I Suffer from Pareidolia

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Have you ever suffered from a severe case of pareidolia? I’ll bet you have. We all have. It’s nothing for which you — or anyone — should feel ashamed. It’s completely natural, and not an uncommon occurrence for most of us beginning during our childhood years — just like chicken pox. There’s no vaccine (yet) that can treat it. It’s something you just have to endure.

Pareidolia leaves as suddenly as it appears. One minute, you’re absolutely positive that you’re seeing Spiro Agnew’s face in the clouds, and then it morphs into the Pegasus or an ice cream sundae. It wouldn’t bother you so much, but you had toast that looked like Ruth Buzzi earlier in the day, and you could have sworn that a pattern in the bathroom carpet was clearly spelling out the words BIGFOOT WAS HERE, plain as day. You tried to point out all of these things to your significant other, but she or he just shook their head and said, “Don’t be silly. The toast is obviously the spitting image of Jo Anne Worley, and the carpet only speaks French.”

You’re dead certain that you could probably sell such instances of pareidolia to the right collectors on eBay, but not everyone perceives things in the same way. When the monster under your bed was looking back at you last night, the photos that you took to document its existence only displayed a few hat boxes and some flea market paperbacks in its place. When you’re trying to tune in to your favorite radio station and the static that occupies the space between is telling you to bet on the horses today if you want to win big, it’s probably best to pretend like you can’t hear this seemingly solid tip. Like I said, pareidolia leaves as suddenly as it appears, but a mortgage payment lost at the track is gone forever.

I Suffer from Pareidolia