Who’s the cutest one of all?

October 11, 2011

I’m going to do something a little different today.

There is this writer named Bart King, whose job is almost as much fun as mine. He turns out books with titles like “Big Book of Gross Stuff” and “Pocket Guide to Mischief.”

His latest one, called “Cute! A Guide to All Things Adorable,” has just been published, and I enjoyed it very much. Bart offers clever insight into what makes things seem cute, and why.

My readers are interested in cute stuff, so I sent Bart six photos that have appeared here. I asked him to apply his own criteria and grade them on cuteness, which he was nice enough to do.

Bart says the LEAST cute one is the photo at the top, adding, “I find nothing cute about a group of immature pandas awaiting autopsies.”

Oh, did I mention this Bart guy can be fairly twisted?

Bart liked the Obama group shot with Brady, the incredible image-boosting golden retriever, until he noticed that the stuffed animal in Brady’s mouth looks “suspiciously like my missing friend, Dr. Sugar-mittens!”

Shown the shot of Medo the bear making friends with a dog, Bart chose to see it as “a bear chewing a dog….” I guess it may be time for Bart to take some psychological tests.

Then there is the Duchess of Cambridge. Bart’s comment starts out okay, but then takes a disturbing dip:

“We respond favorably to dimples because we associate them with youth. We also—

“Hang on, my wife just popped in. What’s that, honey? Oh, the Blog Guy asked me to explain why Kate Middleton is cute. Wait, sweetie, you know that my definition of cute is ‘charming in an innocent way.’ Hey, wait! Where are you going? Honey?”

That brings us to the chimpanzee feeding a tiger cub, one of this blog’s all-time favorites.

It turns out to be one of Bart’s favorites, too. And which quality of this tender scene appeals to Bart, the genuine expert on cuteness?

“Three words: Denim primate shorts.”

Sigh. Okay, finally, Bart’s pick as the very cutest of these six shots is Bimas, the baby elephant, and here is his reasoning:

“The key to making accurate cuteness assessments is to remove emotion from the equation. That’s why I am cool and calculating as I scientifically analyze each of my subjects.

“Thus, this baby elephant epitomizes cuteness because it reminds me of the film ‘Dumbo.’ You know, when Dumbo’s mom is locked in a cage? And she and her little baby elephant can only touch with their trunks…”

I’m sorry, readers, Bart is sobbing uncontrollably and appears unable to continue at this time. If the subject interests you, hey, just buy his damned book.

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Top: Giant panda cubs lie in a crib at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu, Sichuan province September 26, 2011. REUTERS/China Daily

President Barack Obama poses with members of the family who owns the Grasshopper antique store, along with their golden retriever Brady, in LeClaire, Iowa, August 16, 2011. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Brown bear cub Medo plays with the Logar family dog in Podvrh village, central Slovenia June 1, 2011. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic

Britain’s Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge speaks to people during a visit to the Summerfield Community Centre, in the Winson Green area of Birmingham, August 19, 2011. REUTERS/Geoff Pugh/Pool

Two-year-old chimpanzee “Do Do” feeds milk to “Aorn”, a 60-day-old tiger cub, at Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo in Samut Prakan province on the outskirts of Bangkok July 30, 2011. REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang

Four-day-old Elephant calf Bimas walks in an enclosure during his first day in public in the Tierpark zoo in Berlin, March 19, 2010. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

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19 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

That reminds me. My great-aunt used to breed dogs, until one day she realised they could do it for themselves.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

Medo is a vampire. Nothing cute there, move along folks, move along.

I like the way Bart thinks. Maybe you can get him to guest blog next time you take one of your frequent vacations?

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

Okay, Dave, you’re just asking for more pix of that Spanish duchess….

http://blogs.reuters.com/oddly-enough/20 11/10/09/meet-the-duchess-of-holiday-wee kends/

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

I humbly offer a haiku:

The cutest photo
In eyes of the beholder
Or the expert, Bart

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

Some people like photos that are cute
Some like those with shoes and boots
Some like those of Kate
Or sumo wrestlers with their plates
But I find the text with them to be a hoot

References follow:
1. http://blogs.reuters.com/oddly-enough/?u ber-search=0&s=cute
2. http://blogs.reuters.com/oddly-enough/?u ber-search=0&s=shoes
3. http://blogs.reuters.com/oddly-enough/?u ber-search=0&s=Kate+Middleton
4. http://blogs.reuters.com/oddly-enough/20 11/08/21/youll-have-to-wrestle-me-for-th e-check/
5. http://blogs.reuters.com/oddly-enough/?u ber-search=0&s=humor

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

First off, since you didn’t even try to mention how cute George the Crab is, he is in a sulk, big time! Also, those ‘dimples’ are just the start of secondary and tertiary chins.

Blog Guy, please tell your friend Bart that George has his missing Dr Sugar-Mittens, and for a nice fee for not disembowling him, DSM will be returned.

Posted by uncarastus | Report as abusive

Who knew that Medo Bear was a great orator.
‘Friends, Romans, country-dogs, lend me your ears’. Om nom nom nom.

Posted by Somnambulist | Report as abusive

Oh you know what my pick would be. :)

Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

the dog doesn’t seem to be enjoying the experience as much as Medo is.

BRADY!!! You are the cutest of all :P

Posted by GeorgiaPeach | Report as abusive

The top picture of pandas does resembles pictures that I have seen on TV, of the end result of breeding farms for SS members, and their flings with unmarried gals, to try to bring about the super race!

Posted by uncarastus | Report as abusive

It’s time for an afternoon haiku:

Primate denim shorts
Pandas await autopsies
Bart: twisted, funny

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

This is a truly exceptional blog, Blog Guy. Although now that I think about it, I should be outraged: The commenters are funnier than the “special” guest!

Posted by BartKing | Report as abusive

@BartKing: I think I speak for all of us commenters when I say… Nah, we’re amateurs. You and the Blog Guy are professionals. We commenters are well aware of the distinction. The Blog Guy says you guys are licensed or something: http://blogs.reuters.com/oddly-enough/20 11/10/06/come-back-sarah-its-not-too-lat e/.

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

“I find nothing cute about a group of immature pandas awaiting autopsies.”

Blog Guy, you’re ace. :)

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

Thanks, Crow, but remember, the stuff in italics is from Bart, so technically HE’S ace… I know it’s complicated today, since normally I do BOTH parts of the conversation myself…

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Sheesh, and I’m the one who has to take the psychological tests? (BTW, I think I passed!)

Posted by BartKing | Report as abusive

Good for you Bart! None of us passed. The tests. The psychological tests, that is. That’s why we all comment here. You should seriously consider your mental health at risk if you hang out here too much.

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

@BartKing, “denim primate shorts”. Bravo to you sir! Charlie Sheen can’t even win that hard!

And the assessment of Medo is spot on. He is chewing a dog. It’s called practice for when he brings his wrath upon the world. Medo, we see through your cuteness, we know the devil lies within! Then the pandas shall wake and the pandapocalypse will be on us! We are all dooooooooooomed!

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

@Nosmo: Good grin!

@Bart: Interesting that you HAVE to take the psych tests. We all volunteered!

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

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