From Free-Range Chickens.

1

Observation: None of the girls in my class think that I'm cool.

Research: My older brother told me that the political hardcore band Rage Against the Machine is cool.

Hypothesis:
If I pretend to be really into the political hardcore band Rage Against the Machine, then the girls in my class will think that I'm cool.

Materials:
1 Rage Against the Machine album
1 Rage Against the Machine T-shirt
1 Rage Against the Machine bandanna

Methods:
1) Wear the T-shirt and bandanna every single day for an entire month.
2) Make fun of everybody in the class for listening to bands that are less politically intense than Rage Against the Machine. Especially make fun of the girls who I am trying to impress.
3) Quote Rage Against the Machine lyrics constantly, regardless of the situation.
4) If someone asks me what I'm talking about, roll my eyes and say, "You probably wouldn't get it. It has to do with communism."
5) If someone calls my bluff and asks me what communism is, bang my fist against the table and say, "God, stop being such a poser!"

Was your hypothesis correct?
No.


2

Observation:
None of the girls in my class think that I'm cool.

Research: Mike Cobalt wears gel in his hair and the girls think he's cool.

Hypothesis:
If I wear gel in my hair, then the girls will think I'm cool.

Material:

1 large bottle of Dep Shaping Gel (Extra Super Hold)

Methods:

1) Wear gel in my hair every day for a week.
2) When my mom stops me at the elevator every morning and begs to help me use the gel because I "don't understand how it works," become so furious with her that I'm almost at the brink of tears.

Was your hypothesis correct? No.


3

Observation:
None of the girls in my class think that I'm cool. But one of the girls in my history class has started being nice to me.

Research: Sometimes when I'm eating lunch alone in the cafeteria, she sits down next to me, voluntarily. One time, when the two of us were alone in an elevator, she said, "God,
Saturdays are so boring. I wish someone would take me to a movie or something."

Hypothesis:
If I ask her out, she might say yes-as long as I do it in a super-slick way.

Materials:

3 cans of Jolt cola

Methods:
1) Go to the bathroom at lunch and drink all three cans of Jolt to "get pumped."
2) Walk around her table in a circle until she motions for me to sit down next to her.
3) Pretend that I just noticed for the first time that she was sitting in the cafeteria, even though it's basically empty except for me and her.
4) Sit down across from her.
5) When she asks me if everything is okay, because parts of my face are twitching, tell her that I'm fine.
6) Don't say anything for ten whole minutes.
7) Tell her that The Waterboy starring Adam Sandler is opening on Friday.
8) Wait a little while for that information to sink in.
9) When she asks me if I'm planning on seeing it, say yes.
10) When she asks me if I'm going to see it with anyone, say no.
11) Stare at my tray for a few minutes, until she pokes me on the shoulder and says, "Hey . . . do you want to ask me to go with you?"
12) Look up and nod.

Was your hypothesis correct? Yes!

Excerpted from Free-Range Chickens by Simon Rich Copyright