Named as such because I have a perfect right to give my own theory — which is actually not a theory — the silliest name I can think of. So … named as such for the armadillo at the beginning of Tod Browning’s 1931 version of Dracula, with Bela Lugosi. And because I attached the wrong name to it. I’ve consistently conflated those two all of my life, because I only remember them as being at the beginning of the dictionary. (Also, because there’s a third word — “ant-eater” — also sitting near the front of the book.)
My method is, you can sum up a situation with something much better than a pro’s and con’s. Consider each variable/factor and number it between -3 and +3. Zero is neither good nor bad, as you’d expect, etc. Then you add it up. That’s it.
For example. I once wanted to ask this one woman out. Here’s that dilemma examined according to the Dracula Had An Aardvark Theory.
- Successful risk builds character [+2]
- A negative outcome would be humiliating [-2]
- The hope of dating [+1]
- Recklessness spurred by attraction [+2]
- A history of social anxiety and awkwardness [-2]
- The likelihood of the outcome [-2]
- Asking out a woman in her workplace [-3]
So that’s -4. They’re just relative gradations, but man, negative four is way inadvisable. Doing a pro’s and con’s would yield four negatives and three positives, which would add up to a -1. Still the same advice, but not as clear-cut.