I was watching the news on the TV that was on the watering hole’s wall, next to the oil painting of Aphrodite. When I ordered another beer. The bartender came over and put the beer in front of me and said:
“Hey fella, you haven’t drunk your other beer yet!”
I turned away from the TV and glanced at two steins of beer in front of me.
“So I haven’t, just leave them lined up, I’ll drink them.”
Just then a bearded, old fella slid onto the stool next to me and ordered a beer. He saw the two steins of beer in front of me, and said:
“My, my, you must be thirsty!”
“Yes, I seem to be ordering before finishing my last beer.”
“You’re probably getting subliminal messages, telling you that you are thirsty.”
“What’s this subliminal business all about?” I said, puzzled.
“A subliminal message is a word or phrase that we can’t see, a message that is below our conscious level.”
“You mean to tell me, I can be influenced by something that I am not aware of?”
“You mean like the cults do to brainwash people?”
“Yes, it’s also done in advertising and political campaigns.”
“Oh yes, I remember back in the 50’s, there was a fella that flashed messages on a movie screen so fast people couldn’t see them. They were told to eat popcorn and popcorn sales went up. But his experiment was a fraud.”
“Yes, but that started people thinking about subliminal mind control.”
“How do you know so much about it?” I was getting thirsty again!
“Well, I’m a distant relative of that guy in the 50’s!”
“Oh, do you do research too?”
“Yes, I do, I’m developing self-help devices containing subliminal messages to help people lose weight, improve their memory, etc.”
I drank my beers quickly and reordered.
“Remember that local politician that lost the election recently?”
“Yes, for awhile he was popular, but then the people didn’t vote for him.”
“Well, in his TV adverts, I inserted a subliminal message that turned people off of him.”
“Boy, that’s fascinating and weird,” I mumbled.
“I’m thinking about a lie detection device, now.”
“How will that work?”
“Well, let’s say a burglar was caught and you would flash a picture of the house he burgled on a screen for only two milliseconds, that’s 2/1000’s of a second. The burglar wouldn’t see it, but his subconscious would. You then could record the emotional reaction that the picture would produce. A high reaction, and you’ve caught your criminal!”
The bearded chap looked very proud of himself.
“Great stuff, but it makes me feel disconcerted because I would wonder, with all these subliminal messages floating around, if I’m in control or not!”
My stool mate smiled.
“Bartender, I’m thirsty, another beer please.”
At that point, I put my head down on the bar and started to drift away. But before I completely passed out, I heard the bartender tell the bearded chap:
“That device you put onto our TV has really worked. The “you are thirsty” messages have increased sales by 25%!”