Hello, and welcome to my week-by-week review of the world. Today I am reviewing hypnotism.

The first time I tried to hypnotize someone I thought it would be easy. I already owned a pocket watch and I’d seen people do it on TV. It turned out to be much harder than it looked. A big part of it is confidence, I think. Another big part is not hitting your subject in the face with a swinging watch.

My first few dozen attempts were failures. I did a number of things wrong. To compensate for a lack of confidence, I was too aggressive. I would raise my voice to sound more commanding or I would swing the watch much too fast. There were other missteps. I would say, “Look into my eyes,” but forget to take off my sunglasses. If it wasn’t working, I would get sweaty and nervous and sometimes laugh uncontrollably.

You know what the biggest thing I learned was? Don’t try to hypnotize anyone while standing on the street at night. Gold watches being dangled at arms length are likely to attract thieves. It can be interpreted as taunting them. And once they’ve got that watch, you have no tool with which to try and hypnotize them into giving it back. I lost so many watches that way.

Another thing I learned: the watches don’t have to actually be made of gold, just gold colored. The manufacturing process of the watch is completely unrelated to its ability to hypnotize. Knowing this can save you bundles.

Looking to step up my game, I picked up a copy of Dr. Viktor’s Hypno-guide to a Successful Career at Borders. It takes a very career-centric approach, but I figure hypnotizing is hypnotizing and just as easily as I could convince a subject that he or she is worthy of a promotion, I should be able to make that person cluck like a chicken.

I wanted to test out some of the tips I’d learned from the book, so I tried it on a police officer who pulled me over. At first, things were going smoothly. As her eyes slowly closed, mine opened wide with delight. I thought it was working until she made a fake snoring sound, popped her eyes open, and started laughing at me. Then she handed me a $300 ticket.

I started learning hypnotism to help people. To help them with dark moments they want to forget about. Maybe something they did and can never undo. That moment can disappear with my help. Or if the person witnessed something horrible…say, the murder of their parents. I could turn that into an island vacation. The killer could be a palm tree and the parent’s corpses could become piña coladas.

BEST FEATURE: Commanding people to do whatever you say just for entertainment.
WORST FEATURE: The murky legalities of commanding people to do whatever you say just for entertainment.

Please join me next week when I’ll be reviewing a pile of leaves.

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