Not all of the stuff in this article (hat tip to Len Holgate for leading me to it) strikes a chord for me, but I’m sure anybody who knows me (especially if they’ve worked with me) can recognize The Snap. In my case it usually takes the form of a “what kind of insect is this” look, but it’s basically the same thing.

No one deserves to be on the receiving end of The Snap. All you were really doing was coming in to see when I was done because we agreed we’d go surfing this afternoon. Still, I got in The Zone and I’m writing this wicked article and WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU WANT? The Snap is a glare, a raised voice… something designed to indicate you are PISSING ME OFF with your presence.

It’s not fair, I realize that, but think of it like this. If you walk up to me and slap me across the face, I’m not going to think, “Why’d you do that?” I’m not going to take the time to dissect the situation. My instinct is going to be pure, primal, and immediate. I’m going to slap you back.

The reason for this irrational reaction is antiquated brain wiring. Four million years ago it was to my evolutionary advantage to respond to slaps as quickly as possible because they were often precursors to being eaten. Rather than piping my slap response through the “What is a Reasonable Response?” portion of my brain, it’s wired straight into my “React Immediately or Else” area. Somehow, The Snap response has the same wiring. Invasion of The Zone is akin to some primal activity that required the brain to wire itself for immediate, irrational response.