Steve and I went to see a hypnotist performance at Higher Ground. I have seen hypnotist performances before and they are always hilarious, but this time it was different, because Steve got himself hypnotized! He got hypnotized in the audience, got picked and ended up on the stage. (I never get hypnotized because the hypnotist always speaks into the microphone really closely and I can’t make out what he is saying.) As the hypnotist did his countdown to a deeper, more relaxed state, Steve was so relaxed that he was slouched down in the chair with his head nearly at a 90 degree angle sideways, practically on the shoulder of the stranger next to him. It’s one thing to see this performance of people you don’t know, it’s quite another to see it happen to your husband and to know without a doubt that he is not making any of it up. The hypnotist did a swaying test and weeded out more people who were not under this way. Out of everyone on the stage, Steve appeared to be the second most heavily influenced.
Then the hypnotist convinced everyone on stage that they were very happy and very drunk. Steve said later that while he was sitting in the chair, he didn’t think he was drunk at all and that it wasn’t working. But then the hypnotist had him stand up and he started staggering sideways. The hypnotist had to catch him, “Whoa,” he said. “What’s your name?” he asked. “Steve,” Steve said, giggling, and then he staggered again. The hypnotist sat him back down without doing the little trick to make Steve feel drunker like he did with the others. “You’ve had enough to drink,” he said.
Steve sat down and I could not stop laughing at the look on his face. The hypnotist told everyone to sleep again and Steve was out like a lightbulb, his head dangling on his chest. Then the hypnotist told everyone that that their right arm was made of steel and they couldn’t bend it, no matter how hard they tried. Steve again said later that he obliged with holding his arm out straight, but was convinced that when asked to, he would be able to bend it just fine. Until it was his turn, that is. The hypnotist asked him to bend his arm, and you could tell he was straining as hard as he could to bend it, and could not. The look on his face at this point was priceless. He was utterly stupefied, staring at his arm. A lot of the others couldn’t bend their arms either, but didn’t seem overly impressed. Steve was just incredulous, as if it was contradicting everything he has ever known be true about the laws of nature. I think because of the expression on Steve’s face, the hypnotist then singled him out and had him stand up.
The hypnotist then suggested that Steve’s other arm was made of steel as well, and Steve stood there with both of his arms sticking out. The hypnotist had also planted the suggestion that Steve needed to pee. But in Steve’s mind, this was absolutely secondary to the unbelievable fact that he COULDN’T BEND HIS ARMS. The hypnotist kept joking about Steve’s predictiment until Steve said “I’m going to hit you with my steel arms.” Everyone laughed and the hypnotist finally freed Steve from his steel arms.
As the evening went on, Steve was convinced that it was physically impossible to get out of his chair, that his underwear was shrinking, that he was a judge on American Idol, that he was being goosed every time he said his last name, and that a man in the audience was talking about him and making him uncomfortable. At which point he tried to leave his seat and found that he could not. He still couldn’t believe it, and tried with all his strength to get out of the chair, which just made him look like he was engaging in very strenuous toileting activity.
A couple times during the performance, Steve came out of it. I could tell immediately when that happened. The hypnotist eventually noticed too, and just gave him some extra attention to put him back under. It was utterly amazing. I have always been fascinated by hypnosis, and to see utterly logical, sensible Steve go under to the point that it alters his beliefs about himself and his body, was the clincher. This stuff WORKS. Imagination and intention becomes a physiological reality. I just cannot conceive how it is possible, but it would be a great tool to use- to improve memory, heal your body and mind, among other things.
The grand finale of the performance involved convincing everyone on stage (only about six people left at this point, as the hypnotist weeded out more and more volunteers who didn’t fully go under) that they were world-renowned exotic dancers with their own stage names. He went to Steve first and asked him his name, “Peter Schlong” he replied immediately.
One by one, the significant other of each person on stage came up out of the audience and sat in the chair. The hypnotized individual then performed an exotic dance, and they were amazingly GOOD at it. Steve was the last to perform. I went up on stage, blushing hard, and sat in the chair while Steve gazed at me intensely. As soon as “I’m too sexy” started playing, Steve started dancing. I will have you know that Peter Schlong is QUITE the Chippendale. I think Steve found his calling.
We will be moving to Montreal shortly.