Experiment 1.

NOTE: This post will be password-protected for the duration of the experiment (Saturday, April 25th, 2009 until Saturday, May 2nd, 2009).

At dinner/trivia tonight, my friend “Amanda” and I were engaging in some good old-fashioned ripping on each other. Another teammate thought that we were sniping a little harder than usual. I didn’t think so, and neither did Amanda. But it reminded me that every once in a blue moon, I do encounter people who don’t appreciate my particular brand of humor.

In an otherwise horrible movie I watched recently, a character said that sometimes you a person can joke around so much that one day he’ll find he’s not joking anymore. In other words, the person who finds sarcastic, insult-comic, abrasive humor funny runs the risk of internalizing it and becoming a genuinely mean, bitter bastard.

Now, I happen to know that in my case, the opposite is happening. I’m a happier and kinder man than I was a year ago, or five years ago, or ten years ago. But would anyone else believe it?

Hence the experiment: On Saturday, Amanda and her husband, “Ear33Wig,” are throwing a party. Starting at the moment I walk into that party, I will neither say nor write anything mean or sarcastic for one full Earth week. In fact, I will say as many nice things as possible.

It may well be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I don’t know how the recipients of my compliments and the non-recipients of my sarcasm will react. I’ll keep you posted.

[Updated 9:51 PM ET, Tuesday, May 5th, 2009]

During the week in question, I made one sarcastic statement and three statements that probably would have been interpreted as “mean” by the average observer. I’ll take the fact that I could count the number of slip-ups on one hand as a promising sign.