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The Darwin Reinforcement Experiment


Thamer Al-Harbash

Dear Man-God Vogel, and your many worshippers,

I have recently visited your Irony Central page and am delighted that a young Vogel is on its way into the world. The world needs more Man/Woman-Gods/Godesses like yourself. I believe with enough Vogels running around the lead pipe Nirvana will be possible; however, you must prepare your child to eventually bring this Nirvana around.

I hereby propose "The Darwin Reinforcement Experiment," or "Battlebots Are Fun!"

Here's the plan: You need to rent or obtain (however you wish) the robots used on the TV Show Battlebots. Then prior to the child learning how to walk have it watch a healthy one-hour of the show a day. You may wish to tape it and play reruns, as children aren't too good at paying attention. Do this until your child has learnt to walk and wield enough plastic toys to be a mild threat to the robots. By this time the violence of the battlebots shoulda sunk into its teeny weeny brain.

At this point send your wife off on a long vacation. Yeah, we love 'er to death, but by the sound of your articles she doesn't _really_ get it, so it might be a good idea if she, oh, traveled through Europe or something.

Now upon your child's newly found talents, drop it, stark naked, in an arena you built in your garage. Begin by placing soft cushions over the sharp razors and blades mounted on those battlebots. Let your child learn that it's painful to stand in the way of one of those 'bots while you fiendishly send the 'bots crashing into it.

Do this for about six months. Your child should be sequestered to a pen very much like those used in The Gladiator movie. Should you have a boy, Maximus might be a good nickname to use.

After six months, use digital imaging technology to interpose The Gladiator movie fight scenes with those from Battlebots. Now you're fucking ready. Have your child watch the newly "doctored" shows and have your child train with lead pipes. Remember, keep it naked. A loincloth should suffice at most during the cold season. Really that's how the Spartans did it and they kicked ass. I mean, you want the kid to grow hair on its chest and be all freakin' "savage" and shit.

Feeding it raw meat might also be possible. I know kids throw up a lot, but somewhere I read the more bacteria they are exposed to the healthier immune system they develop. Expose it to all kinds of stuff. Take it for a stroll out by toxic dumps and shit. Wear a bio-chem suit, and keep your kid naked. Always act baffled when visiting the ER room -- they won't understand our cause.

Now, after several weeks of practice with lead pipes and other good shit drop your kid in an arena with a real live Battlebot. Might I suggest the one with the big pick hammer?

I have complete confidence that if you followed my plan to the word, Satan would have to be buying himself earmuffs before your kid loses to that fight.

After that you should pack him a small suitcase full of lead pipes, don him in a good lead chainmail and send 'em packing to the Whitehouse to demand horses and men in order to destroy the invader. I'll meet him outside Seattle where we'll begin our siege to recover the "Fatherland."

-Thamer Al-Harbash

Jeff Vogel Responds:

An ingenious idea. I am worried, however. There is always the chance that my daughter might take after one of those fucking wedge-bots.

Spinning around like Ziggo until the vomit falls like rain? Fine. But if she starts trying to scoop me up, I'll freeze-dry her.


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