mark cerqueira well-rounded nerd

赶着投胎 - Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Chinese has a bunch of pithy four-character idioms that capture a teaching. Think fables but much shorter. One of my favorites is: 赶着投胎 (gǎn zhe tóu tāi). It translates to “rush reincarnation” and is used to describe people who are in a rush to meet their end through some dangerous action so they can be reincarnated. Imagine the Darwin Awards but in Chinese.

Situations that are 赶着投胎:

  • Texting while driving
  • Speeding and swerving through a congested highway
  • Driving in the left lane below the speed limit
  • Changing lanes without using your turn signal

Today we can add another thing to this list that isn’t directly related to the terrible driving conditions in California: wearing noise-cancelling headphones outside. It’s something I’ve been seeing more and more of late and it makes absolutely zero sense to me. Yes, humans are rely primarily on their visual sense to get around and dodge trouble but it is incredibly myopic to cut off a sense that gives you coverage of things going on to your sides and rear.

Does your friend wear noise-cancelling headphones outside? Help them see the light and help them hear the incoming trouble.

P.S. My other favorite pithy idiom is 脱裤子放屁 (tuō kùzi fàngpì) which translates to “take off pants to fart.” Throw it at someone doing something completely unnecessary, serving only complicate something. We should all strive to fart with our pants on.