Stan drove a pudgy finger into one of the seventeen folds hanging off his chin. The scratch sent dead skin tumbling onto his blank Mindmap sheet. Boys at school learn how to affect a certain expression, a practised look they summon up on command when a teacher asks the class a question. It says Iâ€™m thinking very hard about something so please donâ€™t ask me directly.
Mart stroked his beard. Beard stroking is the international sign of a man who believes himself to be intellectually superior to everybody else in the room. Invariably, the absolute opposite is the case â€“ but today, looking at Stan screwing up his face while pretending to think, Mart knew he really was the sharpest knife in this cutlery drawer. He began to doodle for inspiration.
â€œI think,â€ Stan spluttered, â€œthat we might have come up with all the ideas. I think the reason we canâ€™t think of anymore is that we have thought of all of the ideas and now there are none left.â€
It was a reasonable guess. The pair of them had invented lies about flavours, brand names and colours being used to target children. Theyâ€™d laughed until their tummies hurt when they came up with the whole nanoparticle thing. Then they hit gold with the idea they could simply copy every piece of vape research but make up some numbers so it says the opposite. Each time Stan hears â€œOpposite Landâ€ now he has to go and put on dry underpants.
â€œSaying weâ€™ve thought of everything isnâ€™t an option,â€ admonished Mart. â€œAnd if we have thought of every thinkable thing then maybe itâ€™s time to think the unthinkable.â€
Stan nodded, his cheeks continued to wobble after heâ€™d finished, but he really had no idea what Mart meant.
â€œWe need a danger that smokers and vapers havenâ€™t been scared about yet. We need something that scientists canâ€™t disprove â€“ like when we made up that rubbish about the gateway effectâ€¦that it â€˜couldâ€™ lead to smoking. Try disproving that, scientific community!â€ And Mart laughed.
â€œHang on a minute,â€ Mart shouted as he dropped his pencil. â€œAliens!â€
Stanâ€™s expression changed to the one you find on a fat boy when a Greggs employee pulls a new tray of hot pies out of the oven. He could eat Martin up, every scrap.
â€œWe simply say that electronic vaping nicotine delivery device systems give out sub frequencies, acting as beacons for warlike pan-galactic alien races. Using nicotine in this way will ENDS the planet â€“ thatâ€™s how bloody selfish vapers are.â€
The duo managed to publish three finely crafted research papers in the five minutes after generating the idea, using drawings instead of data tables, depicting the carnage and mayhem. Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations for their patriotic work.