Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Oh my god. It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. To my fellow researchers, I’m so sorry. If my body and this note are ever found, I wish my family and friends the best. I love all of you. How did this happen? It was a routine experiment and now I’m huddled over in a closet trying to preserve the last fleeting moments of my life by scribbling on a cardboard box. The experiment was simple: To observe the effects of various levels of stress on people’s hand strength. We would just apply gentle stress to our subjects and then test to see how easily they could hold an object. It’s the kind of boring experiment we could all do in our sleep. We selected as our test subjects six convicts awaiting the electric chair for murder, on average six feet eight inches tall and 375 lbs. We placed them all in a controlled testing environment and applied the first level of stress: Calling them names, ranging from generic playground teases to very specific references to their mothers’ armpit hair. Next we applied another level of stress by attaching electrodes to their nipples and giving charges of 2,000 volts until the subject requested we turn it off or his nipples were completely blackened, whichever came last. We then applied the third level by slapping their genitals with a ping pong paddle for six minutes. Finally we tested the subjects’ ability to hold objects by giving them standard household items: a knife, a stick of dynamite, a handgun, a circular saw, hedge clippers, and a flamethrower. Instead of performing the requested exercise, the convicts instantly used the items to kill all of my fellow researchers. That behavior was not covered at all in the scientific method. I hope our research will not completely go to waste. It seems we found that convicted murderers are likely to continue to murder if provided with weapons after having their genitals slapped. What’s that? I hear a knocking on the closet door. And it feels very hot out there, as if someone has a flamethrower. I hypothesize that I am about to die.