Just look at the sign!…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s unusual pencil sharpener is the one shaped like the sound of a wolf howling in the frosty night.

‘Look at the sign…’
‘Look at the sign!’
‘What sign?’
‘This one here.’
‘Oh, that’s a nice sketch, I do like the bit of shading.’
‘What do you think of psychology and, er, perception?’
‘I tend to not not think of it… er, them, very much at all.’
‘Oh, you should!’
‘Yes… Look at the sign!’
‘Alright, I’ve had a look at it… Did you mean to say ‘cognition’ earlier?’
‘No, I don’t think so… So, what’s it say?’
‘You know perfectly well what it says! I’m afraid I don’t get what you are trying to do here. I’ve had a quick glance at it, and…’
‘What does it say!’
‘Now, I don’t really see the point of all this… Look, would it make you happy if I read out that short phrase, written in capital letters, that your rather poor drawing of a sign, has on it?’
‘Yes… Very happy!’
‘I can see that you are easily pleased – are you interested in psychology and, what was it?…’
‘I don’t think perception is quite the right word, I…’
‘So you said earlier! How would you know anyway! Someone who admits that they have no interest in, or knowledge of, such erudite things?’
‘I have a smattering.’
‘A smattering?’
‘Yes… Would you like me to have a second look at your sign?’
‘Do you need a second look?’
‘No, I’ve seen the bloody thing once – it’s not that complicated a series of words, is it?’
‘What do you mean, “aha”? Do you think you know something I that don’t?’
‘I might…’
‘And you might not!’
‘Look! Stop this dithering! What does my sign bloody well say?…’
‘There’s no reason to raise your voice you know, that couple with Americanos sitting at the table by the window just looked round at us, and they both frowned.’
‘I don’t care!’
‘Why don’t you sashay across to show them your sign?’
‘Do you think they might be interested?’
‘No… Alright, you win – your sign says, “Beware of the the Dog”.’
‘I knew you’d say that.’
‘Aha! That’s not what it says!’
‘Yes it is!’
‘No it isn’t, you see the word “the” is repeated, it’s at the end of the second line, and again at the start of the bottom line! Because it looks like a familiar and common phrase, the human brain doesn’t register the duplication, because it sees what…’
‘No! You’re wrong! I just told you what it says, complete with the duplicated “the” in it.’
‘No you didn’t!’
‘Yes I did! You see, my friend, your brain expected me to say “Beware of the Dog”, so that is what you heard! In fact that is not what I said! I’ve seen this phenomenon before – I saw it in a kids’ comic when I was a child…’
‘No shit?’
‘I think I might go and try it on the Americano couple by the window…’
‘Knock yourself out!’
Hm… saw it as a child eh?… Hello there!… I hope you don’t mind my joining you for a moment, but…’

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in brain, cafe, conversation, cool, drama, drawing, existentialism, expletives, Grumpiness, humour, information, learning, puzzle, science, seeing, swearing, thinking, words and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Just look at the sign!…

  1. ktz2 says:

    I like that you share occasional photos of your cafe tea-times. They’re simple, yet charming, and nicely composed. Nice marble tabletop in this one too

  2. Jheron Bash says:

    Funny thing, perception, isn’t it? Mind you, so’s cognition. Isn’t the brain brilliant? And stupid.

  3. Sharon Mann says:

    Are brains, have a “mind” of their own!

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