The foremost proponent of posnology

No, John Markarian said, he did not want to say a few words at his 100th birthday party.
Not that he is incapable. He still has a strong, clear voice and a very sharp mind. He just thought it unnecessary.
Until the guests started shouting, “Speech! Speech!”
That was right after we sang Happy Birthday.
John acquiesced and soon had the gathering laughing with his boyish (yes, even at 100) charm and self-deprecating humor. But most of his remarks centered on an explanation of the term “posnology.”
That was my fault, or perhaps my wife’s. She had suggested I make a poster for the occasion and added that I should include “posnology” in it.
The 24 by 36 poster I produced featured one of my favorite photos of John with the message, in gold ink, “A celebration of John Markarian’s FIRST 100 years.”
Across the bottom, in smaller, white type, I placed, “All certified, card-carrying posnologists admitted free.”
A handful of the party-goers got a chuckle out of that, but most had never heard of the term. So when he got to the mic, John felt obligated to fill them in.
A Harvard professor, he explained, was delivering a talk about a study he had supervised in which children were shown films of different types of behavior in adults. In some of the films, the adults were not nice at all. In others, they were kindly. The children were asked which adults they liked best and not surprisingly, picked the kindly ones. The vote was unanimous.
This appreciation of goodness along with the perpetration of it, John explained, was termed by the Harvard professor “posnology.”
The group, hanging on John’s every word, was enlightened and intrigued. Many, one would assume, would delve further into posnology and perhaps themselves become posnologists.
But unbeknownst to them, they would be quite frustrated in their quest.
See, there is no such thing as posnology.
What John forgot to mention in his birthday party remarks is that the story he told was a dream. And because he shared it with those of us who see him on a regular basis, it has become a running gag.
There are no posnologists appreciating and perpetrating goodness.
Oh that there were.
And if there were, I have a suggestion for their leader.

Ed Ackerman