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Another Perspective

Introverted Humor

I am an introvert and am proud of it. I like being introverted. Professionally, I am a “navel gazer” as my extraverted friends like to call psychological introspection. I’m okay with that. Someone has to do it.

One of the things I do as an introvert is laugh at myself when I am alone and do or think something silly. I just interrupt myself to make a comment about what I am doing or thinking – as if I were someone else watching. Do you do this?

Ted Kooser, a recent U.S. Poet Laureate, must be an introvert too. He has written an award-winning book* of reflections on his life in Nebraska as only an introvert can. I want to share with you a brief story he tells that really got me laughing. I hope you enjoy this display of introverted humor as much as I do.

He writes: “The following is from ‘Managing the Home Goose Breeder Flock,’ published by the Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the University of Nebraska:
One of the most frequent questions about geese is how you can tell
the difference between males and females? The question is difficult to
answer. The only sure way, and even this requires some practice, is by
examining the reproductive organs. This process is quite accurate when
the necessary skill has been obtained. Catch and lift the goose by the neck
and legs. Lay it on its back on a table or over your bended knee, with the
tail pointed away from you. Place the tail of the bird far enough over the
edge so it can be readily bent downward. Then insert your index finger into
the cloaca about ½ inch. Move your finger around in a circular manner
several times to relax the sphincter muscle which encloses the opening.
Sometimes a little Vaseline on your finger helps accomplish this job.

Here I interrupt to ask the author [Kooser continues], if he thinks this procedure requires some skill, how much skill does it take to explain what you and the goose are doing when your spouse comes into the room?”

* Kooser, Ted. Local Wonders, Seasons in the Bohemian Alps [Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002] 81-82.
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