Phenomenon thought to be corollary to successful things happening to Ryan Seacrest.
ESEARCHERS AT THE Columbia University Department of Sociology believe they have uncovered at least part of the explanation as to why interesting things happen to otherwise boring people, a troubling phenomenon that leaves many individuals scratching their heads and even questioning their faith in a just and caring God.
Dr. Roberta Mason, head of Columbia's longitudinal study of the clinically insipid, was recently interviewed for an upcoming article in Bored to Tears, a specialty publication for the dull and uninteresting. In the article, Dr. Mason summarized her group's findings, noting that "in many cases, what has occurred to a boring individual is not as exciting as it may seem at first blush, but just appears that way in contrast to the mind-numbing dullness of the person to whom it happened."
Citing a yawn-inducing example, Dr. Mason said, "Imagine your boring neighbor winning $30 on a scratch-off lottery ticket. If a normal person had won $30, you would consider it a pleasant event, but your perception of the win is heightened by the fact that it is going to someone dull as dirt." Dr. Mason continued, "We call it 'The Dull As Dirt Contrast Event,' because we like to give our studies unoriginal yet pretentious titles."
Every now and then, however, a truly interesting thing will happen to a boring person, and that, noted Dr. Mason, "was the thorniest issue we had to tease out of our research. Why does someone so hopelessly dull win a trip to Cancun? Why does Oprah put an entire family of dullards on her couch and give them a new house decorated by Nate Berkus? Sometimes life just isn't fair."
When pressed as to the reasons behind the phenomenon, Dr. Mason replied, "About all we can do at this early stage in our analysis is to give it a name. We're calling it 'The Dullard-Excitement Inexplicability Quotient,' but we're open to suggestions. Especially from Nate Berkus, who is really hot."
© 2.23.09 Kate Heidel