One of the interesting things that I've noticed more acutely of late is the notion of showing affection to a person by being offensive to them.

Probably the best case in point is Kurt. Also known as Kurtthepope (http://thepope.org), Kurt is a dependable friend, tireless worker, and all around good guy. However, nate, myself, CmdrTaco, and CowboyNeal show affection to him by mercilessly persecuting him.

The radio show we do, Geeks in Space is a great example. Every week, Kurt gets a whole slew of e-mail from people that we ask to e-mail him. This week, we asked people to send him e-mails with one thousand zeros in it. So many people sent it to him, Outlook crashed.

Hurm. I wonder why we do this?

This technique is also used by preeteens and other people who haven't quite figured out how to flirt. From personal experience, some examples might be: teasing, ice down the shirt, pulling pigtails, stealing schoolbooks, making faces, stealing jello at lunch, etc...

From Bill Wattersons excellent comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes:

Susie: HEY, CALVIN! Are we near a slaughterhouse, or did you forget your deodorant?!
Calvin: DROP DEAD, SUSIE! You're so ugly, I hear your mom puts a bag over your head before she kisses you goodnight!!

Calvin: It's shameless the way we flirt.

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