Friday, January 25, 2008

Onion Science: cream pies lead to loss of social standing

A new study conducted by the Cornell Institute for Behavioral and Social Sciences has found what researchers believe to be a demonstrable link between being struck with a banana cream pie and a sudden, significant drop in one's public standing...

"Upon each pie's delivery, we were able to detect a 12 pecent decline in both privilege and hubris," said Shaw, who conducted further experiments on the airborne dessert phenomenon in a highly controlled masquerade-ball setting. "However, much to our surprise, a host of secondary factors—such as the angular velocity at which the pies were thrown, the length of time they stuck to a participant's face before sliding off, and whether they were accompanied by the honking of a loud bicycle horn—also affected the overall reputation of our subjects."...

Shaw's report is not the first of its kind. Four years ago, a Princeton study attempted to measure the effects of discharged seltzer water on one's reputation; and in 2005, scientists determined that slipping on a discarded fruit skin, rolling down a circular flight of stairs, and landing face-first into an awaiting cart of horse manure could be definitively linked to being fired from a board of bank trustees....

"I strongly believe our study to be of the utmost importance," Shaw announced at a conference of behavioral scientists in Chicago on Tuesday. "Whether others approve or disapprove of it is not my concern. We are serving a greater purpose here, a higher purpose. What we have accomp—"

The outspoken Shaw was thereupon struck with a banana cream pie, his opinions at once rendered completely irrelevant.

Cream Pie Study


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