Two items to add to your imperfect potato collection:
First, an influential (it has been cited in one other study) study, in a singular writing style:
“Possible Mechanisms of Human Teratogenesis by Imperfect Potato,” Isabel Gal, Humangenetik, vol. 19, no. 3-4, 1973, pp. 311-314. Here is an imperfect potato extract:
Second, an admission, by Dean Burnett, writing in The Guardian:
Lonely potato syndrome: how I invented a mental disorder
It’s possible to create a psychological condition accidentally – one that apparently spreads. No wonder getting people to appreciate the severity of genuine mental illness is such an uphill struggle…
So when asked if I had any weird habits or quirks, I said “I don’t like cooking a single jacket potato as I think it looks lonely.”
They really liked this, and wanted to explore it further. It ended with their filming me traipsing around a market, buying two of every vegetable due to my “condition” and talking to people about it (ie just making stuff up).
I’m not proud of this; it felt dangerously close to pretending to have a psychological problem. My “section” never made the final cut, for which I was very grateful, but that’s not the point of the anecdote.
When the director spoke to me, he confessed that he had this problem too. Several of the crew said the same. A producer mentioned speaking to people in the office and yes, it was quite a common anxiety people had.
This would all be fine, if it weren’t for one important fact: I MADE IT UP!