Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hypnotism: fact or fiction?

Dave and I had our 4th anniversary recently. Whoo-hoo! This is a big accomplishment for two people living in 800 square feet with a cute but hyperactive 2 year old dog...oh, and child. So what relaxing and romantic way did we spend our anniversary? With me on a stage in front of 200 people lip syncing R-E-S-P-E-C-T and waving my butt around in the air. No, I wasn't drunk. Even better, I was hypnotized. As part of a comedy act. Hypnotism is a lot like being drunk but better. Here's why. First, you have an unbelievable amount of courage and no inhibitions (usually a bad combo but when you're hypnotized you have someone telling you NOT to take your clothes off). Second, since you're acting from the sub-conscious part of your brain, you don't feel embarrassed (actually you don't really feel anything). Third, you remember everything, though a bit fuzzy and wake up feeling rested and relaxed. But the reason it's better than being drunk is... NO HANGOVER!

So, to peak your curiosity. Here are some facts about hypnotism. Then I'll get into the details of all the embarrassing things I did. Most people can be hypnotized, but the best candidates are young adults of average to above average intelligence and who are creative and imaginative. Well, that's me to a tee. Oh, and you have to want to be hypnotized. Actually, the reason I was so easy to "go under" was because of my experience with meditation. Not that I like meditation. Actually, I hate it. But I was forced in my massage training to participate and hypnotism is really a glorified version of meditation only with someone telling you to do funny and embarrassing things instead of telling you to relax and let go of all the inner turmoil. But, I don't know, something about showing off your "glutes" in a body building competition to an audience full of strangers kinda, sorta, does force you to "let go" of your inner turmoil, inner anxiety, inner demons, and sometimes your inner bowels. But for me, I didn't just "let go" of all that crap (figuratively, not literally). I did one up and said, "screw you inner turmoil! You don't own me!" And I had a blast....I think. Well, I would do it again anyway.

The comedian started with 20 people up front wanting to get hypnotized and guessed he would end up with maybe 3-5 that were actually able to go through the whole show. Well, I was one of them. There were 6 of us and I don't remember much about the others. I was too focused on being Arethra Franklin. And I don't think Arethra would stop in the middle of a jaw-dropping performance to find out who the other people on stage were. She is a Diva after all.

The only reason I volunteered to do this in the first place was because the hypnotist/comedian said he would add a little blurb about some vice we wanted to end while we were "under" during the show. So, wanting to lose weight for a while now, I based my whole decision of making an idiot of myself in front of 200 strangers on the thought I could get a subliminal message magically inserted into my brain neurons that would tell me not to eat 3 bowls of ice cream in one sitting... FOR FREE! People pay big money for this kind of stuff. My husband says he could tell me that for free too, but when he does it just sounds like he's calling me fat. I think that if this guy was a real comedian he would've told us we have the metabolism of an Olympic athlete instead. But that's just me, and I'm mean like that.

Anyway, after the whole event, I became a sort of celebrity. Several women accosted me in the bathroom wanting to know if I was really hypnotized or faking it. I honestly don't know that I could fake something like that. So, yes, I was really hypnotized. But I never lost control of myself and never did anything I didn't want to do. In fact, I remember as I was "sleeping" and the comedy guy was telling us the next stunt we were to do, thinking "this is crazy, why would I ever want to do that?" But for some reason I did want to do it and I didn't care what anyone thought.

For one of the stunts, we were told that we had, like, 20 cups of coffee and felt like there was a lightning bolt running through us. I remember, as he was saying that, suddenly getting lots and lots of energy and feeling like I could run a triathlon. And for another one, the hypnotist told us that when he turned his back to us, we would see a big tattoo on his butt of Barney (doing something dirty that I won't mention). He goes on to say that we would laugh and point but if he turns around he better not see us laughing or he'll be really pissed off. So, every time he turned around we all laughed hysterically and then when he looked back at us, we would stop immediately and look away. Dave said that I looked terrified every time he looked toward me. My eyes got really wide and my body was stiff and I looked like I might pee my pants (I didn't).

So that was our big anniversary adventure. To sum it up; bad food, dirty Barney tattoo, my first body building competition, awkward conversations in the bathroom, and a comedy club novelty glass I brought home. Funny, I don't remember spending any time with my husband.

Dave and I on our date. I'm not hypnotized yet, I just look weird.

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