Both times before, I wished I'd a place in my port for my entries...this time I do!
|"We've made several fascinating observations since the experiment began," the woman in the white lab coat explained to the group of fourth graders. "The male baboon's behavior changes radically each time we introduce the laptop into his environment. Can you guess what our research team has noted?"
The children looked through the plate glass of the enclosure with furrowed brows before a couple hands went up.
"Yes, little girl with the pig tails?"
Sara Perkins said, "He isn't paying any attention to the children. He's just looking at the computer."
"Very good. When we remove the laptop computer, the male baboon is known to engage in lively games with the younger group members." She touched the tip of her finger to the glass. "That blue ball over there is his favorite." The children saw she indicated an abandoned plastic ball wedged behind a bucket in the far corner of the cage.
"Anything else? Yes, young lady in the front."
"Well, he's sort of fat." All the children broke out in laughter.
"Very good," the woman said with a smile, over the noise. She waited until the kids settled down, and then went on. "The male baboon becomes lethargic when he has access to the computer, and since the start of this study, he's gained over thirty pounds!" Just then, the smaller female sitting next to two juveniles reached over and swatted the male across the head. The children laughed as the male scowled and scratched his head, then bent again over the computer keyboard.
"The next part of the field trip is in the laboratory. This way, kids," said the woman, chuckling.
Karen Perkins draped an arm across her daughter's shoulder as they moved with the group. Later that evening, she was washing the dinner dishes when Sara came into the kitchen with her brother.
"Mama, Daddy promised us we could go to the soccer fields tonight and practice goal kicks, but he keeps saying later."
Karen followed the kids into the den where her husband was typing on the computer. "Jim, are you going to kick the ball around tonight with the kids or not?" She couldn't keep the irritation out of her voice.
Without looking up, he shifted in his chair that groaned under his weight. "In a minute..." he muttered.
Karen regarded him a minute, then reached out and swatted him hard above the ear with an open palm. She spun on her heels and stalked out of the room.
Jim rubbed his head and said with a scowl, "What the hell...?"