Eine Kleine Narcissism

When I was a young teen, I fantasized about inventing a machine that would answer the telephone when no one was home. I called it a “Electronic Auto-Receiver (EAR). I didn’t want to miss a single call, just in case it was from that special someone who may never call back. My youthful insecurities sparked crazy ideas, which were usually narcissistic.

All kids are concerned with self-image and I was obsessed with whether or not people liked me (not loved, just liked). So in my daydreams I concocted methods for measuring (in the argot of today) the temperature of people’s feelings towards me – and me towards them.

I called this invention “Bullet.” It was a system of “bulletins” of what people thought of me – and what I thought of them.

Here’s how it worked: You would focus with your eyes, not unlike when Superman used his X-ray vision, on a target on each person’s body (usually located on the left or right side just above the hip). Then you’d think a simple thought (it had to be less than, say, ten words) that would be aimed at the target and propelled like a bullet. It would get under the skin (literally). The projectile would indicate whether you liked, disliked, loved, hated or were happy or angry with the targeted individual. Still with me?

At the end of the day, usually before bedtime, you’d retrieve the messages. How? Underneath the target was a flap covering a receptacle in the body where throughout the day the messages collected. To get them, you would undo the flap and out would come cartridges or capsules containing the message(s) and name of sender(s). It was like telepathy, only with a real object instead of a brainwave.

If no messages were collected, that would be a blow to the ego, but if there were many then that would be an indication you were on people’s minds.

It was a dopey fantasy, of course, and even if I became a scientist, it was destined never to materialize. Nonetheless it is not hard to understand why people would want to know how they stand in other people’s estimation. But could something like “Bullets” ever happen in a million years?

Let’s tweet the idea and take the temperature.