Now we start to get a little personal. The ever omnipresent Moof asks me:
Does Dr. Rob come across in the same way IN PERSON as he does in his BLOGGING?
Before I work to answer this question, I must first address the use of capital letters in this sentence. Why are the words "IN PERSON" and "BLOGGING" in all caps? Is there some hidden significance to the fact that Moof wanted to underline by shouting these words at me? It would be worse (I guess) if she had put it in quotes, because that would imply: 1. That I am not a real person; and 2. That I don't really blog.
In case that was what she meant, let me clear the air:
- I am, in fact a real person. This has been independently verified by a licensed professional: my dog, Holly. As you know, Holly's eyes glow whenever she is around a hoax, and her eyes do not glow around me. Furthermore, if you saw the movie The Terminator, you would remember that dogs can sense a cyborg - even one who looks a lot like a human. Holly does not violently bark when I am around (unless someone rings the doorbell).
- I am actually the one doing the blogging. Some rumors have surfaced that when I write, I am actually temporarily possessed by the spirit of an ancient Viking king; but despite the respect I have for Kevin, MD, this is simply not true (although I do on occasion get a sudden craving for some lutifisk).
So what about the question? My first thought at seeing this question were: is this a good or a bad thing? Do I come across so badly in my blog that the thought of a real person with such a twisted psyche is horrific? Or, am I so charming and delightful that upon meeting me there would be the strong desire to petition to make me the king of a Scandinavian country?
I really don't know what Moof meant by this, but to study this question I must know the answer to two questions: How do I come across on my blog? The second, and equally important part of this question is: how do I come across in person? Once I can get an answer to these questions, I can then perform a meta-analysis (publishing it in the New England Journal of Medicine, of course), and give a reasonable answer to this question.
Question 1: How do I come across IN PERSON?
Given that I am stuck in my own perspective and can't really "come across" to myself, I had to do some research on the subject. It made most sense to me to ask the first person who ever experienced me IN PERSON: my Mother.
Me: Mom, when you first met me, how did I come across?
Mom: Well, Rob, You were kind of slimy and covered with goop. You were screaming really loud, and then you peed on the doctor.
Me: Did I make a good impression?
Mom: Not on the doctor, but right after you were born an ancient-appearing old man rushed into the room, grabbed you, and held you over his head. He then prophesied that you would be the greatest accordion player the world had ever known.
Me: Wow. Then what happened?
Mom: The police came and arrested him for unauthorized prophesy. Still, we knew you would be special. By the way, have you played your accordion much recently?
Me: Shhh! Not now, Mom! Other people are reading!
To get a more representative view of how I come across IN PERSON, I went to the local Wal-Mart and asked people at random how I came across to them. Here is what they had to say:
- "Y'all seem real nice to me. Did you say I'd get a dollar?"
- "A breath mint would help."
- "I think you came across aisle 10 in lawn and garden. Is that what you mean?"
- "You're the best father any child could ever have."
- "You're the spittin' image of Colonel Klink."
- "I am serious. A breath mint would REALLY help."
- "My mom said to stay away from your type."
- "I don't care how you come across, the total of your order is $17.61."
- "Are you the guy who plays the accordion?"
- "Why did you shout the words: IN PERSON?"
From this it is very hard for me to paint a coherent picture of how I come across IN PERSON. I guess you can say I am a lot of things to a lot of people. Whatever the case may be, I have started using breath mints.
Question 2: How do I come across in my BLOGGING?
That is kind of a strange question to ask me, since you are the ones reading this and can answer the question far better than me. Yet my duty in this "Ask Dr. Rob" column is to answer any question, regardless of difficulty.
So I went to our neighborhood Shaman, and got him to transfer my soul into cyberspace so I could see just how I came across in an objective sort of way. Here is what I discovered:
- I often use sentence. Fragments.
- I use too many lists.
- I like to use self-referential sentences (like this one).
- I prey on the weak-minded masses, asserting my opinion as fact, in hope that I may achieve world domination. No wait, that is Michael Moore.
- Mixed metaphors really burn my goat (literally).
- I may be laughing on the outside, but on the inside I'm nauseated.
- I have infuriated the Latvian parliament with my antics.
- Oprah is jealous of me.
I am nothing like myself IN PERSON while BLOGGING. I think it is pretty clear that I have the entire world of the Internet completely duped into thinking I resemble the person I am not while I blog IN PERSON. Personally, I think my BLOGGING persona never blogs as a person, but rather as a llama.
This seems pretty obvious to me.
Thanks for the question.
PLEASE don't for get to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.