How to Get a Ride Home for the Cost of a Pizza Delivery


Experimental Domino's delivery vehicle. [Photograph: Hugo90 on Flickr]

From the obituary of geriatric psychiatrist Gene D. Cohen in the New York Times today:

In the opening chapter of his latest book, "The Mature Mind," Dr. Cohen related an anecdote that in many ways encapsulated his theories. His in-laws had arrived for a visit in Washington in the midst of a snowstorm and emerged from the subway lost. Unable to hail a cab or reach the Cohen family by phone, Dr. Cohen's father-in-law had an idea. He and his wife walked across the street to a pizza parlor, ordered a pizza for a delivery to the Cohen house, and then insisted that the delivery man take them, too.

"This favorite family story illustrates the sort of agile creativity that the aging mind can produce," Dr. Cohen wrote, adding: "Age allows our brains to accumulate a repertoire of strategies developed from a lifetime of experience -- part of what has been referred to by other researchers as crystallized intelligence. Howard hadn't done the pizza parlor routine before, but the accumulated experience of other successful strategies helped stimulate the thinking that produced a creative solution."