This article was last modified on March 16, 2006.

The Problem With Mad Scientists

I was thinking yesterday, and I figured out the problem with mad scientists. What they’re missing is a financial advisor, or perhaps they should attend a business seminar. You know, “How to Strike It Rich When You’re Utterly Mad” or something. I’ll show you exactly what I mean.

I watched this movie featuring Dr. Stephen Aerosmith. I won’t say the name of the movie, but it’s not important. Aerosmith’s goal was to become very wealthy, so he married a rich woman. He caught her cheating on him and had her killed, hoping to inherit the wealth. Oh no! She left it all to her sister. So, of course, he marries her. But there are easier and more legal ways to make money when you’re a mad scientist. And if they had someone point them in the right direction, they wouldn’t have to be so damn mean to everybody.

1. Most mad scientists have some brilliant invention: a cure for cancer, or a potion of youth, or a time machine or something. But they always use it on themselves or someone they know. But if they need money, don’t they realize the money you would get in selling this idea? Or at least patenting it? If Dr. Aerosmith had patented a formula for eternal youth, he wouldn’t need to have nagging, cheating wives killed and buried all over his castle.

2. The castle itself. Why do mad scientists live in castles? And have you noticed how most of them live in Austria or Czechoslovakia? When it’s just you, your spouse, and your faithful manservant, you don’t need a castle. Get a nice bungalow by the lake or on the Danube. You’ll make a fortune selling the castle and save a ton of money each year on property taxes. Besides, when local villagers start disappearing, you know they’re going to storm the castle. Because the villian is always the guy in the castle. You never see a film where they storm a castle, the owner is like “wrong house, sorry” and they press on to storm a bungalow. Think about it. No one expects a bungalow.

3. Skilled labor. Mad scientists seem to have two helpers: either an obsequious little runt who can’t do anything right and breaks equipment, or some woman who is in love with the doctor and ends up getting jealous of him and foiling the plans. Sure, these two can save you money because they’ll work cheap. But you have to look at your overhead costs. Broken equipment, failed experiments, the risk of back-stabbing. You might pay a few dollars more, but consider a local temp service. Or better yet, find a grad student who needs a mentor. He’s trained, will work for free, and if you cut him a piece of the profits in the long term (See point 1) he won’t turn you in to the authorities.

Business mismanagement: that’s the problem with mad scientists.

Also try another article under Miscellaneous
or another one of the writings of Gavin.

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