This is an excerpt from the memoirs of a Mad Scientist. It was the inspiration behind the song “H2O Joe” on my album Mad Scientist PHD. Click the image below to download from iTunes.
No matter what you do in my line of work there is an element of educated estimation and an element of chance experimentation.
It was a blistering hot summer. I was working in my lab (as usual) on some everlasting ice, which never came to be. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t stop the water from melting. All my powers of scientific inventiveness were given over to cooling people, myself, down.
It was then that my good friend, at the time, Joe came into the room. I forget what he was coming to get, or bring. He might have just stopped by to say hi. My lab was anything but air-conditioned. We began looking for ways to cool the room by opening one door at the front, and one at the back. We opened windows, put up fans, but to no avail. It didn’t matter how quickly we moved the hot, sticky air around, it was still thick and stifling.
Just then I got the brilliant idea that if I raised the amount of water (H2O) in Joe’s body, he might feel as though he was swimming constantly. He would be in a never-ending state of cool. I asked Joe if he would like to try it. He was hot enough to try anything, he said.
I must tell you now, that I never forced Joe in any way to do the experiment. I didn’t twist his arm, or offer him money. It was done in an attempt to subside the intense heat we were feeling.
I put together a formula, had Joe drink gallons upon gallons of water. As he drank, I noticed at first water coming through his skin as sweat, but soon all the colour in his face faded. Before I knew it, he was gone. Well, not gone, but he was 100% water.
Joe, at that moment, was laughing in a gurgling fashion. He was sliding all around my floor in a puddle. He was happy to be cool and even transparent. I warned him that he better not evaporate.
Joe never returned to his normal state. He still is 100% water to the best of my knowledge. We don’t really keep in touch, especially now that I’m on the run. He stopped by a long time back to see me. He was angry. I think he just needed to get things off his chest.
He told me stories about being lost in the pool once because he couldn’t see himself as he was swimming. I commented that he would be very good at Marco Polo. He didn’t laugh. He, however, did say he was constantly having wet dreams, which I thought was in good humour. He wasn’t joking.
“It’s not as gross as it seems,” I said.
“But in the winter I can’t relax. I’m always afraid I’ll freeze solid.”
I could see that being a struggle for someone who enjoyed winter sports.
I had hoped that he would have simply become accustomed to being water and forgotten the way things used to be, but maybe that would be hard. I wouldn’t know, I’ve never been 100% water.
I felt bad for Joe. I really liked him, and I never liked messing up an experiment, but imagine if it had worked.