Picture this, if you think it wise:
After a long day – or even a short day – of being a person who gets stuff done, I like to get myself a beverage, take off my trousers, and sit around in my underwear for a while.
The other day I was sitting on the sofa, elegantly sprawled and scratching bits that needed to be scratched, when I noticed a big bruise on my thigh. It was the kind of bruise that says ‘Hey!‘
So I looked at the bruise, said ‘Hey,’ back, and wondered where it had come from. My curiosity didn’t last long – I got distracted by my beverage, which on this particular occasion was hot, and had a half-biscuit floating in it.
Later that night, however, I was getting undressed, with all the ease and style of a stupid dog trying to escape from a sleeping bag, when I noticed other bruises on the back of my leg.
I tried to get a better look, which meant turning in circles for several minutes, and discovered that I had large bruises all over the back of my thighs and calves.
I tried to figure out the last time I had encountered inanimate objects in such a violent manner. I couldn’t remember, so I proceeded to prod and poke each of the bruises to find out which ones hurt when prodded or poked. It turned out all of them did.
Although l couldn’t remember encountering any aggressive objects which might explain the contusions, I had watched a couple of violent movies recently, and I began to wonder if there was a correlation. Perhaps they were sympathy injuries, caused when the protagonists of these movies were wounded?
To determine the accuracy of this hypothesis, I devised an experiment.
- In the first stage, I watched a couple of movies where the protagonist suffers violence but isn’t hurt because they are invulnerable – in other words, superhero movies. This was the control stage – if my theory was correct, I should suffer no new bruises where a hero is invulnerable.
In the following few days, I bumped into no new objects, and developed no new bruises – so I now had a benchline for the experiment:
- In the next stage, I watched a bunch of movies where the hero gets the stuffing beaten out of him quite a lot – things like Die Hard. According to my theory, I should now suffer the signs of physical violence.
And lo and behold – the next day I found a new bruise: just a little one, on the side of my right thigh.
Protagonist injuries = unexplained bruises.
Hypothesis satisfied! A direct correlation between my viewing habits and tendency to develop bruises had been proven.
Thank you, rigorously-applied scientific method.
And if you needed further proof (as if!): last night I watched a Godzilla movie. Today I trod on a Lego toy and broke it.
I’ve also got a new bruise on my foot.