is still so nice, it would be a shame to head for Florida just yet.”
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