Aug 13, 2006

telepathy in utero

We've all had this experience: slumped on the sofa, watching Days of Our Lives, accompanied by a pint of ice cream, a box of Cheezits, and our twelve-week-old fetus, when a disembodied voice floats out of the ether. Mummy, it says, always in a Lancaster twang, Mummy, try pickles on the Cheezits.

Telepathy in utero is vivid and real, potentially frightening to those who wonder where the voices come from, and how they know English. Little is known about the mechanisms and causes involved, but research pioneered by D.B. Cheek and David Chamberlain proves beyond a ghost of a doubt that fetuses can communicate with their mothers beyond hormones and kicks.

The phenomenon usually involves a tiny voice making specific demands, for food, noise reduction, softer lighting, or music better than "Baby Loves Mozart." Equal to demands are complaints that the mother isn't listening, or has confused the fetus's voice with the hell-spawned demon from before she met Daddy, a common mistake.

To hear your fetus's transmissions, you have to tune to the right frequency. First, find a quiet place, preferably with some sort of "white noise" in the background, such as John Tesh or public television (or John Tesh on public television). Clear your mind by repeating a meaningless phrase, something like "The check is in the mail" or "Don't call us, we'll call you." And then wait.

With a little practice, you can listen to other mothers' fetuses. If you're that bored, go for it.

[114th in a series]

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