The Personality Gyro Version 5.1

Watching the screen, the Director started to laugh so hard that he began choking. He hacked for a minute and then started speaking again, albeit quietly.

“Now then. We have seen the true power of abstraction in the hands of a professional.  Can anyone else tell me what other marvelous tools a Zwerkorian has at his disposal, that is, besides the wonderful Moon Share?”

The room was silent except for a few narcoleptic grumbles.

“Cat got your tongues?

“Well…what about that old favorite, Personality Gyro” the Director snapped, waving his right index finger in the air.  The conferees were befuddled as usual, probably having only a vague recollection of the tool.
“Then Let me refresh and reverberate your stinking memories!

Personality Gyro:  A User’s Guide

Congratulations on your purchase of the Personality Gyro version 5.1.  We at Globo Emp feel that you have made a wise choice in selecting our quality product over that of our competitors. Whether you are an accomplished abstractionist of a fez-bearing order, or simply have an amateur interest in all things Zwerkorian,  the Personality Gyro 5.1 will provide you with endless hours of enjoyment. Our product is not returnable for a refund; however, you are provided with a lifetime warranty of unlimited repair at any one of our Globo Emp service centers worldwide.

Getting started with your Personality Gyro

Your Personality Gyro 5.1 is simple to assemble.  Merely connect the extenuation meter to the main unit itself (figure 1).  Batteries have already been provided for you.  You will need to replace the 4 double A batteries when the low battery warning light displays on the enervation  meter panel. To turn the unit on,  simply toggle the power switch (figure 2).

Attracting victims

As you are most likely aware, the use of Personality Gyro 5.1 requires a unwitting victim. CAUTION: DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT ON ANYONE WHO KNOWS WHAT IT IS.  FAILURE TO FOLLOW THIS GUIDELINE MAY PRODUCE UNPREDICTABLE RESULTS.  Although there are seemingly infinite ways to dupe the innocent,  for your convenience we have summarized the most popular approaches.

 1.   Intellectual Curiosity:  Ask somebody you know if they’d like to be part of a
scientific experiment.  Tell them that you can’t reveal what the unit does, because that would influence the results.  This approach tends to work on studious, yet naïve individuals, like high school students from conservative families.

2. Lost and Found:  Given the unique, curvaceous design of the Personality Gyro 5.1,     it’s bound to be a conversation piece at parties. This approach works particularly well on someone who has lost their inhibitions from having a few drinks. Here is a typical conversation that might occur:

Potential Victim: “Hey, what is this thing?”
You (feigning non-interest):  “Mmmm…I don’t really know… let’s see here…I think this part goes here…”
In this way, you can convince the victim that he or she is sharing a learning experience with you, rather than being hoodwinked.

3. Use a shill:  This time-honored technique requires the use of a partner,  necessarily someone the victim doesn’t know very well.  The shill you use will testify about the beneficent qualities of the product (i.e., he or she will misinform the victim as to the unit’s true purpose.  Usually, the claim that the unit produces a pleasurable experience – “a high” – does the trick.). To aid this technique, The Personality Gyro 5.1 comes with hidden actuator – a “shill switch” so that it can be temporarily disabled while the shill demonstrates its use.  This actuator is hidden beneath the display dial.  Simply press the northwest corner of the display panel, and you will feel a tingling sensation.  This indicates that the unit’s operation has been disabled for 3 minutes.  Through laboratory trials, we have found this to be the optimum time for the shill to convince the victim of the wondrous nature of our product.
Remember, if you suspect that the potential victim is aware of the true nature of our product, do not attempt to use it on them.  In particular, undercover agents of Kortun International have been found to have perfected techniques to defeat it.  We are currently studying this problem at our research facilities.


What if I get caught?

It’s very unlikely that the victim will draw a connection between the use of our product and their long term condition. However, if you are caught, deny any responsibility whatsoever; shut your mouth about it except to contact a Globo Emp legal specialist.  One is available for consultation by calling the toll-free number at the back of this booklet.

A Case Study

The following is a real-life example of how a  young employee of a major firm, whom we shall call Nestor successfully used the Personality Gyro 5.1 to befuddle his superiors, whom he was odds with.  After briefly studying the word of al-Zwerki at one of our centers over a few weekends,  Nestorious felt that he was ready to adopt the role of avenging angel. His immediate boss, whom we shall call Bob,  made it mandatory for all his direct reports to attend his annual Mardi Gras celebration.  Nestor was very angry that, not only did he have to tolerate the Bob’s avaricious, imperious and egotistical manner at the office, but that he was forced to bear with it at various office social events.  Nestor choose technique # 3 (Use a shill).  The shill was a co-worker whom we shall call Alice.  Alice was also contemptuous of Bob, and so the two hatched a plan.

Nestor made sure that Bob had enough to drink – “That’s what I like to see – attention to customer service “ Bob said after his 4th martini.  It was humiliating to be so obsequious to the boss, but it was a necessary, and temporary mortification of  Nestor’s ego.  He relished the thought of what Bob’s career prospects would be after an encounter with the Personality Gyro 5.1. 
While Bob was in the bathroom, Nestor quietly placed the unit on a coffee table near where the big boy was sitting. When Bob returned, Nestor had secreted himself in another room.
“What the hell kind of thing is this?”
Alice, who had strategically placed herself nearby, answered him.
“Oh…well, that’s a real party piece…”
“Well…it’s something that we pass around for fun…”

“What the hell you talking about?” Bob snapped and finishing off martini # 4 with gusto.
Coyly, Alice approached Bob and then whispered in his ear: “They call it The Apollo. It gives you a brain-gasm.”

“You mean…”
“Uh huh!”
“O.K. I’m game…now this thing, it’s not gonna, you know, embarrass me, is it?”
“Don’t worry, it’s all in your head, Bob…” Alice replied with a sinister giggle.
Alice turned the unit on. She placed Bob’s right thumb and forefinger together,  in a gesture that suggested some kind of holy exercise. Then she attached an electrode at the spot.
“O.K., are you ready?”
“Yep…hah hah hah…”
“Here we go…” Alice turned a dial near the display.  The meter’s needle ticked upward to a value of “+7.0.”  
“Do you feel anything?”
“Not yet…”
For the next three minutes Bob tried his best, but there was no sensation.
“Alright, you got me.  This was all a big joke, wasn’t it.  The boss is made a fool out of. Jesus Christ, are you lucky I’m not a bastard…”
Others gathered nearby laughed at Bob’s folly.  Alice insisted that the unit did what she claimed.
“I gotta get out of here for a smoke. The Apollo, my ass.”

Nestor, who was watching the scene from across the room,  broke out in a smarmy grin as Bob made his way outside.  He knew that this was the proverbial beginning of the end for Bob.

We should qualify beginning of the end.  Using the traditional measures of success – power, wealth, adulation of ones’ peers --- Bob was certainly at the BOTE point. But when we use expressionism as a measure of success, Bob was on the verge of superstardom. Those three minutes on the Personality Gyro 5.1, though useless in Bob’s view, had actually been the most important three minutes of his life.  During that time, the unit had transferred pointers to randomly selected roles to his central nervous system. In one of the functions that the Personality Gyro 5.1 had implemented, Bob was equivalenced to a clown:

char bob, *bob, clown, *clown;
*bob = &clown;
Or in another one, a mystic;
char bob, *bob, mystic, *mystic;
*bob = &mystic;

There were actually many, many pointers that had been randomly selected. What’s more,  there was an additional layer of randomness or the aleatoric embedded in the process. The duration of each of these roles was also aleatoric. One couldn’t tell when Bob would suddenly shift roles. In the corporate world, this worked to devastate his career. The first fruits of the Personality Gyro 5.1 came at a executive conference a few weeks after his encounter with our splendid product.  The senior leadership team (SLT) was evaluating a proposal to engage in another line of services in order to keep up with the firm’s competitor’s.  It was in the middle of one of Bob’s associate’s spiels concerning “ramping up” to the challenge and “picking the low fruits first” that Bob adopted the role of  The Pontiff. He was the Bishop of Rome, His Holiness the Pope. His mannerisms became grave and stiff. He speech began to meander like an aimless Latin river.  Bob’s associate immediately shut up, deferring to the big boss. The Holy Father kept them there for two whole hours, they were all so afraid of him.

As the weeks went by, Bob was his normal self the great majority of the time, with the bizarre punctuation foisted upon him by the Personality Gyro 5.1.  There was, as we have mentioned, episodes of The Clown and The Mystic. Surely, there were  mandatory evaluations by psychiatrists and psychologists, each one producing a different diagnosis.

There were antidepressants and tranquilizers, all basically ineffective at stopping the attacks (Zwerkorians have long conquered these). The firm’s board of directors gradually lost hope and tolerance.  Of course, Bob had been a diabolical genius with regard to financial shell games operating in offshore locations.  He had effectively swindled the shareholding public.  He had been a dark hero to the board:  they all knew what he was up to, but it didn’t matter, as long as it produced results. But enough was enough. Bob was let go with a generous severance package, most of which he squandered when he assumed the role of The High Roller ( Nestor and Alice gradually worked their way up the ladder, as Bob had been replaced with an executive more amenable to them).  It was only the shift to The Mystic that got Bob out of a gaming stupor and out of Vegas.  While ensconced in that role, Bob traveled across the California desert blathering cosmic profundities.
But eventually, the last role that the Personality Gyro 5.1 manifested in Bob was that of – and completely in accordance with Zwerkorian thought – The Vessel.  But, unlike the other roles, this one was permanent, and ineffable. It had no characteristics – no properties, no methods. It was completely abstract.  Look at the old man: just sitting there in a pre-fab tavern near the Salton Sea, his underwear and rear hanging out from a bar stool. 

The Vessel drank and drank in others’ comments.  He had no comments of his own.
Q: ” How you doin’ Bob?”
A: “ How you doin’, Bob?”
Q:  “I’m a first-class troglodyte.”
A: “I’m a first-class troglodyte.”
Then someone would write on a paper napkin:
“Bob Sez: ‘I’m a first-class troglodyte’”  and tape it to that old refrigerator packed with beer.

Such are the vicissitudes of the Personality Gyro 5.1.