Hypothesis: Given our prior knowledge of Tyler, the aforementioned Doofus, and the tortuous purgatory that is the Science Fair in general... our educated guess is that Tyler will be shouldering most of the work involved—and by Tyler, we mean his parents—in an effort to avoid a dreadful score on his project and, in turn, an abysmal grade in Honors Integrated Science.
The Experiment commences:
Controlled Variables: Tyler, Doofus and Dave, who assumed the role of Supervisor in the Depths of Hell during the course of this project. [Clinical sidenote: At no time were Doofus' parents involved in any phase of this project.]
Manipulated Variables: Pretty much everything else. (Up until five days before the project was due, any number of things changed from day to day: The experiment they were going to perform, the action plan to conduct said experiment, the liquids they were using, the metals they were using... you name it. Finally, Supervisor in the Depths of Hell put a stop to their meandering and made them start their project.)
Observation & Data Collection: We observed two scenarios that played out, in some form or fashion, every single day during the experiment:
- Tyler calls Doofus to remind him of what he's supposed to be doing.
- Doofus asks Tyler what he's supposed to be doing.
- Tyler explains (AGAIN) what Doofus is supposed to be doing.
- Tyler's mother overhears the conversation, rolls her eyes, and starts hollering about the inherent value of choosing a Science Fair partner whose head isn't simply an oversized knick-knack propped on top of their shoulders.
- Tyler looks at his hollering mother with contempt and misery, finishes talking to Doofus, then skulks off to his room to see if he can find a new place to live for the next five days.
- Tyler and Doofus are meeting at our house to compare data at 4 p.m.
- Doofus arrives at 4:30 p.m.
- Doofus has forgotten his data notebook.
- Since Doofus has forgotten his notebook (along with the reason why he is at our house), Doofus suggests playing Wii instead.
- Supervisor in the Depths of Hell assesses the situation, puts the kibosh on Wii, and drives them back over to Doofus' house to get his notebook.
- Supervisor in the Depths of Hell proceeds to watch Tyler's and Doofus' every move to ensure that they're proceeding with the experiment as outlined.
- Doofus leaves at 5:30 p.m.
- Supervisor in the Depths of Hell skulks off to his room to see if he can find a new place to live for the next five days.
I wish I could say the data fascinated me... but it only gave me an overwhelming desire to purchase Xanax. A lot of it. IMMEDIATELY.
Results: After repeated rounds of Scenarios 1 and 2, and with Supervisor in the Depths of Hell hovering over them every minute, Tyler and Doofus managed to collate their data, write summaries, create a table, and select the photos of their progress (which Doofus forgot to take until the very last day of the experiment). They arranged everything on their display board... quite nicely, I'll admit...
And then... Doofus asked us if we could take the board to school, because his parents wouldn't be able to.
[Clinical sidenote: Even if they had offered, did Doofus honestly think—after all the man-hours and angst and self-medicating—that I would let the finished product out of my sight, much less send it home with HIM??? Not a snowball's chance in Science Fair Hell, my friends.]
Conclusion #1: Out of a possible 100%, the data collected from this experiment proved that our hypothesis was 387.6% correct. Tyler did, in fact, do much of the work—his evil parents riding him like Seabiscuit the whole way—because there was a big lesson to learn about choosing wisely.
Conclusion #2: Tyler is no longer allowed to randomly choose a Science Fair partner on his own. From now on we will conduct thorough screenings and background checks, as well as formal interviews, of any and all potential candidates and their parents before making a final decision on a partner. (Why? Because after ALL OF THAT, Tyler actually said that, if he had to do it over, he would probably choose Doofus again because they're good friends. Lesson learned about choosing wisely? Uh... not so much.)
Conclusion #3: If you want your corroded pennies to be nice and shiny again, orange juice really does the trick.