MenagerieFor better or worse: Magic 8 ball
For better or worse: Magic 8 ball
November 18, 2012
November 18, 2012

Does anyone remember the scene from Toy Story when Woody asked a Magic 8 ball whether he was still Andy’s favorite toy? The Magic 8 Ball said “don’t count on it,” which started the whole zigzag ride to Pizza Planet where they eventually ended up in Sid’s evil lair (his bedroom).

The popularity of the Magic 8 ball begs the question: what would happen if you allowed the Magic 8 ball to control your life? Will you end up in Sid’s lair or would you get lucky like Spongebob when he or she used the close cousin of the Magic 8 ball—the Magic Conch Shell?

This month, The Menagerie section brings you to a world dictated by one simple thing—the virtue of the Magic 8 ball

A simple download from the Android play store allowed me to download this app called “Magic 8 Ball.” With one tap, the ball answers the hardest questions from math exams to the ever hard question: should I go to the restroom or should I wait until I get home. To make things interesting, I made a pact to follow or accept whatever the ball said.

It was day one of my mini-adventure. I knew I had to study for my majors. The problem was that I was not entirely sure if the readings that I had were the right ones for the session. I reached for my trusty smartphone and opened up the app to ask the question, “Should I study right now?” The app quickly answered, “outlook not so good.” Anyone with common sense or anyone who did not want to study in the first place would take that as a no.

I was really skeptical. I thought to myself, “Should I really put my academics on the line for the challenge?” It was becoming a risky situation, and I had just started with the first question.

In the spirit of being fair, I accepted the decision of the free android app. I attended class without a clue how I would do since I did not read anything from the fresh batch of papers I waited for at the Xerox machine. By some miracle, the Magic 8 ball was actually. Our professor did not discuss anything related to the readings I had during that time.

Since the first question almost gave me a heart attack, I promised myself that I would not put anything huge on the line. In other words, I knew I had to ask easier questions.

After class, I found myself in front of a fast food restaurant counter. Wondering if I should get the usual combination of burger and fries or have something with rice to fill me up, I asked the Magic 8 ball again, “should I get a rice meal?” Sure enough, it answered yes. The question though was a bit of a cheat, because food is food, and either way, my stomache would be happy.

With my confidence on the ball rising, I asked a series of semi serious questions.

I started with a question that would answer my daily dilemma. Traffic is everyone’s biggest headache; it burns a hole in your pocket and wastes your time like a long wait for a KFC double when it came out, but without the burger.

I had the option to take the skyway or the regular expressway road. While I was stuck in the moderate traffic of Sucat road, I asked the Magic 8 ball which to take on my way to school. I asked if I should take the skyway instead of the regular. “It is decidedly so,” the 8-ball answered, which worked to my benefit because I arrived in time for class.

I thought about my last big question, it was a day before the deadline of this article.

I tried to make life a bit more interesting by inquiring whether I should ask the girl I like out for dinner. That was the question I thought most about since it would lead to a really big and good change in my life or might signal the death of my love life. Eventually, it told me “as I see it, yes”. I was prepared for it; countless thoughts came into my head before that moment.

I had to let it out; I slowly clicked on her name on my facebook chat. She loved the idea, but the only problem was she had to work on her assignments. It was definitely a downer, and the 8-ball was wrong. More importantly though, the ball gave me the guts to do something that would have taken me months or years to accomplish.

What was intriguing about the whole situation was how the bad expectations turned into great outcomes. All the good expectations eventually turned out slightly true. But the best part about my Magic 8 ball experience is that it gave me the guts to do something I would not have the courage to do. Sometimes, all it takes to give you that much-needed push is a Magic 8-ball, Conch Shell or a coin for that matter.

Now to ask yourself: should I try this at home?