Ito, R. et al
Instead of using his immense brain power to further his dissertation, psychology student Hans Waltzenheimer has spent the past hour nervously analyzing how rude it would be to take the final slice of cheese pizza.
“Dr. Kiernan is on my committee, and over the last five years has averaged 1.53 slices,” Waltzenheimer whispered to himself, trying to avoid eyeing the box for too long so as to not raise suspicions. “But he hasn’t had any yet today, and his recent divorce could trigger his abandonment issues and binge eating… would he sabotage my dissertation over some ‘za?”
He pondered further.
“But there are so many factors to consider! Lisa just got rejected for that massive grant, so she will most likely want something to raise her dopamine levels…” whispered Waltzenheimer. “Oh no, is that Jimmy with his obsessive compulsive love of triangular food?”
As with most psychoanalysis that goes on for too long, Waltzenheimer’s musings eventually turned inward, and he began to question not if he could eat the last piece, but why he should do it.
“Has my superego become so overdeveloped that even the slightest possible moral quandary presents such an obstacle?” he asked himself. “Or am I subconsciously punishing myself for some perceived wrongdoing? Perhaps my achievements in my field have given me a sense of dominance that I now wish to extort over others?”
Waltzenheimer also attributes his inability to use his knowledge of the human psyche to practical use to a lack of hands-on experience. “Spending all my time studying in college may have paid off fiscally, but if I had only gone to one party! Then I might have a decent grasp on social norms! This kind of thing never happens at MENSA gatherings!”
In related news, the entomologist at the party was wondering if he should shoo away the fly currently crawling on the last slice of pizza or continue to study it for a bit longer.