Photo: Joe Raedle (Getty Images)

There are so many reasons to feel upset when thinking about Mitt “Mittens” Romney, but, for today at least, let’s just zoom in on one specific thing: his absolutely bizarre approach to blowing out birthday candles.

Thanks to journalist Bradford Pearson, we have a video in which Romney is presented with a birthday cake made of Twinkies. Just in case you think this fun, idiosyncratic preference for atypical cake construction makes Romney more relatable, he swiftly dashes that idea by blowing out the candles like a complete lunatic, picking each off one at a time to perform the operation with all the mechanical grace of a robot imperfectly modelling real human behavior.

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As a hall full of staffers watches on, squeaking out laughs at Romney’s terrible jokes—”What are you guys gonna have?” he says while looking at the cake—the senator carefully plucks a candle, blows it out, holds it upright in his presumably corpse-cold hand, then repeats the process for what seems an eternity.

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“Don’t burn yourself,” someone says off-screen, unaware that Romney’s polymer-silicon flesh coating is nonflammable.

“These are all wishes I’m getting,” he replies, gizmos whirring while he continues his candle-removing subroutine.

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Some people—likely plainclothes engineers from the factory that makes the Romney Series cyborg—have jumped in to defend the technique.

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And yet, as others have replied, Romney’s method apparently doesn’t actually minimize germ-and saliva-spreading. This is also a moot point as the mouths of robot men are coated only in a sterile saline solution and cannot communicate illness.

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If none of that changes your mind, consider Vic Berger’s illuminating video of the historic candle-blowing and promise yourself never, ever, to follow in Romney’s titanium-heavy footsteps at your next birthday.

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