Sep 23 2010

The Hijinks which ensued


My dad was a hypnotist. Have I ever mentioned that? He was. Being a curious lass, I read all his training material. He was not a stage hypnotist, but aspired to be a therapeutic one. Quit smoking, lose weight; that sort of thing.

Anyway, I hate being hypnotized, so I sat in the back row at the company function.

The “comedy hypnotist” was quite good, and professional, and hit the right tone with the level of humor. He didn’t have a large pool to draw on, as most people declined to volunteer, and most volunteers turned out not to be suceptable.

He ended up with just two subjects — let’s call them Mike and Spike. Mike was, to my jaded and skeptical eye, obviously faking; Spike was not.

And that’s where it became interesting to me: watching and comparing the fake with the genuine.

Mike always took it one step further: told to fall asleep, he drooped down dramatically sideways on the chair; told that Spike smelled wonderful, he started nibbling on Spike’s shoulder. The thing that would make it just one touch funnier was exactly what Mike would do.

Spike, told that Mike smelled bad, just changed his seat. Told that he could not remember his last name, he swore under his breath when asked and was annoyed and embarrassed.

When the hypnotist said that Spike and Mike would do whatever the toy doll in the hypnotist’s hand did, Mike’s movements were broad and attention-getting; Spike’s just happened, apparently without him even realizing it.

When the hypnotist then bit the doll on the butt, Mike leapt up and ostentatiously looked around; Spike also leapt up, looked behind and around annoyance, and then somewhat groggily tried to slip out of the room without being noticed. The hypnotist stopped him in time, brought him back, and made absolutely sure Spike was still willing to serve as a volunteer subject.

So, an opportunity to observe the false and genuine side-by-side. An education useful to any steerswoman.