In Defense of the Chimpy Corollary.
BY CHRIS STECK
I am pleased to share the results from new studies we’ve recently completed at the J.D. Aspen Institute that prove conclusively the Chimpy Corollary to the Motherfucker Hypothesis. This corollary claims that “almost all people are at least mildly offended when you address them as Chimpy, yet they often don’t know why” and that their level of agitation is “similar regardless of race, religion, nationality, or gender.”
The majority of our study was conducted in the real world, addressing workers in various service industries, friends, and family. When uttered, the phrases were held at a constant, unexcited pitch and offered to a myriad of participants who were subsequently asked to respond to a questionnaire regarding the experience.
Examples of statements used in this study include:
“Hold on, Chimpy, I had fries with that.”
“Is there a problem, Officer Chimpy?”
“Whoa there, Chimpy, I gave you a twenty.”
“Could you pass the wine, Chimpy?”
“Look, Chimpy, a Q-tip is not a weapon I could use to hijack the plane, though I will acknowledge your point that they do sort of resemble ‘fuzzy matches.’”
The results were not markedly affected by adding titles (e.g., “Dr. Chimpy,” “Rabbi Chimpy,” “Chef Chimpy,” etc.), applying the diminutive (“Little Miss Chimpy,” “Chimpito,” “Chimpchen,” etc.), or by applying other endings (“Chimpson,” “Mr. Chimpypants,” etc.) to the root word “Chimp(y).”
While participants could not always articulate why they were offended, 99.6 percent reported that they were, in fact, offended and consistently described the feeling as “miffed” and “slightly put out.” After excluding the data from one unoffended Frenchman whose last name was Chimpet, this number rose to a perfect 100 percent!
So you are asking yourself, “Where are we breaking new ground? How does this deviate from the Motherfucker Hypothesis? Why do we need a corollary?”
While the Chimpy Corollary does share with the original MFH the same properties of being universal and polyethnic in its offensiveness, it differs vastly in that “Chimpy” is not at the same time lewd or obscene. It can also be argued that “motherfucker” is not equally offensive to everyone. (Certainly participants that were orphaned, were reared by their father alone, or whose mothers are deceased might be inclined to feel an added sense of loss and despair not shared by participants who at least have a mother to copulate with should they be so inclined!)
There are those who will argue that “Chimpy” too could be construed as more offensive to certain segments of the population when uttered by hateful inbred Caucasians that fear change, and less offensive to others (e.g., people who have worked with or have otherwise gotten to “know” a chimpanzee, such as Michael Jackson, Dow chemists, or the Landers sisters), but this argument is flawed in that it assumes the receiving party is an English speaker and could derive offense or delight from being associated with a primate. Our research actually shows that native European participants are still “miffed and slightly put out” when addressed in their native tongue in which the term “Chimpy” does not have any meaning at all!
Phrases used in the European study were designed to parallel closely their English counterpart and include:
“Ist der Platz frei, Chimpy?” (German for “Is this seat taken, Chimpy?”)
“Très magnifique, Capitan Chimptastic!” (French for “That’s most magnificent, Captain Chimptastic!”)
“Gooooooooooal, Chimpito!” (Spanish for “Our soccer team scored a goal, Smallish Chimp, and I am VERY excited!”)
“But what if some of the participants came into the study already miffed and slightly put out?” you ask. “Wouldn’t that skew the data?”
To ensure this was not the case, a separate study was conducted where participants were isolated and made to listen to Maroon 5 for 10 to 26 minutes, until any detected aggression or happiness faded to pleasant neutrality. We also seeded all studies with neutral control statements such as “I find the new Old Navy ‘hoody’ sweatshirts to be quite comfortable.” In all cases, the participants showed no measurable spike from the Maroon 5-induced baseline when presented with a control phrase, yet all other data collected was consistent with the fieldwork.
I think you will agree that these findings are phenomenal and conclusive in their support of the Chimpy Corollary to the MFH, but in closing, as an exercise left to the still-undecided reader, I would like to say:
The ball is in your court, Chimpy. Q.E.D.
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