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Jeffrey P. Bigham

The beauty of muffin bottoms

Jeffrey P. Bigham

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Today, I broke with tradition and had a chocolate chip cappucino muffin when I visited Tully's coffee. I rarely go to Tully's, but might start going more now that they offer free wireless Internet. I'm not sure if this is true at all Tully's coffee establishments, but it's true in Seattle. But, I digress, the real point of this article is the lesson we can learn from muffins.

Muffins, particularly, the muffin tops are awesome. Muffin tops, despite being created from the same muffin stuff as the muffin bottom, are amazing. Everyone knows this. A while back, some genius decided that if muffin tops are so good, we should eliminate the muffin bottoms all together. Soon, you could buy muffins without the bottom at psuedo-trendy, yuppie places like Panera bread. But, it didn't work, the muffin top minus its bottom just didn't maintain its appeal. Failing to recognize the lesson in all of this, a pretzel manufacturer soon after released the pretzel chip, which, following a similar logic had tried to market only the outside, yummy part of the pretzel to similar lack of success. So what's the deal?

Humans are built to notice contrast, not absolute quality. Just like certain invididuals stand out as gorgeous even though we are all hairy apes, the muffin top far surpasses its peer the muffin bottom. I think a lesson can be learned from the dear muffin top: pretend average is uglier than it is and you'll find beauty in whatever you see, maybe even a muffin bottom...or the creepy, dirty guy that stares at you when you're waiting for your bus.

Jeffrey P. Bigham
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