I Was Mesmerized

Better I say that I was hypnotised.

Franz Anton Mesmer, who discovered the phenomenon in the late 1700s, believed that it worked through ‘animal magnetism,’ and treated it like a parlor trick, entertaining the social elite in their homes or small halls.  A hypnotised person is not supposed to do anything beyond their moral limits.  It was revealing and disturbing, the limits that the minor aristocracy would go to.  Eventually, he was booed off his entertainment stage, and the term mesmerism took on a negative connotation.

In the summer of 1958, when I was 14, an entertainer booked the auditorium of the Town Hall for five evenings – Monday to Friday.  He put up posters on lamp posts and handed out small flyers.  He was a stage hypnotist, who promised an interesting and amusing show that included people clucking like chickens.  I HAD to see this.

I attended the Monday show.  I never thought about where he would get willing subjects until he asked for audience volunteers.  I was the first on my feet.  I didn’t feel hypnotized – whatever that was.  I was awake and aware, but felt no drive to do anything but just stand there.  My part came toward the end of the act.  He had me and a girl about my age hold our right arms out.  He lit a candle and passed it beneath her fingers.

She never moved a muscle, while I waggled my hand and acted disturbed.  When he asked me why I was upset, I told the audience that my fingers were hot.  I don’t remember them actually feeling hot, but I remembered that his flyer said that someone would experience it, so I gave him what the crowd expected.

All the volunteers got a pass for a later show.  I was busy Tuesday and Wednesday, but went to the Thursday show.  A University Professor used to give lectures, and when he was done, would tell his classes that psychology inhibited people from being the first to respond, so he always offered to take the Second question.  Thursday night, when he asked for audience participation…. crickets, nobody moved.  I again stood up, and there were five more behind me when I reached the stage.

Some people claim that, “I’m too intelligent to be hypnotised,” but practitioners say that more intelligent people are better subjects, because they are able to focus, and accept the required control.  This night, he saved me for the final part of the act – the piéce de résistance.

He had two of those uncomfortable, tubular steel and formed plywood, chairs placed about four feet apart, and had two of the other subjects sit in them.  He told me, Stand up straight.  You are firm.  You are hard.  You are strong.  You are rigid.  You are like a tree.  You are powerful.  You are as stiff as a lamp-post.  Then he poked me in the chest, and I fell over backward.  Two of the other enchanted assistants caught me, lifted me horizontally, and placed me across the backs of the two chairs.

The one contacted me just below the collarbone and above the shoulder blades.  The other met the back of my calf muscles.  There I hung, suspended in midair, planking, long before it became trendy.  But the show isn’t over, ladies and gentlemen.  Watch this.  He placed another chair in front of me, climbed up onto it, slowly turned to face the audience…. and carefully sat down on my stomach.

Even I was amazed, a scrawny little stick of a kid like me, holding up a 160 pound man.  I was completely aware of what was happening.  I wondered if I had any control over my body.  I allowed my abdominal muscles to relax about a quarter or half an inch.  He felt it, and intoned, Steady!  Steady!  Rigid!  Rigid!

He climbed down to thunderous applause, and turned back to his onstage rogues’ gallery, to begin un-hypnotizing all six of us – and there were only five.  Who was missing?  Where?  When?  How??!  This had never happened to him.  Hypnosis will eventually wear off, but he worried about a suggestible victim being given a direct command in public.

The one missing was a lad, two years older than me.  The hypnotist enjoined us to go looking for him, and take care of him if need be.  I went to his house, and told his father what had happened.  He just laughed, and went back to watching The Honeymooners.  With a 90/95 IQ level, between stupid and stubborn, the boy apparently did not go into a hypnotic trance.

I met him the next day, and he explained.  Nothing exciting happened to him during the show, and he was bored, and felt like a fool, just standing there.  While I was doing my levitation act, he drifted into the wings, down the back stairs, and off to the bowling alley in search of French fries and tourist girls.

I guess that shows like this may still exist in Las Vegas or Atlantic City lounges, but hypnosis has come to be used much more professionally and effectively to aid in combating drug or tobacco use, stress, depression, psychiatric and relationship problems.  My two experiences were all in fun, but it can be quite serious.  Have any of you had hypnosis therapy?

Flash Fiction #244

PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehuda

WHERE THERE’S SMOKE

Why can’t we stay up till midnight on New Year’s Eve??  What are they doing?

I don’t know.  Lift me up so that I can see over the counter…. Nuthin’ much, just drinkin’ cola outta glasses, talkin’ and smokin’.

Uncle Bob doesn’t buy his cigarettes at a store.  I think he picks his own tobacco in the woods – he calls it skunk-weed.  What’re they talkin’ about?

Nuthin’ really.  It doesn’t make sense to me, but it must be funny, ‘cause they’re all laughin’ a lot.

I’m gonna have chips and dip and Cheezies for New Year’s when I’m an adult.

***

Some adults never grow up.  As Rochelle’s site says, ‘Growing old is inevitable.  Growing up is optional.’  At least these kids were supposed to be in bed, but little mice have big noses.  Celebrate New Year’s any way you want, but stay safe.  Let’s do this again next year.  😀

***

If you’d like to have some fun – in a non-smoking household – go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

WOW #64

I recently ran into a neologism.  😯  A little Bondo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bondo_(putty) and some spray paint, and all was well.

I’m talking about

MALAPHOR

malaphor – Is also called an idiom blend.  Most of us have heard one or two.  Many of us have created one.  It happens when the mind is so busy putting together a sentence that we mash together two idioms, to produce an amusing-sounding result.

Recently, a lady blogger said, “I’m slipping on my words.”  This is a mixture of, slip of the tongue and tripping over one’s words.  The cube-drone who invented, “trial by error,” was having trouble justifying his project’s expenses, and combined his two trials, trial and error, and trial by fire

The guy who was angry at a tRump apologist showed restraint, but invented, “biting my teeth” by melding biting my tongue, and baring my teeth (in anger).  Biting your teeth is as hard as biting the back of your neck, or biting your elbow – although, a recent online poll asked if I could lick my elbow – which makes me suspect that some Ubangis can do it.

An advertising executive said that he had to “pull the bullet”, because he was forced to bite the bullet and pull some strings, to get assistance from senior management.  ….Speaking of pulling some strings – a television comedian told an interviewer that he had “pulled out all the strings” on his recent special, mixing the pulling strings (to get the best production,) and pulling out all the stops on an old organ, to get the grandest performance from it.

I’m usually only confused with one thing at a time.  Have you created or heard some other malaphors??  😕

’20 A To Z Challenge – D

A To Z ChallengeLetter D

Death

I am the God of Hellfire and in this episode of the A to Z Challenge, I bring you

D’EATH

(deeth)
This little-known English word is almost as uncommon as the imported surname. The D’eath family originally lived in the town of Ath in Belgium. There it would have been rendered D’Ath, or De Ath, meaning from Ath. It was also occasionally an occupational name for a gatherer or seller of kindling. In this case, the name is derived from the Middle English word dethe, which in turn is derived from the Old English word dyth, which means fuel or tinder.

Families with the name D’eath might know where it came from and what it meant. The word’s other reference is to the rather sketchy occupation, whose bundles of firewood sticks known as faggots, have deteriorated into a modern insult for homosexuals. To the superstitious, this, and its similarity to the word ‘death,’ make them uneasy when they encounter it.

Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey DSO is the fictional protagonist in a series of detective novels and short stories by Dorothy L. Sayers (and their continuation by Jill Paton Walsh ). A dilettante who solves mysteries for his own amusement, Wimsey is an archetype for the British gentleman detective.

In one book, the hero investigates a suspicious fatality at a company doing sensitive government work. He poses as the man’s replacement, under the name Peter D’eath, telling the manager that he hopes it will startle the guilty party into somehow revealing himself. It was an amusing but needless literary device, because the author goes on to show that it was a prank of a mail-room teen with a slingshot – an English ‘catapult’ – which caused the man to fall down a flight of stairs.

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It was cute the first time.  This is just pathetic.  😛

The management regrets that the regularly scheduled blogpost is not available at this time, because of non-production problems.  A nap stretched into a coma, and my Muse was not amused.

Any of you who came here expecting humor, wit, interesting trivia, or even another numb-minded and mind-numbing rant, please click on the link another day. All of the aforementioned, and even more, will be provided.   😀

Normal programming will resume on Monday, Jan. 27/20, with a cascade of comedy.  Anyone who wishes to do so may stop at the box office on the way out, and a full refund will be issued.

Confused Emoji

’19 A To Z Challenge – P

Letter PAtoZ2019

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Down here at Honest Archon’s Amusement Academy, we’re overstocked with humor. We have a

PLETHORA

of jokes. We have to clear this place to the bare walls.   Today only, for the first fifty people who read this blog-post, we are giving away, absolutely free, 1 refurbished Blonde joke, and 2 brand-new Knock-Knock jokes. Here’s a partial catalog of our jokes. Come get ‘em while they’re hot.

***

There’s a fine line between a numerator, and a denominator.
Only a fraction of people will get that joke.
I’m divided on it.

***

Friend; I heard a great joke the other day, but I don’t know whether I told you.
Me; Is it really funny?
Friend; Yes.
Me; Then you haven’t

***

When I was young, people told me that if I drank 5 glasses of milk, I’d grow up strong and be able to move walls.
Now that I’m older, I can drink 10 pints of beer, and the walls move all by themselves

***

I’ve reached that age where my brain goes from, “You probably shouldn’t say that.” to, “What the Hell, let’s see what happens.”

***

Yes, I walked away mid-conversation. You were boring me to death, and my survival instinct kicked in.

***

There is no “We” in fries!

***

I wanted to be some hot chick’s sugar daddy, but I can only afford to be an artificial sweetener daddy.

***

Be the reason someone smiles today.
Or the reason they drink.
Whatever works.

***

When someone says, “Expect the unexpected” slap them and say, “You didn’t expect that, did you?”

***

AND NOW, FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY ONE-LINE

My wife is still hot….
….It just comes in flashes now

November 1st….
….National Eat Your Kids’ Halloween Candy after they’ve gone to bed day

It’s all fun and games….
….till Santa checks the naughty list

The first step is admitting you’re a problem

I used to suffer from soap addiction….
….but I’m clean now

Butterflies….
….are not what they used to be

For every action….
….there’s an over-reaction

Where there’s a will….
….there’s a won’t

What do you call a belt made of watches?….
….A waist of time

She only made whiskey….
….but I loved her still

Electricians have to strip….
….to make ends meet.

In search of fresh vegetable puns….
….Lettuce know

My internet was down yesterday so I chatted with my wife for a change….
….I was surprised to learn that she didn’t work for Woolworths anymore.

A proverb walks into a bar, and then leaves almost immediately….
….The bartender mutters, “It goes without saying.”

A probability walks into a bar….
….and the bartender wonders, “What are the chances?”

A déjà-vu walks into a bar and sits down….
….The guy beside her says, “Haven’t I seen you somewhere?”

What do I have up my sleeve for the letter Q?? Stop back later to find out. 😀

 

Flash Fiction #174

Flat Earth

Copyright –Douglas M. MacIlroy

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I know that I shouldn’t bother, but I’ve been debating some Flat Earthers online.  The Flat Earth Society has members all around the world.  They’re as bad as the rabid Bible-thumpers – which many of them are.  Their minds are made up.  Don’t confuse them with the facts.

If the argument for a globe were a house, they can refute windows, or roofs, or walls, but not the entire building.   And their ‘proof’ against floors contradicts their ‘proof’ against chimneys.

Sometimes these discussions can be irritating.  Sometimes they can be amusing and entertaining, but often, they just go ‘round and ‘round.

***

Don’t be afraid to click on ‘Flat Earthers,’ above.  It’s not a deep Wiki article, just a few thoughts I published on the subject a couple of years ago.  Even the less astute of you may notice that I am willing to plagiarise even from myself.  Rochelle’s photo, coupled with Wednesday’s religious rant, joined forces to give the inspiration for this post.  I slipped in an old, previously published Flat Earth joke, and used the same “Round And Round” hook line from my Nov. 30th Flash Fiction.  That’s just flat-out lazy.  😉

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Friday Fictioneers

Donkey Hotey

Don Quixote

I read a post by Don Quixote recently. Well….not the real Don Quixote, because the real Don Quixote isn’t really real.  This one was a linguistic and social-engineering donkey.

He had a real hate on for the word, ‘retard.’ He posted the following definitions,
verb (used with object)
to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.
verb (used without object)
to be delayed.
and still managed to call it an adverb.  This one is pronounced ri-tahrd.

The version he actually had a problem with, was
Noun
Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.
 a contemptuous term used to refer to a person who is cognitively impaired.
a person who is stupid, obtuse, or ineffective in some way: a hopeless social retard.  pronounced reetahrd.

He was obviously concerned that someone might get their little feelings hurt by being called a reetahrd. He didn’t advocate school programs, or public awareness drives.  Ignoring the valid noun and verb uses, he went straight to, he wanted to have the word ‘retard’ removed from the English language.

Shades of ‘1984.’ If there is no word, there can be no corresponding sin.  I’ve known people who were egotistical enough to want to get a word in the Dictionary.  This horse’s ass gets one arrogance point for thinking that he can take a word, any word, away from the 50% of the World’s population who speak English.  He also gets the, ‘Dumb As A Sack Of Hammers Award,’ for thinking that, somehow, the American Government has the authority to grant his wish.

He was quite upset that he couldn’t get 5000 people to sign up, so that he could officially petition Washington to outlaw the use of the word.  He’s not attacking windmills, but there’s definitely something tilted about this guy.  Maybe 5000 people know that it wouldn’t happen, even if he petitioned the Queen of England.  I can just hear her reply.  “We are not amused – you retard!”  😆

Queen