The study, conducted by the United States Department of the Treasury, on behalf of the President of the United States, used a modified Richter scale to represent the emotional intensity of the response generated by various popuation segments to a spectrum of stimuli.
“We included numerous repetitions of fifty experiments,” said Dr Enid Krobyte, spokesperson for the Treasury. “Taking candy from a baby, for instance, incited reaction registering from 1.8, which is barely perceptible, up to 3.5.” The first value was when the baby was first grasping the candy, said Dr Krobyte. The second value was obtained when the candy was in the subject’s mouth.
Demanding that Workman’s Comp recipients return 5% of payment received generated a 7.8 response. “We were a litle surprised at that,” the researcher said. “After all, we explained that it was an ‘honest mistake’.” She attributed the subject’s fury to “survivor guilt.”
But the overwhelming response of the uncompensated prostitutes rocked the researchers. In fact, it seems, it might have destabilized the entire Department.
“We thought first that our graphic sensors had gone screwy,” said Dr Krobyte. “The needles were pinned to the max. The readings were literally off the chart.” Asked for a numerical value, she replied, “I have to say, 11.”
Echoes of the emotional blast were heard as far away as Connecticut and Ohio. More than three thousand female office workers in Hartford were sent home early with intestinal illnesses. Thirteen of the remaining forty-seven housewives of Columbus were reported as suffering severe headaches or stomach upset. And there was absolutely no sexual intercourse in Cleveland.
In comparison, women test subjects who were told, “I’ll call you,” registered 8.9 to 9.3, substantial but still well below the threshholds established by the prostitutes.