Hello $10, Goodbye Brain
Alexander Hamilton or two Thomas Jeffersons. One thousand pennies or two hundred nickels. It all boils down to one ten dollar bill.eBay, the internet auction house, will not allow you to sell any body part on their website. This could be because selling a kidney could be deemed as morally wrong. Or it could be because if one eBay customer lost their life while donating a kidney that could look bad demographically. "eBay. One billion customers. And one dead guy trying to make a buck off his kidney." eBay's stock would plummet. And worse yet, one dead customer is one less person double clicking and bidding on Mickey Mouse paraphernalia.Question? If an internet company knows not to sell body parts, then why don't I? Last week, I lost my brain to science for $10.The sign made it seem simple. The university was conducting experiments and they needed participants that could speak English, "Si." Possess a good memory. I know my phone, PIN, and Social Security number (Tangent about the PIN number: Why is it called a PIN number? That's a stutter. And a stop. Break down the acronym. P=personal. I=identification. N=number. If you say PIN number, then you're actually saying "Personal Identification Number number." That's number squared. Stop doing this, it drives me crazy. For your FYI, so ends the PIN number tangent). And, the sign said, if you could read, write, and have a good memory, you could get $10. Knowing I could do all three of those things, and chew gum to boot, I made the $10 call to financial freedom.Here's another tangent: as a rule, I don't like people messing with my head.The person on the other end of the research clinic phone wasn't chatty. She made the appointment, gave me the room number (626) and directions to their clinic. "Be there at one p.m.," was all she said. She wouldn't tell me what the research was based on, so I knew to be on guard.If I haven't stated it already, and I honestly feel I don't need to point out the obvious, but I'm no dummy. These psycho-analytical bookworms are all the same. They try and make you think one thing, but they're really studying the other. Not only do I know my P.I. Number, but I also had the number of these Freudian Freaks that wanted to biopsy my brain for 10 big ones. A memory test, they said, but in reality, what would they really be testing?At one o'clock, sharper than the tack that nailed Jesus to the Cross, I showed up at room 626. And the door was locked.Let the games begin.A memory test? More like, crackerjack psychology. This test was simply "What will someone do if we give them the wrong room number?" Are women more apt to ask for directions? Will a man try to beat the door down? I was the mouse in the maze. And my cheese was the promised ten dollar bill.Not wanting to disappoint these elementary head shrinks, I explored my environs. The room next to 626, that would be room 626a, had the classic mirror on the wall that was obviously a two-way mirror. Microphones hung from the ceiling. Either this was the room where "Behind the Green Door" was filmed, or I was being watched.I walked up to the mirror, and waved. I wanted to let Psych 101 know the jig was up. Nobody came out from Behind the Two way Mirror. "Marilyn Chambers. Come out. Come out. Where ever you are."If room 626a was where they wanted me to be, I didn't want to be there. I noticed room 628 had a sign that said, "If you're here for the test, come in and take a seat. We'll be right with you." The sign might as well of read, "Hi! We're from the University and we're testing to see if you have one brain cell in your head."Obviously, the memory test was "How many people will question their own memory and go into room 628?" As I began to figure all this out, I could actually feel my I.Q. quotient rising exponentially.I went back into room 626a, the room with the two way mirror. I was able to hug the wall so the people behind the mirror didn't know I was in the room. Then, I leaped in front of the mirror, no doubt, I thought, causing coffee mugs and bowels to spill in their little safety research cocoon. Still, the mirror only reflected what I refracted. Nobody came out. Sometimes, Mr. Freud, is a mirror just a mirror?People were walking in the hallways. The researchers, of course, posing as professors or students on their way to class, but now I was ready to play into their hand. Looking at my watch, I saw it was 1:15 p.m. It was time I asked for directions. Atypical male. But I wanted my $10.Tangent: When you're this much smarter than your researchers, do you skew the final test results?I walked into an office, ROOM 629 MIND YOU, and told them I was in the middle of a research project, and I was ready to collect my money."Are you Phil?" The lady asked."Are you in on this?" I asked."This is my project," she said."This is my brain on your project," I replied."You're 15 minutes late," she said, looking at her watch.I said, "You said, room 626 on the phone.""I meant to say room 629. Are you ready to be tested?" She said.The "actual" test: They wanted me to tell them a secret. Something that had happened to me, that I had never shared, with anyone. "Do you really think you can buy my secret for $10?" I said.She said, "Plus $2 for parking."I said, "Once, in a hotel room, a prostitute stole my wallet."