1. Rick n Morty
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    Rick n Morty Active Member

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    Electric monkey bars

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Rick n Morty, Jul 20, 2016.

    Okay, so here's another thread about my magnum opus, the one mentioned here and here. As a reminder, the story takes place in mostly Malaysia (though the first five minutes is set in Indonesia) in 1967.

    Anyways, there's a scene that takes place in the abusive circus where the gibbon character is forced to swing across some monkey bars with a deep vat of water at the bottom, to get some fruit on the other side. At first he's excited about this, but as soon as he touches the first bar, it shocks him. He continues swinging across as he gets more and more shocked until he reaches the end and finds his hands and feet are badly burned.

    I was wondering if electrified monkey bars would be a believable (not necessarily realistic, but believable) thing to see in 60's Malaysia. I mean, people did all sorts of crazy things with electricity beforehand, so I guess it wouldn't be TOO far-fetched, but I just wanted to check.
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    What would the point of it be? Like, why would his handlers do this to him?
     
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  3. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    I'm not sure it would be possible to make it across monkey bars that shock you as you touch each rung. Electricity doesn't burn you before it seizes your muscles. Monkey bars require a fair amount of muscle precision, and I'm not sure that can be achieved whilst being shocked.

    For me, what's more unbelievable than the electrified monkey bars is that someone made it across with electricity strong enough to cause burns, but it doesn't interrupt his making it across? That doesn't add up.

    I will also echo BayView, why would the circus people do this?
     
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  4. Rick n Morty
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    Rick n Morty Active Member

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    To force him to move, of course. Trust me, I've heard of circuses doing even crazier things for entertainment.

    But, I think I may remove the burn part. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
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  5. Iain Aschendale
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    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    I'm still a little confused about the motivation behind the electricity. Gibbons can't swim, so I understand why he'd want to stay on the bars, but swinging is their natural mode of locomation, and fruit is a good motivation to cross the bars, so....

    If someone put a nice dinner on a plate across the room from you, you'd walk across the room without any complaint, wouldn't you?
     
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  6. Rick n Morty
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    Rick n Morty Active Member

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    This is a valid point, and maybe I'll think about removing the fruit so that the only reason he crosses is so that he doesn't get injured.

    I know that the circus has to be an unpleasant experience for all four of the main characters, which is the meta reason for the electricity, but if anyone has any other suggestions, I'm open to them.
     
  7. Iain Aschendale
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    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    Starvation and flaming hoops? Gibbon gets fed only irregularly, and on show day he sees a whole bunch of food on the other platform, but each monkey bar is in the center of a flaming hoop. Singed fur and terror vs the constant gnawing ache in the belly?

    Maybe, just thinking out loud.
     
  8. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    These are anthropomorphic animals, right? More intelligent than the animals actually are?

    So could it be a sort of existential crisis, or a need for freedom/self-determination? Rather than having the humans be cartoon villains, cruel just for cruelty's sake, you could have the humans just be ignorant, not understanding the animals' emotional needs.

    Might make a more nuanced story?
     
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  9. Rick n Morty
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    Rick n Morty Active Member

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    The animals are somewhat anthropomorphized, like they can talk and are capable of more complex thought, but they still behave like animals in a believable way. They don't really understand human technology, for instance.

    The human villains are like real life animal abusers; they don't really care how the animals are treated as long as they get money.
     
  10. Rick n Morty
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    Rick n Morty Active Member

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    That would be interesting. I'll consider it.
     
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  11. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm sad, having read all the above responses, to find that this isn't somewhere for electric monkeys to have a beer and unwind...
     
  12. Iain Aschendale
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    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    I couldn't hit the "like" button hard enough to let you know how beautiful that was.
     
  13. Rick n Morty
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    Rick n Morty Active Member

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    Yeah, sorry. I may consider a story idea with that premise, though. ;)
     
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  14. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    I would complain. Why not bring it to me?
     
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  15. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    In response to OP, I think electrified monkey bars would just make the gibbon let go (unless it forced involuntary muscle contractions). The whole scenario you described is a little confusing. I also agree with the critique regarding physiological effects of electricity. It seems like voltage high enough to cause burns would also cause involuntary muscle contractions.
     
  16. Rick n Morty
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    Rick n Morty Active Member

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    I imagined it shocking him enough to be painful, but not deadly, which would result in him letting go and grabbing the next one to avoid the water below (he's aquaphobic, since gibbons can't swim), only to get shocked again, then he would let go and grab onto the next bar, which would also shock him, and so on.
     
  17. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    We get that part. What @mrieder79 was trying to say is that electricity strong enough to burn would not allow for anything to have the control over their muscles to complete the monkey bars. Have you ever been shocked really bad? I have. I worked with an electrician for a while, and being shocked with 240 volts makes your muscles seize. Swinging wouldn't be possible. But 240 volts is not enough to burn you.

    Does this make sense?

    One or the other. If you're going to shock your characters to the point of burns, you can't, realistically, have them on monkey bars. If you're going to electrify monkey bars, you can't, realistically, write in the burn part.
     
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  18. Rick n Morty
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    Rick n Morty Active Member

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    Yeah, I said previously that I decided to leave out the burns.
     

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