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the effects of paris hilton on scientists
the rats still run the maze
by robert a. melos
pop culture

Last night I was watching Countdown with Keith Olbermann, which I often do, listening to the number one story of the day. His number one story of the day was of scientific research, rats, and ex-con Paris Hilton. Granted I’ve been preoccupied lately and tend to multitask while watching television, meaning I’m on-line, on the phone, on hallucinogenics (just kidding). So when I heard Paris Hilton mentioned in the same sentence with scientific research I stopped surfing for web porn, um, I mean, stopped working on the next great American novel, and paused to listen to the story.

Apparently lab rats get all sorts of nervous when they are picked up and injected with whatever chemicals and hallucinogenics scientists inject into them for their pleasure (the scientists, not the rats), and the rats then are dropped back into their little pens where they spend a lot of time licking the spot where they’ve just been poked with a big bad needle. A scientist noticed that when he remained present, the rats, fearing they might be killed, stop the licking of the spot where they’ve been injected and calmed down while watching the movement of the scientist.

This brilliant scientist thought he would experiment, so he left the room and came back with a life size cardboard cutout of Paris Hilton. Amazingly enough, the rats, had the same reaction to the cardboard cutout of Ms. Hilton. Now the obvious question is, why did a scientist have a life size cardboard cutout of Paris Hilton handy?

You see I don’t think the rats reactions to a cutout of Paris Hilton is as interesting as the fact an obviously nerdy scientist had a life size cutout of the actress/ex-con/amateur porn star/heiress. I think the rats would’ve reacted the same way to a cardboard cutout of Yogi Berra or Bea Arthur. They are two different people, you know. Bea is taller than Yogi.

Anyway, back to my point. The fact the scientist had a cardboard cutout of Paris Hilton proved my scientific theory that scientists are nerds who can’t get a real girl, or guy if they choose to have a cardboard cutout of Elijah Wood or Kevin Sorbo. The truth is, had this story happened in the 1970s the lab rats would’ve been mesmerized by cutouts of Farrah Fawcett or Victoria Principal. In the 80s it would’ve been Madonna. The 90s would’ve been, well, whoever was popular in the 90s.

It’s taken all these years to figure out new ways of terrorizing lab rats with silly experiments. Another interesting aspect of this, dare I call it an experiment, is all the lab rats that were mesmerized by the figure of Paris Hilton were male. Apparently female rats were either not present at the test, (which makes me wonder exactly what kind of rat circle jerk was going on), or female rats simply are not impressed with Paris Hilton.

Now if I were Paris Hilton I’d want more tests run to discover the reaction the rats might have to her television show and movie appearances (I mean House of Wax, not 1 Night in Paris). I’m definitely not suggesting exposing innocent rats to Paris Hilton porn. I don’t know if Paris Hilton has the mind for scientific study, although I’m sure the scientists would welcome her and Nicole Richie, her BFF and cohort in The Simple Life, into their labs for the advancement of scientific study.

As I watched the news broadcast, and the jokes they were making about rats and Paris Hilton, I wondered what the cutout pose of Paris Hilton was? I mean, most of the live action news footage of Paris has her holding her Chihuahua, Tinkerbell. Now I might be wrong about this, but aren’t Chihuahuas known for their penchant for chasing rodents? And if said cardboard cutout was of her famous pose with her pooch, couldn’t the rats be focusing not on the curvaceous Paris, but on the terrifying rat chasing dog; their natural enemy?

I’m not trying to disprove any scientific theories, or give Paris Hilton any more attention than she already has garnered on her own, or make any scientists feel self-conscious over their possibly masturbatory life sized cardboard cutouts of famous personalities known for their looks, jail time and amateur porn careers. I’m just questioning the effects of Paris Hilton on rodents and scientists.


Robert is the author of the novels Cool Mint Blue, Melba Ridge, and the recently released The Adventures of Homosexual Man and Lesbian Lad; and the creator of the on-line comix Impure Thoughts found at his web site Inside R.A. Melos, as well as having been an on-line staff writer for QBliss where he had a monthly humor column, Maybe A Yip, Maybe A Yap. In his non-writing time, when he's not studying the metaphysical or creating a tarot deck, he sells real estate in Middlesex County New Jersey, hangs out with his dog Zeus, and spends time at the Pride Center of New Jersey in Highland Park, NJ, where he is on the Board of Trustees.

more about robert a. melos


i have sinned
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topic: pop culture
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let’s not k.i.t.
by robert a. melos
topic: pop culture
published: 11.19.08


ken mohnkern
11.13.07 @ 11:42p

Oh, come on. Kevin Sorbo?

robert melos
11.14.07 @ 11:02p

Kevin Sorbo tests very well with 2 out of 3 lab rats.

tracey kelley
11.17.07 @ 9:03a

And if said cardboard cutout was of her famous pose with her pooch, couldn’t the rats be focusing not on the curvaceous Paris, but on the terrifying rat chasing dog; their natural enemy?


In my work building, there is a cubicle filled with cardboard cutouts of various people. Their heads reach just slightly above the cubicle wall, the wall adjacent to the restroom. So as you approach the restroom or leave it, it's like all these people are watching you. Freaky.

robert melos
11.17.07 @ 10:44p

The cardboard cutouts are freaky. It's like any kind of painting or photo of a person. Their eyes always watch you.

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