The Ninja and his Nemesis: The Final Story

Once upon a time...

The Ninja and Schwang Dang McDooblie Dang attended the same martial arts class as children and young adults in Tokyo. Unfortunately, because of Schwang's genes, he was born with an overactive pons, which caused him to have extreme fatigue and sudden sleep attacks. The Ninja, being completely insensitive to the fact that Schwang could not help his rare birth defect, constantly teased Schwang about this. When it became too much, Schwang swore revenge for all the times the Ninja had ever made fun of him. Unlike Schwang, the Ninja was the perfect fighter. His movements were swift and controlled and his eyes were as keen as a hawk's thanks to his awesome retina. Despite the two being trained and growing up in the same environment (nurture), they ended up having different personalities and distinct differences because of genetics ( Nature and heritability). Because of the Ninja's incredible skills, Schwang knew he could not defeat him alone, and so he recruited his little brother and future protege, Patsy. Together, the two brothers embarked on their revenge for the teasing the Ninja had inflicted upon Schwang. As you might expect, however, their goal is not so easy to achieve, as the Ninja has amazing skills, while Schwang and Pasty lack all the necessary skills to be adequate.
And so....our tale of their comic quest for revenge begins!

Schwang and Pasty met the Ninja in a dark alley one night as the Ninja was walking home from training at his dojo. Schwang and Pasty intended to surprise the Ninja and attack him, but the Ninja clearly had a high functioning cerebellum; his well coordinated movements were much faster than those of his nemesis. He kicked Schwang's sword out of his hands while, cutting his belt so that his pants fell down and everyone on the nearby streets laughed at him. The motor neurons in the neural pathway from the Ninja's brain to his fist were so efficient that he could throw a punch before his enemies could see his hands move. He practiced punching like this so many times through the years that sensory adaptation of his neural pathway had improved his reaction time beyond comprehension. So after shaming Schwang, the Ninja moved on to Pasty, punching him so hard that he flew to the end of the alley and hit the brick wall. OUCH! Shamed, bruised, and temporarily defeated, Schwang and Pasty slowly crawled home and the Ninja, also went home to get some well deserved sleep.

Though Schwang was humiliated, he was not ready to give up! He decided to plot out his new method of revenge while Pasty slept. He usually went to bed at 9 p.m. but because he was making sure everything would be perfect for his next attack, he worked throughout the night. This caused a disruption in his circadian rhythm making sure he received no REM sleep that night. Schwang ended up being too tired to go through with the plan, and he sent Pasty instead so he could catch up on his REM sleep and experience REM rebound after the previous night of little REM sleep. Sadly for Pasty, the Ninja had fought him so often that Patsy's fighting style had been stored in his preconscious memory, allowing the Ninja to recall his previous battle strategies with ease and defeat Pasty over and over again.

After hearing Pasty's tale of defeat, Schwang went to his opiates stash - which included heroin and morphine- to numb the pain of failure. These opiates suppresed the painful stimulation from the Ninja. When Schwang is on these opiates he does not feel the powerful kicks and punches of the Ninja; therefore, the Ninja can easily kick and punch Schwang numerous times without Scwang feeling the need to fight back. The Ninja hates this, because what good is beating an evil-doer up, if they don't feel it? So it was pretty much assured that he would stop Schwang from reaching his goal. Sure enough, Schwang was walking to the liquor store that night to meet his opiate supplier, when the Ninja came out of nowhere and easily beat up Schwang.

Schwang spent the night in a stupor on the street corner by the liquor store. He woke 18 hours later to a stray dog licking his face. Schwang decided to adopt the dog as his own. He named him Pokoyo and decided to teach him how to do amazing, death-defying, tricks so he could fight alongside him. He used shaping to slowly train his dog to do flips in the air, so every time his dog got closer to doing proper flips, he would receive a treat. Finally, after Pokoyo was able to do flips, Schwang used intermittent reinforcement to maintain what he learned and avoid forgetting (extinction).

However; Schwang later realized Pokoyo had Narcolepsy. When Schwang was out walking Pokoyo and looking for the Ninja, Pokoyo collapsed, falling into a REM sleep within 10 minutes, thus ruining Schwang's latest plot for revenge. When Pokoyo finally woke up, his legs gave out because of cataplexy. Schwang was anxious to get back home, and avoid being spotted by the Ninja in this time of weakness.

Luck was not on Schwang's side, however, and the Ninja appeared in the distance like an threatening thunderstorm. Schwang had to run away in terror, praying he wouldn't get caught, because he was in no shape to fight the Ninja right now! But, as it turned out, Pasty had thought of this possibility, and developed a plan to help Schwang. As the sun set and night fell, Pasty switched off all the lights in Tokyo. Now Schwang could get away without being spotted by the Ninja! Little did Patsy or Schwang know that the Ninja had a very detailed cognitive map of Tokyo as well as perfect night vision due to his well developed rods. The Ninja was able to navigate the streets even in the dark and found Schwang caring Pokoyo home. The Ninja spared Pokoyo, but not Schwang. Schwang spent the night on a park bench nursing his wounds, until Pasty found him the next morning and took him home.

Schwang spent the next two weeks recovering from the pain of his bodily and emotional wounds. He passed the time by crying and listening to his favorite band: Tokyo Gong. Meanwhile, the Ninja feared that Schwang had been out of sight for so long because he was creating a master plan to destroy the city of Tokyo and all it's inhabitants! The Ninja knew he could not allow Tokyo to be destroyed; He felt so anxious about this that he decided to seek out Schwang. Once the Ninja found Schwang's secret hideout, the Ninja was able to sneak up on his arch nemesis, because Schwang had spent too much time listening to Tokoyo Gong,which resulted in Schwang having a higher absolute threshold for sound.

When the Ninja discovered him, Schwang was already so discouraged from his constant defeats, that he did not try to fight back (learned helplessness) and developed a mild case of depression. After the Ninja went back to his dojo, Schwang slumped onto his futon, contemplating his defeats. Suddenly, Schwang realized why he was defeated so many times and began to think he could have prevented it (he had fallen into hindsight bias).

Alas, he believed that if he had a more developed vestibular sense than the Ninja, he would prevent himself from tripping and falling over things and develop super stealth. Also, he believed if he had a better kinesthetic sense than the Ninja, he would be very coordinated and aware of his movements. Schwang, however, had a poor kinesthetic sense and vestibular sense, which severely impeded his ability to sneak around and attack the Ninja. He decided he would now spend his time at the dojo, rather than sulking, so he could improve his fighting skills!

A month later, Schwang felt confident that his fighting skills had developed to their fullest potential and that he had achieved all he could. He had satisfied all his biological needs, like food, his safety needs, like avoiding the Ninja, his attachment and affiliation needs, with Patsy and Pokoyo, and his own ego supplied his esteem needs. Therefore, according to Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs, he could now focus on self-actualization. Because he felt that achieving his highest potential meant he would become an amazing fighter, he thought that he could now easily defeat the Ninja. However, the Ninja had defeated Schwang so many times with his stealthy moves that every match between the two of them was still a nonconscious process for the Ninja. When Schwang met the Ninja on the streets of Tokyo one night, the Ninja had no problem blocking Schwang's supposedly awesome skills.

The next morning, Schwang woke up determined to defeat the Ninja. He had spent the night dreaming of being crowned Supreme Villain of the year (also known as The-Evilest-Man-In-The-World award). When talking to Pasty the next morning he realized the latent content of his dream was about his desire to defeat the Ninja once and for all. He also discovered that he was driven primarily by Thanatos (death and destruction) rather than by Eros, (creation or sex) as evidenced by all his actions revolving around his need to destroy the Ninja.

Schwang went out to get some sushi for breakfast and then to track down the Ninja. However, Schwang struggled with perceptual consistency so when Schwang attempted to find the Ninja on the bustling Tokyo streets, all the Ninja had to do was turn his profile to face Schwang in a crowded walkway. Then Schwang was unable to identify who or where the Ninja was. Schwang spent the whole day trying locate the Ninja but due to his lack of perceptual consistency he never could.

Since Ninja did not have to worry about Schwang seeing him, Ninja decided to have a fun evening out. While eating dinner at the new sushi bar with his ninja friends, the Ninja saw a beautiful girl at a table. He approached her, and found out her name was Ninjette and that she too spent the days protecting the city from evil villains like Schwang and Pasty. The Ninja and Ninjette quickly fell for each other over the next few weeks.

Schwang instantly became jealous of Ninjette because he felt the Ninja was spending all of his time with his new girlfriend instead of focusing on battling him, and thought he was much better than Ninjette because of his narcissistic personality disorder and histrionic personality disorders. DRAMA! He also didn't believe their love was complete love, but rather romantic love. So being the evil guy he is, Schwang decided to break the two up!

He decided to use cognitive dissonance to manipulate the Ninja into breaking up with Ninjette. By causing the Ninja to believe that Ninjette was a drain on his time and that the world needed him more than she did, Schwang created so much dissonance that the Ninja was unable to justify reasons to stay with Ninjette and broke up with her to focus more on saving the world by fighting Schwang. NOT JUSTIFIED! Schwang felt no remorse for his actions and thus demonstrated his antisocial personality disorder.

However, Ninjette actually had bipolar disorder and fell a period of depression. Because of his fear that when she went into mania she would behave unpredictable and irrationally and might try to kill him for breaking up with her, the Ninja used his awesome skills to slip some lithium carbonate into her drink to keep her mood under control. It worked, but his heart was broken, for that was the last he ever saw of Ninjette.

A week later the Ninja felt a little lonely; Ninjette was gone and Schwang at least had Pasty and Pokoyo. However, his wish for companionship was finally granted the next day. The Ninja was hungry and went hunting for ducks, when he accidentally found a pure black egg covered in pentagrams. He took it back to his house as he turned on the stove to cook this egg, he was startled when it began to hatch!

As the shell cracked, a cat, with a ragged pelt as black as night, eyes as red as Satan's bottom, and claws as hard as diamonds (which had a sharpness that could be compared to Ms. Kelly's tongue) emerged. This strange, demonic cat was hungry, and her fur bristled with anger (as surely the process of becoming a cat inside a duck egg must have been irritating in the extreme.) Yet, looking up at the Ninja, she saw not an enemy, but instead, a mother! Now, the whee little kitty (demonic, yes, but little), pawed at the Ninja's legs, asking for food. The Ninja realized that the kitten had imprinted on him, and that he should endevour to keep this bond strong, for who wants a demonic cat as an enemy?

With a proud smile, the Ninja said to the kitten, "You shall be my companion, and I shall call you Grey Kitty!" And so the Ninja found his new companion, Grey Kitty, and together they fought for justice!

However, Grey Kitty had one problem, she always took the Ninja's twinkies! The horror the Ninja faced coming home to discover a twinkieless house was too much to bear! So the Ninja devised a plan to classically condition Grey Kitty into hating twinkies. When the Ninja put a dirty sock in Grey Kitty's face (unconditioned stimulus), she cringed away in disgust (unconditioned response), but he paired it frequently with the twinkie (neutral stimulus). Now the neutral stimulus, the twinkie, became the conditioned stimulus, so then when Grey Kitty came near a twinkie, she cringed away with disgust (conditioned response), and the twinkie supply was saved!

One Monday morning, the Ninja was out walking Grey Kitty when they turned the corner and saw Schwang and Pasty walking Pokoyo. The two animals went wild and had to be dragged away from each other by their owners! When Schwang and Pasty arrived home from walking Pokoyo they were outraged! How dare the Ninja now have his own pet, just like them? It was unacceptable! Pasty and Schwang channeled their anger into formulating a new plan to destroy Tokyo.

Later that afternoon, Schwang knocked the Ninja out while he was buying groceries. When he became conscious again, the Ninja was chained to a polygraph, which is a lie detector test that monitors certain physical signs for change. Schwang told the Ninja that if his blood pressure and heart rate increased when a question was asked about his secrets, Schwang would know he was lying and would blow up all of the children in Tokyo while their parents watched!

What Schwang didn't know was that the Ninja had mastered the art of lying and showed no arousal signs when doing so. The Ninja passed all the questions and Schwang was forced to set him free, and abort his evil plot to destroy the future of Tokyo while at the same time discrediting the Ninja.

After Schwang unhooked the Ninja from the polygraph and unlocked his chains, Schwang went out with Pasty to forget about his failed mission and hopefully plan an even better one! The Ninja then snuck back into Schwang's lair and reprogrammed Schwang's training DVD so it included hypnosis, and suggested that Schwang destroy all of the tools and documents needed for his plots. The next morning Schwang popped in his training to DVD to brush up on his skills before carrying out his latest evil plot. Schwang had a high hypnotizability, allowing his conscious to be easily altered. Sure enough, after the video hypnotized him, he destroyed all his weapons. When he came out of his trance later that day he was outraged! The loss of weapons would set his plans for ultimate destruction back weeks, or even months! He was determined to get the Ninja back for this!

After spending some time rebuilding his weapons and increasing his weapons stash again, the evil Schwang Dang McDooblieDang and Pasty began a mission to put hallucinogens, like LSD, into the Ninja's food supply to make him experience things that weren't there, and therefore become easy to defeat. However, Ninja used his ninja senses and he was able to foil the evil doers' plan by sensing the presence of foreign substances in his drink.

However, Schwang and Pasty's high spirits could not be so easily defeated today! Schwang phoned the governor of Tokyo and told him that he had hidden a bomb in city hall. In terror and desperation, the governor then called the Ninja to come in and find the bomb before it was too late! At the Ninja's request, he played a recording of Schwang's call to the Ninja. The Ninja heard that Schwang's voice was unusually high during the phone call. The deception cue of the high pitched voice allowed the Ninja to make the conclusion that there wasn't really a bomb in city hall.

Schwang was preparing to try another scheme, when the Ninja appeared before he could begin his evil plot. The Ninja was tired of continuously sending Schwang to jail. This particular punishment obviously wasn't working, so the Ninja decided to try the Premack Principle. The Ninja told Schwang that if he did not attempt to carry out his evil plan, then he would not send Schwang to jail this time. But unsurprisingly, it didn't work, and Schwang tried to carry out his plan anyway. Too bad for him the Ninja stopped him and sent him to jail, once again. And so this cycle continued for many years.

Fifty Years Later

The Ninja and Schwang are now in a nursing home together. Even from a hospital bed Schwang has managed to create new plots and find secret ways to carry them out by manipulating the nurses. However, Schwang has been diagnosed with a life threatening disease that will only allow him six months to live. Over the course of this six months, he goes through Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' five stages of death and dying. At first he is in denial, claiming that the doctor is stupid and doesn't know what he's talking about. Then he began to show anger, the second stage. He threatened to kill the doctor with his super-mega-powerful-laser ray, got into verbal altercations with the other patients, and even threatened to bite people in the face for no particular reason. Next, he started bargaining; claiming that he would stop hurting others for good if he could live just for a while longer. Then, he reached the stage of depression; all he did was cry and eat ice cream during the second to last month. Finally, he began to show acceptance, claiming that he was ready to die and he had had a fulfilling life trying to ruin the lives of others

"Take me sweet death, I await your loving embrace." Schwang said.

With days left to live, the Ninja is wheeled into Schwang's room to say goodbye. Schwang breathes his last breathe trying to convince the Ninja about a bomb he planted in the nursing home's cafeteria. As the heart monitor stops registering beeps, the Ninja smiles and realizes he will miss his nemesis.


Created from stories written by Mr. Wray and Mr. Cizek's AP Psychology Students in 2012
Compiled and edited by Rebecca Debus, Sydney Williams, and Savannah Lawrence