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Trap Philosophy

Yesterday, someone broke into my dad’s place, but whoever it was didn’t steal anything, thanks to the booby traps. Cleaning up the mess must have made him contemplative, because he sent the following:

Booby traps are interesting. They have no conscience, they work around the clock for free, they don’t take breaks or leave for an hour for lunch and they are very dedicated to doing what their job is. The trick is to make them look like they actually belong there so they are not obvious. It’s also fun to make one thing distract the person from seeing the actual threat, and then when they are reacting to the first threat, they fall prey to the second. It’s always fun to try to re-enact the scene afterwards to try to figure out what happened to the “victim.” I can almost hear them, drugged up or not, screaming from surprise. Stuff like that ought to make the newspapers, but then there would be no element of surprise afterwards would there.

The presumption of drugs, the scare quotes around victim (because his property, and by extension his own person, is the real victim), the glee in both plotting the traps and in imagining how they work: these are my father. Some brave psychologist could do a fascinating study trying to discover why, over the course of his life, Dad became neither a sociopath nor a popular genre author.


I find it all extremely amusing, but then, he’s not my dad.

I am amused by it, too. I do wonder how he developed his rich fantasy life. Did that fantasy life create his misanthropy? What has kept him from becoming more malicious than he is already? I mean, it’s not really his religious life—that is perfunctory enough, but I rarely get a sense that it helps to shape his fundamental understanding of people.

B’s grandfather would make traps out of thumbtacks in order to keep cats off his balcony. There was nothing on the balcony that cats needed to be kept away from. He just thought they shouldn’t be on his balcony, and felt strongly enough about it to sit around in his house for hours making traps.

I think it’s a combination of stubbornness and boredom.

…and a healthy dash of sadism.

this really is truly sublime!!

i like the throw away… stuff like that ought to make it…

oh, and the it’s always fun to try to re-enact…