I must have taken a psychology course or two at university, because hundreds of classic experiments are filed away in my head under T for Things-I-Surprise-Myself-By-Remembering-Despite-Having-to-Look-Up-My-Own-Phone-Number. One of the experiments involved rats and cocaine.  The rats would press a lever and receive a tiny drop of cocaine. Crazed with happiness, they would then continue to press the levers, despite cocaine appearing only once every ten, then twenty, then 100 presses. Poor devils couldn't live without their buzz.


Are you thinking e-mail?  I am.

I get about 100 emails a day.  Because I work on a mac, none of them is for viagra.  Some are thrilling and life-changing, most are not.

But every time the damn Ping! goes, I click my mail icon to check it out. 

Ping! Click. Ping! Click. Ping! Click.

"Why don't you turn off the Ping?" asks my husband. "Or better yet, the internet."

I look at him like he's mad. "Are you mad?" I say. "And waste less time?"

Ping! Click.

I am no better than a rat.

Worse in fact. I just read an article reporting that rats prefer saccharine to cocaine, and will gorge on artificial sweeteners till they drop dead from lever-pressing fatigue.

Saccharine doesn't do it for me. Has to be Oreos.