Daily trials of an Asperger type

Background is here.  This has been bugging me for several months now.  Maybe grumbling about it here will relieve the frustration some.

And before you start laughing at me please realize that I know it’s a minor thing and “it really doesn’t matter” but it still bugs me.  It’s that I want the world to be perfect and expect people would want to work toward that goal.  I know it’s not possible but why can’t people make the changes that they can instead of being so random?  It makes me look down on people in general.  Give me a reason to believe that the Neurotypicals are worthy of my respect.  But no.  That’s not the way it works.  I’m looked down upon when it is they who are inaccurate and random.

The thing that has been bugging me?  The one of the pizza types in the cafeteria is labeled “grilled vegetable pizza”.  It has red peppers, yellow peppers, black olives, yellow squash, and mushrooms along with the usual cheese and tomato sauce on it.  I’ll bet 99+% of you won’t see anything wrong with this “picture”.  I do.  And it bugs me.  There’s only one vegetable there–the mushrooms.  All the other plants parts are fruits.

This sort of irritation is perversive in our society.  Why can’t people get it right?  And they tend to get irritated when you politely inform them they made a mistake (no, I didn’t inform the cafeteria staff about their mislabeling of the pizza) and they almost never correct their errors.

There’s a reason I’m into computers, guns, and explosives–they are understandable, rational, and predictable.

9 thoughts on “Daily trials of an Asperger type

  1. I second that, Man. To say that “words mean things” will send some people into fits. They will invariably reply with some version of, “You know what I mean, so don’t be a nitpicking ass.”
    When we tolerate the misuse of words, they eventually lose any meaning at all. This is especially infuriating in regard to our Constitution, which apparantly no longer means what it says – not even close. I had gay intercourse with several members of my extended family over the holidays, by the way. But I now am forced to qualify that by saying that I’m using the words as they were used 100 years, or even 65 years, ago. When something gets put into writing, the meaning slowly evaporates until even linguistics scholars can’t agree on it.
    Other frequently misused words are; Decimated (when peole mean devastated), Media (used as singular), Bullet (to describe a cartridge – what do you say when you just want bullets? You have to explain), and Liberal (to describe one who wants more and more power in government). Misuse robs you of the use of the original meaning. Most everyone I know sharply disagrees with me on this.

  2. If you want to pick nits, mushrooms are much less of a vegetable than the other ingredients you mention. The vegetable-ness of the other ingredients is supported by the following Wiki. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetables. Dictionary.com is closer to what you have in mind, but the defintion does not exclude the ripened ovaries of flower-bearing plants explicitly, although that can be implied by http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=vegetable. Wiki makes the useful distinction between botanical fruits and culinary fruits (and vegetables). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit. Sadly, any neurotypical dork with a web browser can author a Wiki entry. Compounding this tragedy is that the OED is subscriber only. Might not help anyway, as it is exhaustive as it is canonical.

    Mushrooms are (parts of) fungi, which is its own taxonomic kingdom distinct from Plantae. Mushrooms are the “fruiting bodies” of the fungus, so in some odd sense, they are as fruity as bell peppers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mushroom.

    In stange frame of mind one college day, I wrote a very short story. Our hero throws the switch on his interdimensional travel machine and is disappointed to find himself still in his laboratory. A woman enters and explains to him that he has indeed travelled to another dimension and that it only appears to be his lab. She goes on to explain that communication between them is impossible because while their languages are superficially isomorphic, the conceptual frameworks underlying them was orthogonal and there was no function that could map one to the other. Our hero protests that this wasn’t possible and that he understood her perfectly. She pulls out a gun and shoots him dead.

    The moral of the story might be: Be thankful if you only disagree about the details.

  3. Thanks Sean. That was wonderful. I especially liked the “very short story”.

    I wondered about the mushroom. My working definition of fruit is the part of a plant that contains the seeds. My working definition of vegetable is the stem, flower, root, or leaves of a plant. I see now, from various places, that vegetable can have a wider meaning. That helps reduce my frustration some.

  4. As a fellow Aspie, my life became much easier, once I taught myself acceptance of imperfection. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen until later in life.

    Part of being Asperger-adaptable means being tolerant of the fact that everything is not black and white, 1 or 0.

    “Rules” are set for: numbers, letters, words, grammar, body language, animal/plant kingdom, fruit/vegetable categorical assignment, etc., etc., and there will always be imperfections, puzzling figures of speech, worldly inaccuracies, and flat-out inconsistencies associated with those rules.

    Rather than fighting it or having little battles in your head about fruit vs. veggie vs. fungus, if one simply *expects* irregularities (“wrongs” if you will), and *accepts* them, then that’ll make life a lot easier.

    However, while I would apply flexible acceptance to a cafeteria sign, I would not apply flexi-acceptance to contracts or vitally important documents such as the Constitution, for obvious reasons.

    Just some suggestions for the Huffman Adult Asperger’s Support Group.

    Miss Cyborg

    P.S. I disagree with Asperger’s being aligned as a “mental disorder” — rather, it’s a naturally occurring evolutionary quirk.

  5. I gave up, (or have tried to give up), pointing out errors, even when folks are way off based. Besides, who am I to point out errors? Plank in my own eye, kind of thing. I simply ask the question, “Will it matter if someone believes it is three billion miles to the moon or not?”

    Most of the time, I don’t talk to astronauts, so it makes no difference.

    Notice, this question doesn’t get me past some insane reference to the benefits of gun control. Being disarmed can make all the difference in the world when the time comes that you NEED a gun.

  6. To nitpick further; Mushrooms, by the way, are the “fruiting body” of the fungus. The fungus, or mycelium, can live and thrive as a huge mass under the surface for extended periods of time, years. This is why we often find certain mushrooms in the same place at the same time of year, year after year. The fruiting bodies appear only under very specific conditions. They do in fact, convey the “seeds” (spores) of the plant. That is their only purpose. Hence, the part of the fungus we eat is technically a fruit.

  7. Thanks for the info. I was thinking of the stem of the mushroom as being a “vegetable”. But you are right the “head” of the mushroom carries the spores/seeds.

    I went to a different cafeteria today which had the same type of pizza but labeled it “vegetarian pizza”. Which, of course, invokes the broader definition of “vegetable”.

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