Friday, April 15, 2011
Melanie Dimple of 924 St. Charles Street, Cloverdale lost her bid to win Confederacy Elementary School’s Science Fair with her probing self reflecting analysis of her addiction to cake.
To prove how addicting cake was, she had a small electrical generator screwed down to the table top. Two electrodes from the generator were strapped to each of her index fingers. A month’s supply of Dolly Madison cakes were kept in a large Rubbermaid storage bin under the table.
“Notice how I can’t help myself when I see a cake,” she said in a matter of fact tone during her short presentation to the science fair’s judges.
Melanie took a package of coconut covered Zingers from the bin, ripped open the packaging (some said she had a noticeable animal look in her eyes) and held the treat before the judges.
“What would you say if I told you that if you don’t eat this Zinger, you won’t get an electrical shock?” she asked.
“And if we eat the Zinger?” Judge Phineas Swallow asked, thinking how good the Zinger looked and how it had been three hours since lunch.
“If you eat it, then you get a shock from my dad's generator. It’s very painful - believe me, I know,” Melanie rubbed her two fingertips.
“Why would we eat that Zinger knowing we would get an electical shock?” Judge Julie Jeeps asked, thinking the entire round of questioning was useless.
“Why indeed, unless the cakes were so addictive you couldn't control yourself,” Melanie asked. “Stank back, I don’t want any of you hurt.”
Melanie held the Zinger in one hand and the on switch for the generator in the other.
“Are you sure you know what you're doing?” Phineas Swallow asked. Melanie activated the generator just as the last word left his mouth. The generator whirred into action. Melanie started shaking as the electricity surged through her body from each fingertip. With all her might she shoved the Zinger through her partially clenched teeth and into her mouth.
The lights in the cafeteria flickered ten seconds into the demonstration . The power draw was about to trip a circuit breaker. Then the demonstration ended, just as suddenly as it had started, The generator was on an automatic timer and switched off at the right time. Melanie collapsed into a white plastic garden chair next to her display board. She opened her mouth to explain. The smell of burnt Zinger escaped. Judge Julie Jeeps pulled a scented handkerchief from her purse and held it to her nose to take the edge off the noxious order.
“I love cake that much,” Melanie mumbled. "I can't help myself and I think I know why." Melanie explained the effects of sugar on the brain and how addictive such things could be.
At the end of her minute long speech thunderous applause filled the cafeteria from the hundred or so students huddled around. Her demonstrations were the best in the science show, far better than any old erupting volcano or internal combustion engine. Several of the boys even volunteered to take the shock as they ate one of her Zingers. Melanie, not accustom to sharing her cakes, graciously declined ever offer.
Melanie lost the science fair. Her disappointment was tempered by consuming the rest of the month’s supply of Zingers while watching television that evening. On the bright side, Melanie was offered a demonstration booth at the Mental Health Fair the following month at Dibley on the Downs where she took first place in her age division beating out the display on Teenage Eating Disorders.