02 June 2009

An Experiment in Science

For the past few weeks I've found little time to keep up with this blog, follow my favorite television shows, or read more than a few pages of a book. The reason for this distraction? My foray into the wonderful world of science. I've always been a bit of an amateur scientist, but my latest obsession has taken this to a whole new level. What follows is a documentation of my experiment, which I believe will be of keen interest to both the scientific community and the world at large. Please enjoy the scientific method, in all its glory.

Step One: Ask a Question

The question, to my mind, was this: How do I provide myself with the extraordinary amount of macaroni and cheese that I require without going broke in the process?

Step Two: Do Background Research

I had a few options, it seemed. I could simply begin shopping for macaroni and cheese at the dollar store. I could buy cheaper brands and sacrifice taste in the name of saving a few pennies. I could try to wean myself from my macaroni and cheese addiction. None of these seemed particularly viable. However, Googling "How to save on groceries" led me to several websites that recommended growing my own food. Hmmm, now we were on to something.

Step Three: Construct a Hypothesis

My hypothesis was simply this: I could plant some Velveeta Shells and Cheese in the backyard, and with care and love I would soon have a macaroni and cheese tree.

Step Four: Test Your Hypothesis

I made up a batch of shells and cheese (which, yes, I understand is not macaroni by definition, but it is the prime example of its form) and scooped it out into a bowl. I poured a cold glass of Coke and sat down to watch Click on the FX network. Around the time Adam Sandler gets the universal remote control from Christopher Walken, I had finished the meal. Son of a bitch! That had been my planting macaroni, not my eating macaroni. I went back into the kitchen and made a new batch, missing the funny parts of the movie in the process.

This time I remained on task and took my bowl of shells and cheese out to the backyard. I dug a shallow hole and placed the steaming bowl of macaroni goodness in the center of the plot. Feeling a little twinge of regret, I covered the macaroni up with dirt and then nodded approvingly at my handiwork. Soon, my mac and cheese addiction would no longer be looked at as "strange" or "unhealthy", but rather regarded as the catalyst for one of the world's great discoveries.

Step Five: Draw a Conclusion

The macaroni and cheese tree experiment was an utter failure. After four patient weeks, I realized no tree was going to grow. I dug up my bowl, only now realizing what a dumb idea it had been to begin with. I briefly considered eating the remnants of my seedlings, but I couldn't tell the worms from the shells.

Adding insult to injury, Blake Osgood was selling macaroni and cheese at the flea market Sunday at an exceptionally low price. Blake Osgood is my arch enemy, however, so I didn't buy any.


Wendy said...

First of all, you aren't supposed to plant the bowl because it interferes with the root growth.

Second, you have to space the shells out like in rows.

Do you live in the city? How can you not know about this stuff?

Winky Twinky said...

Awww, I'm sorry to hear this, Shawn... I s'pose this means I shouldn't bother trying to grow my Fruit Loops tree then, huh? :(

City Zoning Official said...

It is my understanding that you have not procured a proper agriculture permit. This is your official notice that you are in violation of City Ordinance #445-192A. Please cease and desist any further farming activities until you can do so in compliance with your local rules and regulations.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Eric said...

A great scientifically compelling post... Don't give up whatever you do! To make a major discovery, sometimes scientists need to perform literally tens of experiments I hear.

Thinkinfyou said...

Damn! I was so hoping your experiment would work!

Shawn said...

Wendy: Well, I had hoped that the tree would grow mac and cheese complete with the bowl, thus cutting down on preparation and dishwashing.

Winky: That's a different matter, since Fruit Loops naturally grow on trees.

CZO: That's just great. Now my failed experiment has me in trouble with the city.

Eric: Tens! I don't have all week to make it as a scientist.

Thinkin: I know. It would have been glorious for mac and cheese lovers everywhere.

Scott Oglesby said...

Ok, I know exactly what went wrong. Fortunately I’ve just crossed this threshold of discovery myself! You need fertilizer, simple as that. You bury Blake Osgood FIRST, then the mac and cheese on top. Two birds with one stone, because now you have his mac and cheese to sustain you until your tree grows. I just figured this out while trying to grow my pizza tree. It took 3 delivery guys but I think I’m starting to see a sprout! Scientific discovery takes sacrifice. Literally!

Maureen said...

Did you ensure you planted the shells right side up? Cause if you planted them upside down, of course they wouldn't grow, you dolt.


Funnyrunner said...

LOL. I've been wondering where you've been.... to save money on mac n cheese, one of the world's greatest foods, indeed, you may omit the milk. C'mon - what is it? 33 cents a box at the most?

My son, when he was younger, decided to plant one of the seeds from his apple. I gave in and planted the dumb seed in a styrofoam cup and set it on the windowsill. Hot damn if a sprout didn't appear. My son goes: "yay! Now we can grow our own apples this year!"

ReformingGeek said...

Look at it a different way. Your experiment did work. It produced no-calorie mac an cheese.

C.B. Jones said...

I know how you feel. My gummy worm breeding experiment rendered similar results.

Silicone Momma said...

Oh how sad....although I didn't think it would grow a tree, I held hope in that with a little determination you would at least be able to produce cheese flavored earthworms and maybe some shell shaped rolie polies.

Chris @ Maugeritaville said...

Any experiment involving mac and cheese is bound to be successful, as long as the conclusion is, "now eat the mac and cheese."

Haley said...

I once pooped in the garden - no story - just thought I'd mention it.

bearmancartoons said...

Silly boy...everyone knows pasta shells have to be grown in water...SHELLS!!! duh.

Jen said...

We, as in my daughter, planted jelly beans and pennies this spring. Presumably with the same hope you had of not only having her own source of jelly beans but to also have a money tree. The dog ate both the jelly beans and several pennies. He had horrible gas for days and if we could figure out a way to harness that power we might be onto something. Good luck and keep trying.

Sue said...

Please tell me you made the mac and cheese in the microwave, if not there's your problem. Everyone knows you have to go nuclear, that's how I got my mocha cappuccino tree to grow.

Dave said...

Science is fun. Up until now 'cause I think you might have killed it.

Shawn said...

Scott: Hmm, even if that doesn't work, it might make the funnest (yeah, I said it) science experiment of all time.

Maureen: Ohhh. They were all just mushed together?

Funnyrunner: I don't even use milk to begin with! But I eat upwards of ten boxes a day. It really adds up.

Reforming: Boo. Boo to this no-cal mac and cheese.

C.B.: Well that's an affront to nature and good taste. Gummy worms should be eradicated, not bred.

Silicone: That may have happened. I should go back out and check. Sometimes the most interesting inventions come as accidents!

Chris: Yes, unfortunately this experiment did not end that way.

Haley: Yeah...me too.

Bearman: D'oh! Why didn't I learn this stuff in school?

Jen: Damn dog! A jellybean and money tree would have been awesome.

Sue: It was stovetop mac and cheese. I'll take your advice if I give it another go. A Starbucks Frappuccino tree would be rather terrific.

Dave: Sorry, science. It was an accident.

Jeff said...

Mmmm. Mac and trees.

Mike said...

Did you water the tree?

Jenn Thorson said...

Well, the problem IS, Shawn, that shells aren't grown that way.

See, shells are a secretion from the animal itself.

We're talking animals here, and not vegetables-- that's where your hypothesis went wrong.

So what you need to do is find yourself a small collection of pastapods, preferably of the velveetus cheesius species, and then grow those in a tank.

They thrive on milk- which is what helps make the shell secretions strong and eventually very nice and nukable in water.

You're welcome. :)

Shawn said...

Jeff: Normally puns are banned from this area, but I like that one so I'll make an exception. THIS time.

Mike: It's Florida. It rains every day.

Jenn: Now damn it, why didn't I come to you before doing the experiment. I knew I had done something wrong, but how was I to know just how far off the mark I was?

Nan-Nan said...

HellOOOOooooo???? Osmocote? Miracle Grow? Even a simple fish head? DUUUUHHHHH!

Laineypie. said...

When you have a child and name it "Blogger", I shall be first to follow you. ;)

Dalton J. Fox said...

When it comes to getting a deal on macaroni and cheese, sometimes you just have to put your differences aside for the greater good even if Blake Osgood is your arch-enemy.

Shawn said...

Nan-Nan: Ugh, growing your own food is so complicated! I think I should have paid more attention to the "background research" part of it.

Laineypie: You're going to be so embarrassed when I actually do that and then you have to follow through.

Dalton: Never! I see your point, but never!

dizzblnd said...

could you imagine if that had worked? Then you could figure out the secret to growing a money tree and share the knowledge with everyone...

....sigh you need to try harder

JerseyGirl said...

hee hee hee...

I went back into the kitchen and made a new batch, missing the funny parts of the movie in the process.


Shawn said...

Dizz: A scientist's work is never done--count on that!

Jersey: Well, they went by pretty fast.