Sunday, May 24, 2009
In a study about to be published in "Nature," researchers at the NIMH reveal the first-ever fMRI scans of assholes at work.
Said lead researcher Y Mee MD, PhD, "We've always known an asshole when we see one, but it never occurred to us to actually scan their brains. I mean, seriously, who would want to?"
Nevertheless, the researchers overcame their strong revulsion and recruited 10 assholes plus 10 control subjects.
"I mean - crap - I was ready to quit my job in the first five minutes of the study," said co-author I Hadinoff PhD. First the assholes filled out their intake forms completely wrong, then abused the staff when they had to fill them out again. Next, they kept pushing and shoving to be the first one into the MRI machine. But once in, they couldn't stop complaining.
This posed a special difficulty because study protocol required that first the assholes' brains be scanned while in a resting state.
"So here we are," said Dr Hadinoff, "having to be nice to these fucking assholes. No sooner do I get one calmed down than another one gets started, and next thing they're all setting each other off like mousetraps going off in a room."
One asshole lady complained that her no-good son-in-law refused to finish cleaning the leaves out of her gutter, as he had promised. A world-class therapist had to be called in to remind the individual that her son-in-law had fallen off the ladder while she was shaking it and had cracked nine vertebrae and would be a quadriplegic the rest of his life.
"But I'm on a fixed income," the woman retorted. "How the hell am I going to find affordable help?"
Said Dr Hadinoff: "You know that show where that guy does all those shit jobs? I'm on the short list for the Nobel Prize, but, believe me, I was ready to throw it all in and go to work standing up to my ears in cow shit. Seriously, anything had to be better than dealing with this shit."
Eventually, the researchers got the assholes settled down and were able to get images of their brains at rest. On close inspection, the scans revealed certain structural abnormalities to the posterior corpus rumpus section of the brain. (See image above.)
"It's uncanny," said Dr Y Mee. "It's as if their brains had 'asshole' written all over them."
Then the assholes were made to perform certain tasks while their brains were being scanned. In one task, the subjects were asked to imagine lying on a beach on a tropical island.
"What? I'm just supposed to lie there in the hot sun with all the mosquitoes and sandflies and who knows what?" was the typical response. "Screw you, I did that for my second honeymoon, and let me tell you, it wound up to be our first divorce."
In other tasks, the assholes were asked to imagine something good about a member of their family, any accomplishment they could be proud of, a waitress they were nice to, and something that went wrong that they were willing to accept responsibility for. They failed every task spectacularly.
As their brains were thus engaged, a certain part of the posterior corpus rumpus, known as the temporal anal cortex, lit up like a Christmas tree. (See image below.)
"It's amazing," said Dr Y Mee. "For the first time ever, we are looking into the mind of an asshole - and the last time, I can assure you. Believe me, after what we went through, no one in their right mind is going to want to try to replicate our findings."
The findings are expected to provide valuable insights into radio talk show hosts, Fox News commentators, and antipsychiatry bloggers.
Drs Y Mee and I Hadinoff are at present in intensive therapy. Their prognosis is poor to miserable.