Monday, 9 March 2015

Beetlejuice: a case study and grant request proposal

The rules of Beetlejuice are clearly defined.  You say his name 3 times, he appears, dicks around with you for a while and possibly tries to marry your teenage daughter.  That last part always bothered me but we'll gloss over that for now.

What I'm interested in exploring is how the system can be exploited.  There are two key areas that I'm looking into but we may expand into others as my research continues.  These areas are:

  • What happens when two people summon Beetlejuice at once?
  • What happens if Beetlejuice dies?

We'll tackle these in order.

What happens when two people summon Beetlejuice at once?
If one person summons him, he will appear.  I don't think he has much control over this.  It seems to be less like a text message or a ticket appearing on his to do list, more a binding contract.  As a supernatural entity, he probably does behave much like a demon and it should be possible to invoke him.  It might explain his attitude problem.  However, what if two people try it?

First we'll look at two people offset by a small interval.  Say, 5 seconds.  Does he lose interest in the first person to summon him?  Does he have to promise to return to them when he's finished with his newest client?  Does he operate on a first in, first out style task list or is it more of a stack?  Could you, for example, have two people summon him back and forth in seperate rooms repeatedly and how likely would he be to outright murder you if you did that enough?

Second, two people simultaneously.  For this to work, we have to assume that it's theoretically possible to have two people summon him at the very same instant.  I will assume that you can't simply have a tape recorder say his name and have two of them play at once.  Mechanical items and supernatural entities very rarely work well together (except in the well established precedents of Ghostbusters, Doom, Hellraiser and probably like a thousand other things but absolutely not Harry Potter so maybe we have to work on the idea that Beetlejuice only exists in the Harry Potter universe although in that case, you'd think Lydia Deets would have gone to Hogwarts 'cause seriously, look at her).

So if two people summon him at once, what do you get?  Do you get two of them?  Do you (and this seems more likely) get one of them split in half to cause the maximum amount of distress?

What happens if Beetlejuice dies?
I assume he can be slain, having a physical form.  I base this on how

A)  he can turn himself into almost anything
B)  he fears sand worms

If he is immortal, all he has to fear from sand worms is being trapped in their stomach and either being excreted out the other end or incarcerated permanently.  Since he can transform into things, he can presumably turn into something quite small and airborne then simply fly out when the thing comes up for air.  Ergo, he must be mortal, if unable to age, because otherwise all he'd have to fear was being trapped in a gross mud bug.  And frankly, I think he'd get off on that to a degree.

So if he's slain and someone tries to summon him, do you get a new one?  Beetledeuce?  Can you repeatedly do this?  Would it, in theory, be posible to have someone summon Beetlejuice repeatedly in the middle of a furnace, thereby providing the world with an infinitely renewing source of fuel?

If anybody is willing to fund this endeavor, I'll require sufficient monies to allow me to liaise directly with the Geffen Film company and Warner Bros with a view to expanding on these ideas in the upcoming sequel.  I'll also need funding to support me as I spend the next 3 months purchasing, viewing and analysing the Beetlejuice animated series.  And I might need a trip to Universal Studios.  They have a show starring him over there which I think could be useful.  I mean, being able to talk to the actual guy is certainly going to help.

IMDB has Beetlejuice 2 listed already so it's in production.  You'd better get that cash in quickly otherwise we'll be in for a long wait until Beetlejuice 3.