The Piñata Treatment describes a situation in which one receives instruction from so many different directions as to render it all useless.
“Go to the left. To the right. YOUR right, MY left… Forward…No, backward. Almost there. You had it…Higher. Lower…” There’s no way a blindfolded guest at a child’s birthday—or a fledgling carpenter atop a ladder—can make use of so much simultaneous and conflicting input. Yet the advice-giving becomes its own competition, with spectators vying louder and more frantically to be heard.
Before you know it, the piñata contestant feels like the piñata itself.
But, as we learned in construction class this week, people are not piñatas. When you whack a rainbow-striped papier-mâché donkey to its breaking point, it will shower you with a cheerful spray of candy and confetti; whereas, when you strike a middle-aged woman too many times with too much advice, she just might rain upon you a sudden and bilious torrent of exasperation so as to make you realize the game’s not much fun anymore.
Candy not withstanding, there is nothing sweet about the Piñata Treatment.