Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Volunteer in a Psychological Study

Riva Djinn replied to a Craigslist ad seeking female volunteers for a psychological study. She didn’t really think the research team would find her qualified to participate. They wanted women under 40 who had never been pregnant, nor to Mount Rushmore, and had never been seduced by a politician. Now, Riva matched all the criteria, but she worried she might not qualify because she had certain powers of mind control that most mortals do not have. Wouldn’t that constitute cheating if she were to trick the researchers into a state of Trance Dance? To Riva’s surprise, the research team called her and told her to come to the clinic the following Friday. They instructed her not to eat or drink anything for 24 hours before the experiment. They assured her she would be paid $165. She could really use the money, so she wouldn’t have to throw yet another rent party this month. Last month's rent party ended with a police raid, and she didn't want that again.

Riva arrived at the clinic on the designated day, hungry, thirsty, and ready to play some queer psychological game. A bearded lady dressed in a kimono led Riva to a dark, empty theater and told her to remove her clothing. Then the bearded lady, whose breath smelled of clove and ginger, leaned in close and hissed, “Wait. Wait! Wait for the Puppet Master!”

Riva waited. No one ever showed.

Several hours later, the bearded lady returned, told Riva to dress. Riva was paid the $165 promised to her, and she left. Back at her way-overpriced apartment, she flopped down on her vintage make-out couch and counted the dough. "Next month," she thought, "I'm resorting to the old rent party."

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