In Science: Teaching a Chimpanzee to Change A Car Tire Without Violence, Torture, Or Loss Of Life
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Solving Blanchard’s Dilemma: Teaching A Chimpanzee To Change A Car Tire Without Violence, Torture, Or Loss Of Life
Dr. Kenneth Lam, PhD., Dr. Phyllis Lam-Ellington, PhD, Dr. Burt Ellington, PhD.
BACKGROUND: The scientific conundrum known as “Blanchard’s Dilemma” (first observed by social behaviorist Dr. Barbara Blanchard in 1962) demonstrated that a common chimpanzee could not, under any set of variables, be taught to change a flat tire on an automobile without the use of torture and extreme violence—or, at the very least, the explicit threat of torture or violence. Additionally, Blanchard’s Dilemma states that there is no experimental or natural environment in which the idiotic primates will not, for some reason, turn on the research team, killing as many scientists as possible, in as gruesome a manner as possible, before having to be shot.
It is with great pride that the Lam-Lam-Ellington-Ellington research team announces, in this esteemed and venerated journal, that it has solved Blanchard’s Dilemma; this will, of course, represent an incalculable economic boon to the automotive repair industry, as utilizing this vastly inferior and stupid species for the purpose of changing tires will cost only a fraction of what providing pay and benefits to human employees would.
METHODOLOGY: After having received a sizable grant1, the research team constructed a large facility housing several different makes and models of cars, and purchased three adult lab chimpanzees: Coco, Mr. Kiwi, and B.F. Skinner, The Chimpanzee. Though controversial and seemingly counter-intuitive, researchers decided to train Coco and Mr. Kiwi without using violence at all: for Coco, positive reinforcement was employed to slowly teach her how to jack up a car, remove the lug nuts, and replace the flat tire. This proved difficult, as the temptation to beat, burn, or otherwise hurt the stupid idiot chimp when she did not respond correctly was, at times, overwhelming. Conversely, Mr. Kiwi was trained using only explicit and implicit threats of violence, without actually visiting any physical harm on the animal. This was accomplished via simple sign language, in which a researcher would point to a flat tire on a car and then, by slowly drawing the thumb across the neck, communicate that he or she would slit the chimp’s throat if the animal did not comply. Additionally, researchers would at least twice per night awaken Mr. Kiwi by whispering into his cage, “If you don’t change that flat tire, I am going to fucking murder you, Mr. Kiwi.”
However, despite the fact that not using violence on the chimps makes absolutely no sense (empirical or otherwise), and was essentially a last-ditch attempt at solving Blanchard’s Dilemma that none of the researchers thought would have the slightest chance of being viable, the animals miraculously learned how to change the flat tires. Even more astonishing, Coco, who received only positive reinforcement and was not at all threatened with dismemberment or death, learned how to change the tires at a significantly faster rate than the other two animals.
In the case of B.F. Skinner, The Chimpanzee, extreme violence was still used in his training, as a set of control data. This series of trials ended predictably, and in the manner of all previous experiments concerned with Blanchard’s Dilemma2.
RESULTS: While it still requires further calibration and refinement3, this new methodology represents a major breakthrough in this area of study. Coco, the ignoramus trained using only positive reinforcement, successfully learned to change flat tires 82% of the time, and only choked research assistants until they passed out/died in 3% of trials. As ludicrous as it seems, the way forward in this scientific field seems to demand researchers eschew violence against these horrid, stinking shit-creatures.
CONCLUSIONS: The research team feels confident in saying that, within 5 years, human hands will never again change a flat tire on an automobile. Additionally, these new data will be immensely useful in studies concerned with training packs of wild raccoons to cooperate in watering hard-to-reach hanging plants, as well as teaching black bears to perform basic oral hygiene on humans.
1. The research team would like to extend its immense gratitude to the Greasy Jerk chain of automotive repair centers.
2. Primate uses tire iron to beat several research assistants to death; emergency AK-47 automatic rifle is broken out from glass case; two full magazines of ammunition are required to stop animal.
3. It will be some time before the chimps can be trained to wear garage coveralls and hats; without this final piece of the puzzle, the entire endeavor is admittedly pointless.