Waste not, want more

No variations on a theme.

Everything is like ME!

Anthropomorphize: To ascribe human characteristics to things not human.

Anthropomorphizing seems to me a pretty common human habit. Children’s entertainment is a major culprit:

  • Bugs Bunny that social rabbit with a penchant for lipping off strangers
  • The sex-starved hippo in Madagascar 2, Moto Moto
    • He likes ‘em round, he likes ‘em flumpy
    • Not that I’ve seen the movie or anything. And definitely not at the IMAX!
  • Thomas the tank engine, no more recent but slightly more hip? No, probably not.
    • Well, slightly less an animal anyway.
  • If they’re really lucky, living animals will be given their own cartoon personas, like Winnie the Pooh or Smokey Bear. When looking cute isn’t good enough put on a park ranger hat, prevent forest fires AND get married.
  • And my personal favourite, the Caribbean amphibian, Kermit the Frog

Maybe less obvious is the naming of things, all kinds of things that already have their own names. Cars, pets, private parts; you name it, we name it. Or some of us do. I would argue that swearing at the computer fits into this category too. It’s feelings won’t get hurt and it really shouldn’t answer (technological amazingness aside) but we do it anyway.

An aside. Cars that talk did have their day in the sun and not just on sweet (bad) tv shows like KnightRider. My cousin definitely had a car in the 80s that told you that “the door is ajar.” I haven’t decided if talking GPS qualifies.

On the one hand, this pervasive habit offends my sense of modesty. Where do people get off? The world doesn’t revolve around us enough already, we have to treat everything like it’s human instead of appreciating it for what it is? (I do realize that the world doesn’t physically revolve around us – promise). On the other hand, maybe it’s just how we relate to things. Maybe even honour them. Sharing and interacting. Kids do it as a form of learning play, for example. But kids will also pretend to be cats or otherwise take on non-human roles. Not all of us adults are quite so multi-dimensional.

Confession time: despite all these random and useless thoughts and reservations, I am big time guilty of anthropomorphizing everything. I talk to inanimate objects regularly, giving both complements and insults and I name my bikes (currently, I have “Steppenwolf”, a magic carpet ride).

The worst sufferer is probably the  car, Forest, so named because “he” is dark green AND because, well, he runs. Here are just a few examples:

  • Forest went to the doctor (mechanic).
  • Forest took a bath. (car wash).
  • Forest did a cleanse. (vacuumed).
  • Forest had a late night (dead battery).
  • Forest got new boots. (winter tires)
  • Forest dropped a ball (clutch adjustment).


April 26, 2010 - Posted by | Bad TV References


  1. Pink Bear- is a pink bear
    Sophie baby- Is a doll that has SB on it– only made sense
    My camera is a HER.
    I label my love to you in various cheeses, and may or may not be flexing.

    Kermit- thumbs up
    Knight rider- I watched
    Winnie- never poohs
    Bugs Bunny- does all the bad things we don’t allow in cartoons OR real tv anymore.

    It’s how we get through the day- talking to ourselves, the stuff around us (I was talking to tinfoil in hair two days ago) and are grateful for no reply.

    Comment by Katie Chipman | April 26, 2010 | Reply

  2. […] are frequent. It’s at times like this that I especially appreciate our ’97 civic, Forest, which lacks fancy stereo equipment or valuable parts that I would worry over. Anyway, Kev paid […]

    Pingback by Juan de Fuca Hates me (and other tales of pity) « Waste not, want more | August 25, 2010 | Reply

  3. […] and blinds, writing down license plate numbers, repeating inaccurate descriptions of me and Forest in their heads should the police come knocking tomorrow. I was jittery with the thrill of the […]

    Pingback by Putting the Freak in Freecycle – a Halloween special « Waste not, want more | October 31, 2011 | Reply

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    Comment by discount cigarettes free shipping | October 15, 2012 | Reply

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