Jumping to the obvious conclusion

Jen and I have a couple of phrases we like to use tongue-in-cheek when one of us puts forward a totally ridiculous hyphothesis: "There you go: jumping to the obvious conclusion yet again" and "It's the only logical explanation". A typical conversation might go something like this:

"Have you seen the cheese-grater? It's not in the drawer."
"I think it must have been stolen by aliens wanting to learn about our advanced technology."
"There you go: jumping to the obvious conclusion yet again!"
"It's the only logical explanation."

Our use of these phrases is intended as a tribute to the many thousands of nutters out there who come up with horse-shit hypotheses which, for some bizarre reason, they genuinely expect us to believe.

This from the London Review of Books letters page earlier this month:

What Really Happened

Frank Kermode does not include in his discussion of the resurrection the gospel reference that gives the best clue about the death and resurrection of Jesus, namely John 19.34: 'Forthwith came there out blood and water' (LRB, 20 March). There can be only one possible explanation for this happening after the spear had been thrust into his side: Jesus had a large pleural effusion, which the spear released. This diagnosis explains a good deal that is otherwise puzzling in the gospel stories. Although he had previously walked everywhere, Jesus needed an ass for his final entry into Jerusalem. Also, he was unable to carry his cross, which other men of his age could carry easily. A pleural effusion this size would have been accumulating for some time. It would have been tuberculous, and so Jesus would have been getting steadily weaker. It isn't surprising that he felt 'he was not long for this world.'

The story in John implies that the soldiers were surprised to find Jesus dead so soon. With the effusion pressing on his heart and his body fixed upright he would probably have gone into severe heart failure, and would have appeared dead even though his heart itself was perfectly sound. The spear blow that was expected to finish him off might actually have saved his life by relieving the pressure on his heart. Being laid horizontally would have allowed the blood and fluids pooled in his legs to return into circulation, a process assisted by the coolness of the tomb. He might, in these circumstances, have regained consciousness and thus have seemed to be resurrected.

Dr Roger James

This chap's got real class. You can read Frank Kermode's response here.

(The cheese-grater was in the dishwasher, by the way.)

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. Maybe Jesus just needed some ass. As Robin Williams said in Good Morning Vietnam 'you are more in need of a blow-job than anyone I've ever met'. Just think of all the grief we'd have been spared if Judas had given him some of the 30 pieces of silver and told him to go the wrong side of the cart-tracks.

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