175: Automatic Doors
Title text: I hope no automatic doors I know read this. I would be so embarrassed.
Cueball has an uneasy suspicion that the automatic doors may have feelings, possibly due to their apparent sentience. This assigning of human characteristics to non-human things such as the doors is called anthropomorphism. Cueball extends the premise that the doors have feelings to those feelings being hurt by his not entering the opened doors. This is analogous to the social faux pas of ignoring someone who has waved to you, or purposefully failing to acknowledge someone who is trying to get your attention.
The anthropomorphized doors are much like those in the starship Heart of Gold in Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In the story, the characters find a brochure describing the ship, which states that "All the doors in this spaceship have a cheerful and sunny disposition. It is their pleasure to open for you, and their satisfaction to close again with the knowledge of a job well done." Such doors would not be given the "satisfaction" of the "knowledge of a job well done" if the figure passes close enough to trigger the doors, but does not actually go through them.
In the title text, it is revealed that Cueball has made the acquaintance of a number of automatic doors and possibly hung out with them only because he doesn't want to hurt their feelings. His being embarrassed about hurting the feelings of any automatic doors who happen to read the comic and thus find out that what they thought was a genuine friendship was only Cueball trying not to hurt their feelings, in fact should more likely be embarrassment over making friends with mechanical doors who he believes have feeling that can be hurt in the first place.
- When I walk past an automatic door and it opens for me, I worry that if I don't go in I'll hurt its feelings.
- [Automatic door whirrs open.]
- Cueball: Oh, um, I'm sorry, I was just... um... I guess I can hang out for a bit.
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