The Mystery of the Shoes: Perception Confusion

New shoes

Amelia, my granddaughter, has on a new shoe. What kind of animal is it? And if you answer ‘homo sapiens,” har-har. I mean what animal is depicted by the shoe.

Cognitively, we all have mental patterns that we’ve formed in the connections of our neurons that help us to quickly make sense of the world. And Amelia has cute new shoes that shoes show how wacky, I think, some people’s neuron patterns can be.

Look at them. What do you think they are? The answer is instantly clear to me, and instantly confusing to other men (Wyatt excluded) who Amelia encountered today.

Anyway, Amelia, our vivacious 1-year-old granddaughter (note to parents of my other grandchildren: the commas make this a nonessential phrase which means the description can apply to other granddaughters, too), has a new outfit. Audrey saw a cute pink dress and matching shoes in Omaha, and, of course, got them for Amelia.

Anyway, while I napped (I was worn out from a hot bike ride today), Audrey, who was babysitting Amelia, took her to a pet store just so she could see the animals. During that stop and a little other shopping, Amelia was a hit among the masses, as she often is. Both men and women greeted her, but the men who came up and had to introduce themselves all said something along the lines of: “Oh what a cute little girl, and what cute ________ shoes she has.”

Fill in the blank with an animal species.

OK, according to my mental patterns, the answer is obvious and immediate. According to other men in Cedar Rapids, however, the shoes are not ____________ shoes, they are ____________ shoes.

Not only did 100 percent get it wrong, they gave the same wacky wrong answer. Hmmm.

CONTEST: Fill in the blanks in the next-to-previous paragraph above. What are the shoes, really, according to Joe, and what are the shoes, really, according to random male shoppers in Cedar Rapids stores?

Leave your answer as a comment. First one with the correct answer gets the first Gold Ribbon reply. But kudos and extra points for creative answers.

The perception problem is being played out in our politics, of course. Right now many on the right are really, really angry at John Roberts, chief justice of the United States. As a pinko commie leftist, I’m not as upset with him—but, honestly, folks, get a grip. He didn’t betray anything, he made a technical legal finding based on his understanding of the law—which is exactly what judges are supposed to do.

I think this blogger has it right.

But, that’s just my perception. Perception is a funny thing.

Just who is John Roberts? Just what are those shoes?



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8 responses to “The Mystery of the Shoes: Perception Confusion

  1. Cate Sheller


  2. A mouse??? Confident answer, followed by question marks 😉

    • crgardenjoe

      Mellette, Mellette, Mellette. Shape of the ears, the eyes, the noses, the whiskers, and even the silver color–these are mouse-hunting creatures, the bane of mice.

  3. I’m guessing you see catfish. And everyone else sees ferrets. Obviously. Also, Amelia IS your only vivacious one-year-old granddaughter. Because no other granddaughter is one. If you had said, “Amelia, my most fabulous of granddaughters, cutest, vivaciousest, and amazingest to boot” I would have had to cry, “PERCEPTION!” And also “GRAMMAR!” because, really, is “vivaciousest” even a word? C’mon, Dad!

    • crgardenjoe

      You win the prize for most creative answer. And I have grandchildren who are 1 besides Amelia, although, you’re right, I suppose, that she’s the only granddaughter of that age–but we can round Juliet up.

  4. Of course they are kittens, and of course men think they are mice! Though I like the catfish/ferrets answer very well!

    • crgardenjoe

      Aha! Cate was right that they are kitties, but Jenion wins the “gold” prize for the correct answer. But why is it obvious that men would think they are mice? Other than being shoe shaped, which more resembles a mouse body, I don’t see anything remotely rodentish in these kitten clodhoppers.

  5. Carolyn Sternowski

    they look like mice to me too
    John roberst on the other hand gave the GOP the gift of calling Obamacare a TAX. Even Better than over turning

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