The Lazy Gene

Genetic scientists have apparently discovered that — at least in rats — there may be a gene that predisposes you to laziness. An experiment at the University of Missouri (whose findings appeared this week in the American Journal of Physiology) bred the most active treadmill-running rats with each other and the least-active rats with each other, and in a few generations the difference between their motivation to run was even more noticeable. The More-Active Rats were waking up early and whipping up some delicious protein shakes in their home juicers before going on a brisk jog around the maze in matching sweatbands, and the Less-Active Rats had Cheetos dust in their whiskers and spent most of the morning hitting their snooze buttons, whimpering gently and really intending to pick up their dry cleaning.

“We have shown that it is possible,” researcher Frank Booth noted, “to be genetically predisposed to being lazy.”

I would have written at greater length about this, but instead I drew this mediocre picture of a rat sitting in the middle of a maze checking its iPhone.

Like most People of Now, I am not lazy in the traditional sense. As (I think) Robert Benchley said, “Anyone can do any amount of work provided it is not the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment.” You should see how clean my apartment gets the second I have a piece of writing due anywhere — and how much writing I do the instant a laundry day is in order.

The only reason I am actually writing this piece at such length, which I realize sounds suspiciously like actual effort, is that otherwise I told myself I would go jogging or move, even slightly, from the chair in which I am currently seated.

Also, you could argue that this is pretty intellectually lazy because I am using myself as an example six times. I almost wish I hadn’t quoted Benchley now, but going back and changing it would be too much effort.

How much writing can you do about laziness before you start to defeat the point? [FIND SOME CLICHES AND PUT THEM HERE]

I found, by doing the very minimum Googling possible, a blog post that said lazy writing used Too Many Modifiers so here are some modifiers: grossly, slovenly, gravelly.

If you’re worried you might be lazy, here is a list of signs:

1. [PUT MORE STUFF HERE]

2. [You could argue that this is actually a meta-commentary on laziness because that joke about laziness was so lazy, but constructing a meta-commentary on laziness sounds like the sort of thing that takes actual effort.]

And I’m not even sure if I have the gene! It sounds like a big hassle to go in and get tested, though.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.
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Alexandra Petri | April 9, 2013