Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Night My Parents were My Scientific Subjects (StoredStory # 10)

The Ghostbusters movies and cartoon left an indelible impression on me. I used to watch the movies regularly and would never miss the Saturday morning cartoon.

I loved everything about Ghostbusters. The humor, the ghosts, the goblins, the spirit worlds, and the scientific feel. In fact, seeing Egan be so intellectual inspired me to experiment. And, indeed one night I did do an experiment because of Ghostbusters II. This was the night my parents became the subjects of my scientific experiment.

In the second movie, it's five years later, the Ghostbusters are out of business, and we see each Ghostbuster doing his own thing. Ray and Winston are making appearances at the birthday parties of over privileged children, Egan is doing scientific experiments, and Peter is hosting a TV show called World of the Psychic.

It was Egan's experiment that got my juices flowing. In the scene where Dana visits Egan because her baby carriage supernaturally ran away, Egan is testing how human feelings might affect the surrounding environments. In particular, he observes a married couple who believe they are waiting for couples' therapy. He has made them wait a long time while also incrementally increasing the temperature in the waiting room they are in. They seem explosively and deliciously angry.

Hmmm.  In my ten-year-old brain, I wondered if raising the temperature would affect my parents. So, one night, I inched up the thermostat a little. Then, moments later, I went back and edged the arm toward 85 just a little more. It was nearing bed time but, with clipboard in hand,  I began observing the parents. "Uhh hmmm!" I would say to myself as if I were on to great discoveries. But, that didn't last long.

I didn't notice any flaring tempers, which was odd. Maybe heat had the opposite effect on them. At some point, sleep overtook me, but when I woke the next morning I remember asking my dad if he felt mad. I then explained my experiment.

"You know, I thought it was a little hotter in here!" He seemed rather amused about the whole thing.

Even though this experiment was a bust,  it had still been fun trying to see if I got the result I wanted to get.

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