Once in a rare while, we are presented with an idea that is either particularly genius, mind-blowingly brilliant and gloriously simple, or it’s just shy of completely ridiculous, born out of some fever dream taking place on the Planet Wacko. It’s not our job to judge, but to present such theories, which is why today we’re taking on something called The Kindly Brontosaurus.
Yes, The Kindly Brontosaurus! Doesn’t the name just make you feel at ease, peaceful and happy in the presence of such a large, lumbering yet benign beast?
Slate’s Jessica Winter introduces The Kindly Brontosaurus (hereafter as TKB) as a posture and attitude combined to incline the universe (and all the people in it) to give you what you want. Before you get all “B-b-b-but Brontosauruses are really Apatosauruses!” yes, we know. Moving on!
According to Winter, to accomplish the TKB you lean forward slightly, hands in a prayerful clasp, with a benevolent yet alert smile on your face. Half creepy, half patient, but always effective at say, a gate agent’s ticket counter where you’re trying to nab a seat on a flight, or while facing off with a cranky bouncer at a cooler-than-thou club.
A practitioner, nay, an artist, of the Kindly Brontosaurus method would approach the gate agent as follows. You state your name and request. You make a clear and concise case. And then, after the gate agent informs you that your chances of making it onto this flight are on par with the possibility that a dinosaur will spontaneously reanimate and teach himself to fly an airplane, you nod empathically, say something like “Well, I’m sure we can find a way to work this out,” and step just to the side of the agent’s kiosk.
Here is where the Kindly Brontosaurus rears amiably into the frame. You must stand quietly and lean forward slightly, hands loosely clasped in a faintly prayerful arrangement. You will be in the gate agent’s peripheral vision—close enough that he can’t escape your presence, not so close that you’re crowding him—but you must keep your eyes fixed placidly on the agent’s face at all times. Assemble your features in an understanding, even beatific expression. Do not speak unless asked a question. Whenever the gate agent says anything, whether to you or other would-be passengers, you must nod empathically.
Continue as above until the gate agent gives you your seat number. The Kindly Brontosaurus always gets a seat number.
We want to believe, with our whole hearts, that this can work. But considering we can’t simply snap fingers and place ourselves into a situation like the one above, we want to put a call out to you, our dear army of readers. Turn into a Kindly Brontosaurus the next time you find yourself in need of assistance. Clasp the hands, bend forward slightly, and smile like the implacable prehistoric beast you are.
Don’t eat the two ferns next to you and ignore the Allasaurus raging nearby (unless he’s threaten to eat your young and then trample his cranky butt), just do your best dino impression and see if you can get results. Let us know if you’ve pulled this off by sending an email to email@example.com with the subject line I AM A BRONTOSAURUS.