I think there's something to this penny on the train track thing that came up in my last post. And I'm asking for your help to sort this out.
Baydog mentioned he had placed pennies on a train track just to see them squish, in his youth, and I realized I'd done the same thing, not five miles away, on another branch of the same Philadelphia commuter railroad. And we both did this at the same age. Then, Pandabonium came forward, too. Coincidence? I think not.
In fact, after some Googling, it turns out this apparently strange practice is far more widespread than I suspected.
Here's a blog where 22 respondents admitted to 'penny squishing'. Most are male, some of whom are no longer adolescent - at least in most other respects. The women who confessed were usually dragged along by men - or so they claim. We always get blamed for things like this.
So what is it about squishing pennies that we, as a species, find so irresistible? Why are we drawn to this as moths to a flame? I think there's something very primal going on here. I'm surprised some sociologist hasn't already turned penny squishing into a doctoral thesis.
I've never seen a Schnauzer or Cocker Spaniel in the least bit curious about crushing milkbones or bits of kibble on a railroad track. Granted, rolling around on your back in the grass may seem just as inexplicable to humans, but I would never presume to be capable of understanding anything canine, having not been born into that culture.
It does seem clear, though, that there has been a marked and irreversible decline in the squishing of pennies in recent years. I wonder if diminishing penny squishing didn't coincide with the introduction of poppable bubble wrap in America? Popping bubble wrap in a controlled, clinical environment has been used to successfully wean hard core penny squishers away from their more dangerous and debilitating habit.
In the interest of science, I'm asking my readers to come forward and discuss any incidents of this potentially embarrassing activity that may be lurking in your past. You are, for the most part, amongst an understanding and sympathetic group of nurturing individuals, so there's really no reason not to be frank.
But if you really don't want to be frank, you can be Steve or Phil or Wendy, or whatever anonymous identity you prefer. Your privacy will be respected.
And remember that most psychologists consider isolated squishing events in adolescence to be perfectly normal and not a sign that you will necessarily become a habitual penny squisher in later life.
If you've never squished pennies on a railroad track, perhaps you have an explanation for why those of us who have are the way we are. Or maybe, you have uglier secrets that you'd like to get off your chest? Well, not too ugly - this is a family blog, after all.
I'm thanking you in advance for participating in my little experiment in reality blogging.