Can this column move papers? |

Can this column move papers?

Barry Smith

I should probably be taking notes, because on the screen, in giant blue letters, are the words, &quotSuspected Axial Twisting of the Spermatic Cord.&quotAt this very moment I’m the A/V Guy for a medical conference being held in Las Vegas. I’m all dressed up with a tie, even sitting in the back of the room behind a bank of audio and video gizmos while the presenting doctor talks about axial twisting, etc. … I should be taking notes because I could probably get a good &quotA/V Guy&quot column out of this material. I mean, if &quotspermatic cord&quot isn’t just chock full of humor potential, what is?But not only am I not taking notes, I’m not even paying attention. Because I’m really focused on trying to move a tiny piece of paper with my mind.***It’s a postage-stamp-sized piece of paper, and it’s resting on the table in front of me. It’s small enough, and I’m close enough a mere inches away that I could move it with my breath if I wanted. But I don’t. I want to move it with my mind.***It has never occurred to me until now to try to move things with my mind. I suspect the combination of coffee, sleep deprivation, light deprivation and more coffee have convinced me that such abilities are within my grasp. Also, I’m still new at the tie thing, so I may have it a little tighter than necessary.***For the past 45 minutes I’ve been staring at this paper, giving it all the concentration I can muster. So far, nothing.Initially, I took an aggressive approach:&quotMove!&quot I thought at the paper.&quotI command thee!&quot&quotMove NOW!&quotNope.Then I switched to a more gentle technique, asking the paper if it wouldn’t, when it gets a chance, mind terribly to please, you know, move.I thought I’d succeeded, as it actually moved a little, but then I realized it was because I’d said &quotplease&quot out loud, and the resulting hard consonant updraft caused a slight flutter.***The meeting lasts for a few more days, and I’m confident that I’ll have cracked this by then. I’m already envisioning the new doors my telekinetic powers will open for me. Like, well, opening doors, for instance. No more ofthat tiresome fumbling with knobs just a simple &quotOpen, Sesame&quot and open it flings. Not that I’d have to say &quotOpen, Sesame,&quot of course, but I probably would for maximum theatrical effect.Then again, maybe the &quotOpen, Sesame&quot approach is the key. I haven’t tried that on the paper yet.&quotMove, Sesame!&quotNope.***I foresee a life of ease: me sitting still while things float to and fro at my beckoning. Plus, since I’m currently in Vegas, well seven come eleven, baby! I’m not really a gambler, so I don’t know exactly what that means, butI’ll figure it out, and then I’ll be raking it in. I should probably get back to moving this paper, though.***OK, aggression clearly isn’t working. Nor is pleading. Maybe I need a smaller bit of paper. Or maybe I should go the other way instead of focus,I should just &quotlet go.&quot Clear my mind. DON’T think about moving the paper.Think about anything but. Once I’ve completely released all notions of how desperately I need this stupid paper to move, then surely it WILL. Right?Yeah, right. If that were true, then EVERYTHING I’m currently not thinking about would be flying around the room. And unless there’s something people aren’t telling me, that’s not the case. Dammit.***Dum de dum … la la la … &quotMOVE PAPER, MOVE! MOVE NOW! MOVE! MOVE! NOW!Nope.Guess I can rule out the surprise approach, too.***Using my MIND, I transmit neural/electronic impulses down my arm and into my index finger, instructing it, with my MIND, to flick the goddam piece of paper off the table. My MIND has now successfully moved the paper, and moved it good. So there.Ooh! Coffee break. About time, too.Next time: After More Coffee, Barry Learns To Throw His Voice. Sorta.Barry Smith, an Aspen-based freelance writer, moves his lips while writing this column, and hopes you do the same while reading it. E-mail him at or visit his Web page at

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