As metaphors go, the one about a highly messy semi-solid hitting a rotary ventilating device has always divided users along decency lines. Who among us has decided to use the shit version, only to realise too late that spaghetti might have been a more tactful choice, given an audience containing, say, women, clergy or the hard of hearing?
But what of accuracy? If one substance could be shown beyond doubt to be more catastrophical in a fan-collision context, surely there would be an end to any doubt. If, say, shit caused the greatest confusion, then that would be the obvious choice, irrespective of issues of taste and decency. Meanwhile, if spaghetti put more 'cats among the pigeons' wouldn't that be the better option?
What Metaphor? magazine is about to end the dichotomy, after extensive lab tests involving both substances. WM?'s Mike Butler revealed that faecal matter of diverse consistencies was hurled at non-Dyson cooling devices, and precisely the same amount of spaghetti - with a a diversity of sauces - was similarly thrown. The results were measured spectrascopically.
"For a while we at WM? wrestled with what we called the "plausibility factor," said Butler. "Whereas one can imagine - in say a stereotypical marital dispute - the spaghetti option occurring in life, the shit option seemed less realistic, if not downright perverse. But some of our testers viewed that very perversity as part of the metaphorical force of the shit option, and in the end we stuck to a strictly empirical set of lab tests, which will soon be available on You tube.
Asked whether WM? considered using any other pasta dishes in the test, Butler commented: "Fuck that for a game of soldiers."