Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Pooh Template

For most of human history people have devised elaborate ways of classifying each others’ personalities. Race prejudice is an obvious example, a simple template which lets us know without a moment of observation or rational thought that this person is lazy and that one is stingy and the other one is shrewd. Psychologists have come with various labels, each branch having its own guidebook to human habit and pathology. Hippocrates had his four humors, Rudolf Steiner divided people into the sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholic and the choleric. William Sheldon famously separated people by body type into ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. Then there are the superstitious systems – tarot, which gives some 78 options and astrology which offers at least twelve. These categories give you a sense of human community and way to name and share your eccentricities, whether you’re a Gemini with Taurus rising or the Prince of Cups. Some people trust the enneagram, which classifies nine types of personality.

Each of these systems has its merits, but mine renders them all obsolete.

Yes, there’s no reason for false modesty here: I have devised the one foolproof method for describing and evaluating the human character. The source material for this system contains the prototypes which alone or in combination, account for every variation of temperament and disposition. It’s foolproof and profoundly insightful – that is to say, it’s no more arbitrary and nonsensical than any of the others. And, most importantly, it’s fun.

I call it the Pooh Template. Everyone you know contains some unique combination of A.A. Milne’s characters:

Rabbit, The bossy gossip, always surrounded by friends and relations.
Owl, The pretentious faux intellectual who enjoys feeling superior to the other animals,though he can’t even spell properly.
Piglet, The energetic true friend always up for an adventure , whether it’s
looking for the north pole and hunting the elusive heffalump.
Pooh, The lazy, optimistic and simple minded sybarite with a flair for doggerel about food (Isn’t it funny how a bear likes hunny; buzz,buzz,buzz, I wonder why he does)
Tigger, The wildly passionate, overly energetic but generally misguided enthusiast(They eat anything! Except Honey. And thistles. And acorns …)
Eeyore, The gloomy pessimist who manages to lose his own tail on his birthday.
Kanga, The fiercely protective mother.
And , lastly, Christopher Robin, the natural leader.

If you apply these types, you’ll see that one friend is mostly Rabbit, with a dash of owl and a saving dollop of Piglet; while another is almost all Eeyore with a trace of Pooh. We can play the game together using celebrities. Paris Hilton? Part Rabbit, part Tigger and lot of Pooh. George Bush? A dangerous Pooh-Tigger combo. Dick Cheney? Owl-Eeyore-Christopher Robin. Meryl Streep? Kanga-Piglet and a dash of Rabbit. Tom Cruise? Another Owl-Tigger … with endearing trace elements of pooh and piglet (“I feel great! Sure I’ll do the stunt!) American Idol judges? Let’s see … Simon is mostly Owl, with good amounts of Eeyore and Christopher Robin. Paula is mostly Kanga, with some Tigger and Pooh. Randy? Mostly Pooh, but there’s a little Piglet in there, fortunately. A little Piglet in the mix always helps.

That should give you the general idea. Now you’re on your own.


Kurt Mayer said...

Such fun. Obviously the work of a bear of more than a little brain. And if Bush in all his sophomoric, swaggering bluster is a Pooh-Tigger hybrid, then somewhere in an uncharted corner of the Hundred Acre Desert, perhaps on the oily side of that very sandy place, we can assign to the apparitions of chemical bombs and nuclear warheads the roles of Heffalumps and Woozles. May the nightmare end soon.


Looks nice!