Childs Play

Brains and Bravery

The human brain is a magical thing. The way it filters a constant stream of input from our senses helps us thrive at the top of our food chain. Apex predators who can see and understand the world.

Think about the amount of information processed from your eyes alone. Megapixels of colors and shapes and shades. Your brain, a neural network supercomputer, looks at each image frame-by-frame and decides if objects are moving. Where are they moving? How fast? If you move along a fence fast enough your brain will piece together images through the gaps and let you see what is on the other side. Your brain has a buffer and temporary storage. That is about the coolest thing ever.

However…

Sometimes the brain makes assumptions and jumps to conclusions. Loud noises. Bright flashes. Features hidden in the shadows that look like faces. Our brains are hardwired to jump to emergency mode. Fight or flight.

Or freeze in pants shitting terror.

Mine does that last one sometimes. On special occasions I make weird sounds and swear.

Last night was a special occasion. I was walking into the darkened living room. On a quest to get a drink of water from the kitchen. On my right are the stairs that ascend into the bonus room over the garage. The light in the stairwell had been left on and was casting a glow down the stairs and into the living room. In that shadow was an outline. A very human outline that my supercomputer brain immediately identified and flagged as a curiosity. I turned my head to find the source of the shadow and examine it myself. Who was making this shadow? Why were they in my house? Should I confront them or go find a weapon first?

In a split-second I had my answers. The neurons fired and told me a series of instructions.

  • Holy mother of Jesus. That is a fucking demon.
  • Oh shit. There are two of them.
  • You are going to die.
  • Shut down your internal organs and stop breathing.
  • Try to scream and warn the others. Oh wait. You just shut down your internal organs which includes your diaphragm and lungs. Oh well. Utter something unintelligent like “Meerr fuck nubly.”  They don’t stand a chance against demons anyway.
  • Wait… Those demons look familiar. Like American Girl dolls.
  • American Girls dolls have metal stands that hold them upright so they can be posed and more interactive. This helps to foster reality and make the play experience more vivid and real.
  • Those are just dolls. Take a deep breath.
  • Sorry about your pants. Restart all normal organ function.
  • Sit down for a second you silly chicken-shit. Some protector of the family you are… Disgraceful. What would you have done if that was a demon? You are useless.
CHILDSPLAY

Here is what I actually saw.

CHILDSPLAY_3

This is what my brain told me I saw.

It serves me right.

One of my joys in life is hiding at odd times and scaring the absolute Bea-je-zuz out of my children. I even scared the dog the other night and she screamed like a human child. It was awesome. I didn’t know dogs could scream like that. Supermom thought I stepped on her and my children thought the closet monster was eating her. It was fantastic.

So turn-about is fair play. If you have ever had a less-than-manly moment, this post is for you. It happens. Kids do some creepy stuff. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.