Explosions Around Us

December 29th, 2011

We were in CostCo the other day before the New Year, buying supplies, when a terrifically loud noise happened right by us.  An employee was removing the items from our cart, one of which was a bottle of Prosecco (Italian version of champaign); the bottle exploded in his hands.

My first reaction, was to shout “Jesus Christ!”  Obiously, as a swear word, not as an invocation.  I take it that this was a response prompted by what Kahneman would call my System 1 mind; an automatic response.

My second reaction, almost immediately thereafter, was to ask the emplyee “Are you all right?”

I’m so pleased that that reaction was not, “Take cover!”, or “IED! IED!”, or even “I may have been hit!”

If a gunman with a high-power rifle had been standing near the tire section, taking random shots toward the check-out counters, one of the latter might have been appropriate.  I’m glad not one of those was my response.

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