Tuesday, March 23, 2010


If you spend enough time with a person you will discover their buttons.

What are buttons?

Buttons are those topics or ideas that will drive people into fits of rage.  They are subject matters that you dare not speak of lest you are prepared for angry rebuttal.

What do you do with buttons?

You push them.

Every person has several buttons to push but I will give a brief case study so you can understand the concept.

One topic that my dear old dad can not stand is Dave Parker.  Parker AKA "The Cobra" was a decent outfielder for the dreaded Pittsburgh Pirates during the 70s and 80s.  He was also arrogant and got caught up in a huge cocaine scandal that left the reputation of the club in a death spiral for a good decade.
Dad loathes him.  He detests him.  Therefore, Parker is one of my father's buttons, a button I like to push.

Here is an example of how to do so.

(Fictional conversation between my father and I, drinking coffee and reading the paper).
Father:  Hey.  The Pirates lost again last night.
Me:  I caught the last three innings.  Their outfield is horrible.
Father:  Yeah, definitely.
Me:  Dad, who do think was the Pirates best outfielder?
Father:  Roberto Clemente.  Without a doubt.
Me:  I'm leaning toward Dave Parker.

Pow.  If my father had a blood pressure cuff on at this moment it would register 30 points higher.  Two things might now happen; a rant about how Parker is not fit to hold Clemente's jock (correct assessment, by the way) or dad might just shake his head and mutter, "F@#$ing Parker" to himself.  It depends on how much coffee and sleep he has had, but the fact remains, one of his buttons has been pushed.

Now get out there and start pushing.  People you love will thank you for it.


  1. Dad is a great man. See if he wants to come out of retirement. There is a bag of bread crumbs waiting for him.

  2. Ask anyone who knows me. I am a button pusher from way back. :) If you doubt that, check my latest blog posting. Most of my friends and family are of the Fox News ilk. I love pushing their buttons. Especially because I know I'm right (no pun intended) and they are wrong. And most of them know they're wrong. That's why it's so easy to push their buttons.
    In fact, I've often wondered if my purpose in life was to push buttons because I've been doing it so long. I've also been called an "instigator." Same difference. I do like to rock the boat. Makes life so much more interesting.