In Which I Over-Analyze a Potential Poe

This morning I was having lunch in my school cafeteria. I took a seat at a sunny table by two students, a boy and a girl, who I didn’t know.

I started up a conversation which somehow involved talking about Wicca. Some playful things were said about “Wiccan curses” when the girl mentioned that her mother was a Wiccan, although she only worshipped “The Elements”.

“You mean like the Periodic Table?” (of SCIENCE!) I inquired in the manner which you use when you want to sound stupid because you have just realised that the person you’re talking to is probably not-all-there and you don’t want to be a jerk and just say that you don’t think they’re all there.

“No,” the girl responded, looking at me as if I were quite silly (I was being quite silly), “I mean the true elements which make up the universe.”

“Oh? And what would those elements be?” knowing full well that the answer would involve concepts I had learned in philosophy, not chemistry.

“Oh, like… water, fire, earth, spirit which makes up living things…”


“No, spirit. But an amoeba doesn’t have spirit because they’re not intelligent. Spirit is only in intelligent things,” she started saying.

“Oh. And how do you know this?” I interjected.

“Because we sense it.”

I found that the rate at which I was sticking french fries in my mouth was beginning to quicken. This act was interrupted, three fries short of a completed meal, by the boy speaking up.

“I just threw an energy ball at your face. You twitched but you didn’t notice it.”

This made me stop and think for a moment while I chewed the fried potato-bits. My first instinct was to think that the boy didn’t know what he was talking about as if I were to ask him what energy meant he probably wouldn’t have said “the potential to do work” but if you replace what he said with “I just threw a ‘potential to do work’ ball at your face and you twitched” it wouldn’t have been entirely nonsensical. Causing my face to twitch would involve doing work and would therefore require energy…

But when you think about it some more it’s still complete rubbish. What sort of energy would it take and how would it have been transferred? The only medium between me and him was the air which can transfer kinetic energy in the form of wind, heat energy, or sound energy. Sound energy probably can’t make my face twitch unless the sound was particularly offensive, however no such sound was uttered from him. The stimulus of heat or wind could have potential triggered a reflexive twitch-like response in my face, and although I should think I would have noticed feeling it it’s entirely possible that I didn’t feel it.

But that would still make this whole thing complete rubbish anyway as kinetic or heat energy could have been sent through the air any number of ways that do not contradict our current understanding of physical reality and is therefore entirely unimpressive.

But there isn’t any verification that my face did indeed twitch. There were at least four other students at the table and none of them reported noticing the event occuring. Not that it would have done any good as only the boy would have known the time at which he cast the alleged energy ball so there would be no way of telling if the event really was a direct result of an energy ball or if the boy was just saying that he had caused it after the fact.

Given the fact that these were high-school aged students it’s also more than entirely possible that they simply weren’t being serious, thus rendering this blog post entirely pointless as well as over-analyzed.

Well, hey, it’s my blog.


10 responses to this post.

  1. hey… i just watched one of your youtube vids… the one about shaving cream. i think i heard you say you were at the denver museum of nature and science… are you from denver???

  2. Yeah. Well, Denver-area. It gets confusing about what city you’re in because they’ve all slammed into each other long ago.

  3. Posted by Nicole on February 6, 2009 at 7:34 am

    “energy balls?” Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

  4. Next time, just tell them you could kill them with your brain.


  6. Maybe he was thinking about Pokemon or some dumb role playing. You know, “Pikachu, throw an energy ball at her face!” Kind of reminds me of a totally unrelated story in which this guy was playing a trading card game with my brother in a tournament in a mall back in Venezuela, and everytime the guy got “hit” by a card character and lost point, he pretended as if he got hit. Maybe that is what that guy expected you to do. ^_^

  7. @elles and abby
    It is almost as if you guys were meant to stab at each other after a Twilight argument. 😉

  8. “I just threw an energy ball at your face. You twitched but you didn’t notice it.”

    If I were quick on my rhetorical feet, I’d try to up this: “Oh, I noticed it — I just blocked it with my quantum chakra no-jitsu.”

  9. Posted by Bipedal Tetrapod on February 10, 2009 at 2:33 am

    Or then you sneeze:
    And then appologize and pretend to wipe boogers off his shirt.

    I remember once at a pub laughing with friends about the Monty Python routine with Bedevere and the “witch”. A woman at the next table very sternly asked us to please stop, as she was a wiccan, and was offended by that. I figured she just wanted to be self righteous – all the other wiccans I know think that scene is hilarious.

  10. Outstanding article! Hope to visit once again=)

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