Because I kind of have to

The general consensus on yesterday’s chat (which was an awfully good one; do read it if you haven’t!) was that “gift guides” in magazines, blogs, etc. are rather pointless. And yet — and yet —

I must. Because not only is Miss Conduct’s Mind Over Manners an excellent, stocking-sized, and reasonably priced Christmas or Hanukkah gift, but

(drum roll)

Mr. Improbable has opened up a Cafe Press store! You can get t-shirts, mugs, and all the usual decorated with the Improbable Research logo, or ones identifying you as an “Improbable Researcher.”

My favorites are the Miss-Sweetie-Poo-inspired items. The Ig Nobels are an awards ceremony honoring achievements that first make people laugh and then make them think, and like all awards ceremonies, tend to run over time because the winners make excessively long speeches. Tended, that is, until Mr. Improbable came up on the brilliant solution of Miss Sweetie Poo.

Miss Sweetie Poo is an adorable eight-year-old girl in a party dress, who, when a speaker has gone over the allotted time limit, will march over to the podium and announce, in a clear, loud voice, “Please stop. I’m bored. Please stop. I’m bored. Please stop. I’m bored. Please stop. I’m bored.”

She doesn’t stop until they do, and it works.

So we’ve got some lovely “Please stop, I’m bored” merchandise as well. Mugs are classic, of course:


But I’m particularly fond of the bib, myself:


(The very first Miss Sweetie Poo is now a freshman in college. I wonder how often her trademark phrase occurs to her in class?)

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6 Responses to Because I kind of have to

  1. akmom says:

    So, how is Miss Sweetie Poo selected? I have a very adorable girl who loves to wear party dresses and who will be 8 very soon. I’m just sayin’…

  2. Robin says:

    Drop us an e-mail next July or August, which is when Sweetie Poo auditions start! We’re always on the lookout because, you know, they don’t stay eight forever. (We can usually squeeze a couple of years out of a slow grower, but once they’re taller than my husband, it’s just not as cute anymore.)

  3. Shulamuth says:

    You know, all these years I’ve been assuming that an adult, maybe even Lily Tomlim, was portraying Miss Sweetie Poo because that perfect tone of pre-adolescent ennui struck me as unlikely to come out of an actual pre-adolescent. I am so please to find out I was wrong.

  4. Robin says:

    Shulamuth, we pick our Sweetie Poos VERY carefully. (I asked Mr. Improbable if I could reveal our audition strategy, but he said no.) It’s not every little girl that can do it; they have to be sweet but implacable, and never too bratty.

    Here’s video of this year’s Igs, so you can see 2009’s excellent Sweetie Poo in action:

  5. Pingback: Improbable Research » Blog Archive » The reality of Miss Sweetie Poo

  6. Shulamuth says:

    You do an excellent job of Sweetie Poo selection! I’m impressed.

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