This gun was something I came across at a yard sale. I was, at the time, a guest of a certain university’s graduate program in quantitative theology. For about a year, I was able to head a team attempting to measure the resistivity of the human soul. We had modeled the will with such precision that we could, with the aid of electric fields, produce in voluntary subjects sensations indistinguishable from emotion, desire, tranquility, etc. 1
My tenure as head of this project was brief, however, due to the interference of a cuordoroy jacketed interloper. A literature professor on a one year loan from an indeterminate eastern university, he was interested in trans-curricular studies and expressed a desire to participate in the project. He contacted my assistant via gem-engraved lawn dart, and following a brief courtship, explained his interest in our research. The self-described “literateur” intended to provide our team with test subjects, and then write about their individual progress in the project.2 Eager to expand the base of our test subjects, we agreed.
He failed to include on his vitae, however, that the state he wished to induce, in a group consisting solely of his more attractive female students, was a sensation indistinguishable from desire. He was successful, and published a number of papers on his findings. The phenomena he observed, termed educator lust, in conjunction with films he made of his experimental procedure, cost us our lab and our funding. There were positive effects, however, as the visiting professor received a Tanner Fellowship and eventually, an “endowed chair of comparative gender studies.”
1. A French team had concurrent data supporting the simulation of liberté, fraternité, and egalité, but the Nobel committee overlooked both of us in favor of a pack of squawking Yalies who had spent the summer inducing beat-driven tremors and convulsions in young subjects. When the undergraduate target is exposed to strong, periodic stimulation in the form of either sound or light, under certain conditions, these stimuli can override the normal firing of neurons. The synapses in the brain actually begin firing in sequence with the stimuli. This is the phenomenon responsible for the apparent propensity of Japanese children to seize during video games. The victorious team exploited this effect, called auditory (sound) or photic (light) driving, and induced a state of complete apoplexy in 87 per cent of their test population. Their treatise, published earlier that year, Electric Variation of Boogalotic Behavior in Photic-Driven Youths: The Establishment of a Krush Groove, or in preprint, “Who Makes the Body Rock?” is considered the seminal work in the field.
2. His collection of poems and short fiction, entitled “Emotion: The Feelings my Feelings are Feeling” is available from Livre Pathetique, Rue de Bette, Paris.