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|Photograph by Alphabet Soup Dude, the Martian Eyewitness and Story-Teller of Third-Kind Encounters. Come again next time. Same time, same channel, says Mr. Dude.|
My alter-ego, #SafetyPat the Proud Schizophrenic Clown, has been horsing around on foot all day at the New Jersey Shore while pushing a short blue shopping cart loaded with gags, props, and gadgets.
Demonstrating acute sensibilities, Pat doesn't trust people who claim they're completely honest. "How could that be?" says Pat to the phony bolognas. "If you never lie, then please respond accordingly: This is a false statement. Do you agree?" Even though Pat admits to being a little bit of a very big liar who wants to make friends with other self-admitted liars, it would be udderly impossible for anyone, madwoman or madman, to make this stuff up!
Just last night water balloons landed all around Pat and others who were standing in a long line outside Mogo, an after bar-closing hours Korean sober-up taco purveyor, which were falling down from the roof of a two-story building on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park and splattering onto the sidewalk. To defend against the water bombs, Pat pulled the solid aluminum Velcro-attached Martian ray-gun ricochet dish-helmet pans off the bike helmet. Then Pat put a pan horizontal, level with the roof pan up on top of the head to block any potential falling balloon from soaking him up. As the tail of the line made its way inside, Pat made it in unscathed and proceeded to order a Korean taco shrimp salad with unlimited unsweetened iced tea refills while schmoozing with the other diners inside. Pat encouraged the taco server to put his tray up on the top of his head to serve tacos. He could wear a bib. "Careful you don't tilt your head, though."
Just before the water bombs had landed, Pat was explaining to a nice young couple behind him in the line, a captured audience, how "I'm unofficially an official Neptune (Ocean Grove)/Asbury Park, New Jersey bi-city, Wesley Lake, goose-dropping, pooper-scooper who is seeking volunteers to blow the clown horn to attract the geese at the lake all together to go only in the vicinity of one particular area so Pat doesn't have to pick up the bird debris all around the lake."
Three months before the water bomb incident, when it was Pat's turn to speak at the meeting, local officials and neighborhood Wesley Lake area community members applauded Pat into the poop job by unanimous consent, without objection, when making a speech and volunteering before the Lake reconstruction fundraising throngs. Pat grabbed the mic, pulled it off the stand, held it right up nest to his lips, and made a little speech about the geese in Lakewood, and then said softly into the mic, "You'll see me wearing these big fat orange rubber gloves!" The former Neptune Township Mayor, a dentist, was smiling in a happy manner as soon as Pat announced that the Sanitation Department had already given instructions about how to handle the debris. This lake responsibility committee had been debating the potential efficacy of different kinds of water pollution abatements, so Pat told them how cleaning the bird doo could make a significant dent into the problem.
Pat is hoping to see a baseline (before-scooping) analysis of the pollution, then a post-pooping-scooping analysis to see if the labor of love has helped the Lake, which feeds into the nearby Atlantic Ocean beach bathing areas. The historical pedal-boat-swans-on-the-lake company has indicated to Pat that free rides to fill vials of lake water will be available subsequent to four weeks of Pat scooping. Pat hopes to find out how to send water sample for laboratory petri dish verification of no-shit-in-the-lake-Sherlock-verification when Pat goes out on the lake peddling a Swan Boat or a Duck or a Minnie Mouse to gather samples with a turkey baster.
After volunteering at the meeting, Pat spent five afternoons in the month of July sweeping the stuff into the "butler" picker-upper. Wearing knee pads, Pat also got down to the knees with a kitty litter scooper and a gardening fork to lift the debris that couldn't be swept into the butler, on account of some of the poop clinging fast to the leaves of grass.
This took place at a the sidewalk of a heavily-footed, heavily-soiled intersection where many particular green tinted droppings were scattered about and clustered nearby in a bunch by the lawn. Pat was wearing that big pair of bright orange rubber gloves. Passers by said, "Don't fall into the lake," as Pat leaned over the wall to get the stuff that had landed near the edge of the lawn. Pat said, "Very funny. Would you please blow that horn and call them over here?" They did volunteer. The joint Asbury Park and Neptune Township pooping scooping committee shall organize itself next Spring and present a pollution abatement report to the public docket and to the Asbury Park Press
While out on the lake, Pat can be heard saying to the pedestrians, "Thanks for blowing the horn. It's just a little experiment. If it works, we can form a committee. What shall we call it? Geese are just like people using 'the John,' or rather 'the Pat,' as guys named John don't like to be called a 'toilet bowl.' Every species of animal or bug wants a clean plopping area.
Pat is in love with wild animals and is happy to oblige even though it sounds like all the geese are mocking him while they jab each other with their beaks and honk furiously at each other, just like that family of people over there. They never hiss at Pat, however, so Pat knows the love affair is mutual. If these birds could speak Espanglish, the USA national language, they would tell Pat how much they loved Pat as much as Pat loves them!
Pat says to the volunteer horn honkers, "I happen to be a Positive-Behavior-Support-only behavior analyst, so we shall conduct a goose feces control experiment in the following manner. Unlike a typical Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), we shall never use goose punishment as a last resort crutch of behavioral submission training. Anything our fine-feathered friends shall do shall be under the influence of positive reinforcement, whether or not their automatic consent to reward is fully informed. As long as we don't deprive them of any basic necessity, such as food, in order to strengthen the satiation value of something like a single Sun-Maid raisin made contingent upon nonsensical, behavior-analytical, irritated-with-the-therapist-two-year-old Lego®-stacking-skills, as pathetic Judge Rotenberg Center BCBAs had recently been well-known to starve their students to force compliance to asinine teacher demands, everything will be hunky-dory with the local goose community. You may play along as you wish. You are free to make anything up, no matter how foolish you might make me appear, as we advance through the steps as outlined below. You may escape at any time during the experiment, except when we are finished, by throwing up your hands up and stating, 'I quit, once and for all! This study is nuts! Pat, why don't you just climb up a tree and stash all your acorns in your little hole of a studio apartment?'"
The design is an ABAB return to baseline study: First, we hire two gung-ho volunteer college students who are going all out, full force, memorizing mounds of useless piles of data in order to become BCBAs whose job is to "fix" the behaviors of young autistic children with panicky parents who hire them believing their profession's dissemination experts that their children will never get a job if they don't stop rocking their upper bodies back and forth.
Then we shall prepare a behavior analytic definition of what constitutes one discrete piece of shit. The students shall wear bright orange rubber gloves and don barber shop smocks to cover their clothes. Together they shall collect the greenish brown samples with a kitty litter scoop each one with a hand on the handle in order to maintain balance and keep it from falling on their shoes. Independently they shall measure and sniff the samples to see if they each meet the definition of one particular poop, being careful not to disturb its shape so that the next student can perform an accurate sniff test and tape measure test. All other times they''ll be wearing nose plugs. If they agree with each other on what constitutes a single piece of shit 95% of the time, then inter-observer reliability shall be deemed a success!
Baseline Condition A-1: In the beginning, when the Buddha made Heaven and Earth (Don't worry. God has a wonderful sense of humor. She gets a kick out of Pat and then kicks back with scary bolts of lightning which force Pat to lay the big fat orange rubber gloves on the metal pans on top of the head.), you go one week without honking the horn. In week one, Pat removes the lake debris nonetheless, even though you don't call the geese, during Days 3 and 5 of Week 1. The two BCBA students shall probe for the poop count by collecting samples as per above, independently counting total discrete poops in a laboratory at the Psychology Department of Rutgers University. If they don't cooperate, we snitch on them so that their professors can give them a couple bold red F's on their report cards. Then we call their parents when it's time for them to bring their report cards home to Mommy and Daddy. That way they can't pretend they never got a bad mark. Upon BCBA collection of the grassy green and brown data, the crap shall be preserved in formaldehyde and shipped to the lunacy ward of Psychology professors at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where ABA founder Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas first began shocking Pamela, a 9-year old autistic girl, to teach her to listen to the word "no," while she was standing barefooted upon a UCLA lab room floor he rigged up with electric strips and then attached electrodes to her back and gave her the "effective treatment, because she has the right to receive extremely painful electric skin shock whether she wants it or not." (Reward and Consent blogger note: This Lovaas section is no joke, but it is a scathing satire. Shock to this little girl really did happen, according to Grant, 1965. BCBA organizational support of shock, what the U.N. calls "torture" (See Méndez, 2013, p. 85.) has continued non-stop, relentlessly, ever since Lovaas used it in 1965, See Dave Jersey, (2015).)
Experimental Condition B-1: The non-BCBA student Wesley Lake neighborhood volunteer shows up between noon and 1:00 pm every day and toots the horn for an average one toot per minute on a variably periodical stimulus presentation schedule. Meanwhile, Safety Pat picks up all the poop he can collect each day during days 1-6 of the seven day Condition B-2 experimental condition. The independent variable, the fixed action pattern goose call honk stimulus is occurring. The hypothesis tested is that the honk of the horn, which in fact sounds very much like a goose call, causes the geese to come irresistibly to the ready-cleaned, not so nasty any more, fresh and tasty grass and poop in one clean spot, rather than all over the rest of the filthy sidewalks that completely surround the bi-city Lake Wesley. We shall imagine that like humans, geese like to shit and eat in the same spot, as long as it is sanitary. If the hypothesis is confirmed, we shall commence with phase two of the plan. Seeking wealthy investors for a start-up corporation and rob the dog trainers of their jobs chasing the geese off golf courses. That never works. The Canadian geese love it down here as long as USA behavior modification experts such as Schizo Pat are happy to provide the formerly migrating birds with a nice, clean place to do their business. That's why they stay down here. The Canada Supreme Court has forbidden Canadians from cleaning up after their geese, under pain and penalty of perjury law. So the geese don't go home anymore. They just stay down here and laugh their heads off at the agitated USA golfers who must scrape off their own cleats. Pat has a plan to fix it so the geese go back to Canada where they belong and leave us alone!
Day 7, Week 2 Condition B-1, the hapless pair of Windows 8 HP using BCBA students appear out of thin air, collect and count all the poop at the designated northwest Lake Wesley traffic light and then disappear again under the sneaky cloak of darkness to sniff and measure the samples while we forbid them from talking to each other. Then they shall preserve a parcel of shit via UPS in formaldehyde filled plastic bags to the Lovaas electroshock room at UCLA so that future generations of BCBA's will have something with which to never forget their primary stakeholder, the consumer of their services, with all the might to hire and fire them at will, whether or not they whine and complain, the infamous pest of the Ass. for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), the official team of shock torture positive reinforcement maniacs, Safety Pat the Proud Schizophrenic Clown, no matter how much the behavior analytic community wants to milk the population for all that it's worth by comparing autistics and schizophrenics to cancer ridden bodies in order to stoke fear in the minds of panicky parents who can't deal with the fact that their children have a disorder and so their problem behaviors must be "fixed."
[Blogger note. The preceding paragraph contains some additional satire by Pat of the horrible truths about some provocative old-guard led ABA institutions such as ABAI. See Dave Jersey (2015) for ABAI's official approval of shock "torture," Lerner (2011) for a Lovaas Institute leader comparing autism to cancer, and the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (2014) led boycott of Autism $peaks for comparing autism to a deadly disease, among other institutional offenses to actually autistic human beings. autistics. See also inside the Autism $peaks Resource Guide for evidence of the strong ties between ABA and A$.]
Return to Baseline A-2: No horn blowing during all seven days of Week 3, Condition A-2. Pat cleans debris at the intersection Day 1-6, Week 3, as in every week during each condition. The primary independent variable, the one that varies, is the one being analyzed, not necessarily the clean place for the birds to eat grass and to go to the bathroom, but rather the target variable is the horn tooting. Since it varies from toot positive to toot negative among four ABAB conditions, the hypothesis that the toots will attract the geese to go in a clean spot, will be corroborated if indeed, the BCBA students agree with each other that they shit more often when they're called to the spot by the facsimile goose-honking clown-horn.
Return to Experimental Condition B-2: As in all four conditions, Pat picks up the debris at the same heavily-foot-trafficked intersection Day 1-6, Week 4, Condition B-2. The two young adult BCBA students, the terribly good sports who are the brunt of the vast majority of the scatalogical gags in this experiment, collect the samples and proceed as planned. Then as a reward, they get to push Pat into the Lake and dunk his head up and down. This will be fine with Pat since at that point, the really-not-so-bad-water-pollution-abatement-plan will have succeeded, to the delight of all the local residents.
If it works, we'll publish a report in the Journal of Absurd Behavior Analysis (JABA). Then we'll market the plan to all the golf courses in New Jersey and make a billion dollars to donate to Bill Gates. He's a pauper now on account of the Windows 8 debacle and the up and coming Windows 10 upgrade crashes.
Out on a train-traveled adventure from the Asbury Park Transportation Center, three days ago, Pat applied to the Ocean Place Resort and Spa at the Pier Village promenade at the Long Branch beach lawns to serve “hors d'oeuvres" upon the head to ravishingly famished hotel guests. An aluminum pan with the Johnson's Restaurant Supply Company sticker was Velcroed horizontally on top of helmet once again. Pat did a free demonstration for the bewildered, yet amused clientele and held a plastic microwavable dish cover on top of the pan to keep the would-be delicacies from fresh. “Would you care for a cucumber sandwich?” said Pat to the guests while practicing for the upcoming job interview. Past the lawn, the outside bar, and the band, inside past the hotel shop, the family playing billiards, past the inside bar, now well inside and still no security guard issue, a front desk receptionist greeted Pat smiling ear-to-ear. "Will you be spending the night?" "No. I'm local. I'd like to apply as a waiter to serve food on top of my head." She beamed! She offered Pat an application. Pat took it to a table at the bar, filled it out, wrote "Safety Pat the Proud Schizophrenic Clown. Highly-skilled at serving food upon head. Waiter. Will pay for anything that lands on the floor." Pat brought the application to the charming receptionist and asked her to check the spelling of hors d'oeuvres. She said, "The manager is gone for the day." Pat said, "I'd like to return another day to speak with her or him. Would that be okay?" She said, "Yes. That would be find. I'll be sure to give him or her the application."
With the same horizontal pan upon the head, Pat applied another day to offer promotional food samples at the Ocean Township Wegmans gourmet healthy food supermarket. It was a long walk across Fourth and Sunset in Asbury, but doable. Once inside Wegmans a woman attending out in front of the customer service desk called a manager wearing a black shirt to speak with Pat. Pat had asked her for somebody nice. They conducted a ten-minute interview. Pat promised, "I'll sit on my stool in the middle of an aisle. Your customers will eat off my head. I'll wear a barber shop smock so the crumbs won't land on my shoulders. Your customers will be happy; they will be laughing; they will return for more hearty laughter much more often than they do now with their neurotypically unfunny shopping experiences. I will volunteer for free and Wegmans will make a million dollars." The manager said, "We already have employees who do that." Pat said, "Then there's competition?" He said, "Yes." "With a pan on the head?" "No." After the pitch, the kind gentleman firmly decided once and for all that there would be no deal. Pat pulled the shoe phone out of the front shirt pocket, a light-brown-and-black leopard-dotted women's, Family-Dollar-Main-St.-Asbury-Park sandal which had never once been worn on a foot. Pat pushed the invisible buttons underneath on the flat sole surface of the shoe-phone and dialed for the Wegmans "Chief Executive Officer." Pat said, "Hi, Sally. It's me again.... Food served on head? ... No? Okay." Pat hung up the phone back into the pocket and said, "Young man, you made a good decision. Headquarters agrees with you. No job for Pat. You have very fine judgment!"
Pat said, "I'm going shopping now. I'll have one of everything. Will I need a truck?" The manager said, "Yes, you will." Pat said, "I promise I'll behave." Pat perused the aisles and only blew the clown horn once which was hidden inside his big green pharmacy whereupon Pat put a finger to the lips and said to the grandmother, mother, and two little boys, "I didn't do that. This is a corporation. I'll get in trouble if you tell." Pat saw the the Almond Milk in the dairy case and then lost it completely at the fish booth, laughing at length way out loud, uncontrollably, hysterically, while trying to ask the fish vendor if he sold "Peanut Butter Milk." The young man appeared baffled and remained extremely polite. Pat proceeded to the sushi bar and inspected the fish by turning on the intensively bright miner's light strapped to the the forehead area of the blue and round Walmart bicycle helmet. Pat asked another shopper who was hovering over the other side of the sushi display, "Do you want those salmon rolls over by you? If not, I'd like them." She took it up and gave the pack to Pat. After some other minor trouble-making incidents, Pat checked out of Wegmans, walked home with the push cart and the safety gear, gags, and props, about three miles, through Ocean Township, Asbury Park, and back home to Ocean Grove which composes less than half of Neptune Township.
It didn't stop, not even for a minute as Pat went out in a bi-daily manner all done up in safety gear regalia. At times, however, choosing one gag at a time in lieu of the usual multiple simultaneous gag approach, Pat went shopping from store to store sucking up and down upon the Rite Aid Bumble Bee Pacifier with a miniature shopping bag hunting for that diamond ring. At times Pat goes out without a single solitary artificial prop, only an elephant nose snout and a silly walk modeled after Monty Python's Flying Circus's Great British Ministry of Silly Walks. Due to the heat rash from the excess blubber between the thighs, on a late night, mile long walk for a large fresh cup of coffee for a dollar at Country Farm, Bradley Beach, Pat needed to walk with toes pointed out and knees lifted far apart from each other. For a little added flair, Pat waved in the air a pointed index finger of each hand and held shopping bags by the pinkies.
One sunny breezy afternoon, a police officer riding in a golf cart on the Asbury Park boardwalk said to Pat, "How are the toilets?" as Pat left the bathroom with plunger over head. The answer: "All clear. All systems are go." Another time the same young cop said, "You're not looking for enough Chaos agents in the USPS mailboxes!" And once again he asked, "Is this called satire what you're doing?" Pat said, "Have nice day, officer," and proceeded north, mid-boardwalk, through the beach crowd, balancing plunger on top of head, saying to each group walking south, "Careful. Plunger on head might fall. Ok. You're far enough away. You're safe. I like your hat. Are you a couple? Nice couple. You look romantic holding hands. Happy fifty state gay marriage day." It didn't let up for a minute.
Then one evening as Pat was heading east on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove in a beeline for ice cream at Nagle's, the Purple Zebra clothing vender, a prior target of a practical joke of a nearby prankster, delivered Pat to the sidewalk cafe next to her store to play a retaliatory practical joke on the prankster. She had put a lifelike image of Pope Francis out on her porch one night. Pat set out to do the job. “The Purple Zebra sent me. I’m shopping for diamond rings. I propose to five men per day and I get five rejections per day. Do you have any diamonds for sale? I'm doing something wrong. What could it be? If I had a diamond ring, do you think I could find a husband?" She replied, as they stood outside among the diners crowded around the tables, "It depends on the ring." Pat returned to the pretty Zebra lady and said, "Mission accomplished." She said, "Now I'd like you to shop here next Sunday on my day off and ask my attendant if you can try on some of our women's clothing in the dressing room."
Silly dancing pursued on late-Saturday-clubbing-nights on the Asbury Park and Long Branch boardwalks, as in Monty Python's skit, "The Ministry of Silly Walks."
Sporting a Marilyn Monroe tie to attract the attention of the heterosexual men, with no helmet or pans on head this time, but with a purple hair net to smush down the big mop of a hair rag, locks sticking out at the bottom of the net like a curly tips Bozo the Clown, pushing the blue Harley Time Machine Shopping Cart with a Rite Aid bumble bee pacifier in mouth, Pat took baby steps past the diners at the sidewalk cafes and in and out of the family retail outlets of the quirky posh Cookman Avenue shopping district, blowing the horn to keep the automobile traffic stopped at all the red lights, and swaying back on forth in the air a flat, miniature, scissored-out, brown-paper-bag, two-inches by two-inches squared, string handle sacheting from one limp wrist to the other, alternating between uplifted pinkies. Pat told the clerks, "Ed the behavior modification expert told me I should buy "a round red nose to put over my regular nose. I don't why he would tell me such a thing, but do you have any extra large round red noses that might fit over my snout? No? That's okay. Nobody has them. Do you like my little shopping bag? It's from Paris. It's a Jordache. Does it have the Jordache look?"
Five establishments stuck company labels on the helmet-pans, including the boardwalk Earth Rags vender, Juice Beach, and MOGO Korean Fusion Tacos of Asbury, Johnson's Restaurant Equipment, Inc. of Neptune, and the Purple Zebra Artistic Boutique an Ocean Grove shop. At times the pair of flat pans, with lips on the end like eight inch pizza pans, were Velcroed above the ears on a forty-five-degree angle to function as "Martian-ray-gun-ricochet-satellite-dishes." A salesman at Johnson's was the one who advised Pat to use Velcro on the helmet to secure kitchen items to the top of the head. Pat said, "Why do all you businesses want to put stickers on the head of a schizophrenic?" They might as well have said, "You know you want it!" And Pat would have said, "Why yes, indeed. I do consent to being used as a completely free advertising agency. I get a kick out of that!"
Outside the Burger King on Main St., Neptune, an anonymously self-identified "bipolar-schizoaffective" man approached Pat who was pushing the usual "Harley Davidson time-machine push cart." Pat had never met him before. He asked, "Are you the proud schizophrenic?" A lively conversation ensued which shall remain anonymous and confidential.
Pat still tells onlookers, "The Harley Davidson time machine works by clicking your heels three times, touching a rung on the cart, closing your eyelids, and proceeding to wherever, whenever you want, as whatever kind of person you want to be." Some of Pat's newfound friends do indeed travel back in time as a 1960 Manhattan fashion district executive for one, as recalled, and forward in time to see if the Martians will be nice. They report the details of the adventure as they ensue to Pat and friends. When the trip is all finished and they open their eyes, Pat says, "And they say I'm crazy? What about you? Here's the number of my psychiatrist." Pat sticks a hand into one of the pharmacy bag and takes out another gag, a big blue lettered, six-inch, day-of-the-week, pill-time reminder case. "I'm all out of anti-psychotics, but you need to take some Thorazine! Check yourself into the office crazy man shrink, Dr. Martin Bier. Be careful, though. You might never check out."
What I, Dave Jersey, can only conclude from the Pat Report is the following: "We're not the crazy one! No not us! Only the world wide world is crazy!" So tune in next Saturday, as soon as the sun is up and shining, for some more looney tune adventures, same bat time, same bat channel.
Jell-O®! With new fresh fruit taste in all twelve flavors. "Jello, again. How have you been?"