"Reticence of the tired," researchers say, is more accurate terminology than "stiff."
ESEARCHERS WHOSE work includes the well-known theories that 50 is the new 30, and gray the new black, have just released their latest findings in the journal Scientifique, in which they claim that "dead is the new tired." The lead investigators are already making the rounds of morning shows to defend what may be their most controversial results yet.
On CBS' The Early Show, co-anchor Julie Chen vigorously challenged lead researcher Dr. Gerald Pope by asking, "If dead is the new tired, then what is it when I'm 'dead tired'? And aren't you just encouraging the dead to come back to life??"
"Well, Julie, I think we are just encouraging people not to buy into all the negativity surrounding traditional views of deadness," replied Dr. Pope. "Besides, we believe most people have already adjusted to dead tired being the new chronic fatigue."
NBC's Today host Matt Lauer asked Dr. Pope via satellite whether it was "cool or gauche" for family members to dress up their "tired loved ones" for Halloween in "traditional dead-people costumes."
Dr. Pope's research colleague, Dr. Janet Philbin, replied, "I can see where you're going there, Matt, but we don't feel that people will embrace the tired if they keep placing the same old 'dead' label on those who aren't, what shall we say, moving."
And on ABC's Good Morning America, Robin Roberts asked the researchers why "all the dead people I've ever known are so damn quiet. I think of a tired person as someone who will eventually get up and talk and do things."
Said Dr. Pope, "That's an excellent point, Robin, and initially we were driven almost to distraction over how long the tired could remain unconversational. But over time we discovered that dead silence is the new extreme reticence."
"So the tired will not come around?" asked Ms. Roberts.
"See, there, you're making the assumption that the extremely reticent should 'come around' as you put it," said Dr. Philbin, "but we wouldn't expect a little Teddy bear to come around, now would we," added Dr. Philbin, holding up a Teddy bear, which, despite its own extreme reticence, was nonetheless exceedingly cute.
The researchers have already moved on to related studies and say they should have preliminary results as soon as the middle of next year.
Said Dr. Philbin, "Based on our current findings, we hypothesize that Heaven is the new luxury spa and Hell is the new rat race. But more work needs to be done before we publish our findings."
© 12.10.09 Kate Heidel