The Wheel is real? May 30, 2012 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Wait wait — The Wheel is real?
posted by Tom-B to MetaFilter-Related at 11:12 AM (61 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

OH DEAR WHAT DOES KP STAND FOR??
posted by yellowbinder at 11:19 AM on May 30, 2012


Kitchen Patrol, when I was growing up.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 11:21 AM on May 30, 2012


Ahem.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:21 AM on May 30, 2012


OH DEAR I SHOULD REALLY GOOGLE THESE THINGS!!
posted by yellowbinder at 11:23 AM on May 30, 2012 [15 favorites]


yellowbinder: "OH DEAR WHAT DOES KP STAND FOR??"

I hesitate to consult Urban Dictionary here at work, so it must be left as an exercise for the reader to come up with all the possible unseemly explications for that abbreviation.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:28 AM on May 30, 2012


Maybe the mods can rework this for their own use:

1-Day Time Out
2-Day Time Out
Donate a Favorite
Backtagging Duty
Host a Meet-Up
Banhammer
Mod's Choice
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:29 AM on May 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't know of it's the caps lock or the "OH DEAR..." but in my head yellowbinder is a character in a Kate Beaton comic.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:30 AM on May 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


ketchup party
posted by mullacc at 11:31 AM on May 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


I wish! They're all so refined and ridiculous!
posted by yellowbinder at 11:32 AM on May 30, 2012


ketchup parties are better than certain citrus parties, ascorbic acid being the same..
posted by k5.user at 11:34 AM on May 30, 2012


Claim 1 of U.S. Patent 4,834,657 says:

1. Apparatus for selecting one punishment from a plurality of punishments, comprising:

(a) a base wheel;

(b) a knob wheel rotatably mounted on the base wheel;

(c) a pointer attached to the knob wheel for selecting a punishment; and

(d) a plurality of adhesive-backed decals, each decal having a different punishment written thereon;

wherein in use decals are selected and attached to the punishment wheel at various locations thereon, the knob wheel is spun, and a punishment is selected according to which decal the pointer points to when the knob comes to rest.


Seriously. But that's not all.

Claim 8, which depends from Claim 1, says:

8. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the punishments written on the decals comprise one or more of the following: "NO TV," "GROUNDED," "TIME OUT," "K.P.," "NO DESSERT," "DONATE a TOY," "K.P.," "NO SPORTS," "NO PHONE," "NO FRIENDS," "SWATS," "NO VISITING," "NO TREAT," "HOUSE CHORES."

No kidding. That's what it says. If there is an invention here - let alone a good idea - in 1989 I am hard-pressed to see it.

It's patents like this that give patents a bad name.
posted by three blind mice at 11:40 AM on May 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's one badass tattoo you'll be getting, son.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:44 AM on May 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


I'm gonna add this patent as a reference to all the IDS forms I file today just for the lulz.
posted by charred husk at 11:44 AM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The key part about The Wheel that made it so devious was the Flip Response, which this wheel (and all wheels that do not lead to madness) is lacking.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:46 AM on May 30, 2012 [11 favorites]


Break a deal, face The Wheel.

We've covered this.
posted by Trurl at 11:47 AM on May 30, 2012


Bust. Bust a deal.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:52 AM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Wheel can only be understood in connection with the categories of the symbolic and the imaginary. In the strictest terms, The Wheel can be neither spoken nor written. Thus it is defined as "that which never ceases to write itself."

The Wheel situates the symbolic and the imaginary in their respective positions has always been, and will forever be, Real.
posted by xod at 11:54 AM on May 30, 2012


I had a junior high teacher who actually did this. He had a pair of dice, one for punishments ("detention," "put up chairs," "clean frog terrarium," etc.) and one for length ("two weeks," "one day," "full semester,") etc., and his threat was, if you got in ANY trouble at all, you had to roll the dice and take the punishment. Well-behaved students were extra well-behaved in his class out of fear, because even really minor infractions could get you diced into two months of putting up chairs; but bad students were extra-bad because they knew they'd never get suspended, they'd just get a week of erasing chalkboards.

So this went really well for him until, on the same day, one of the class hooligans got caught cheating on a quiz and diced his way into zero punishment, and the daughter of the English department's head teacher called another student "stupid" during a group project (worm dissection, maybe?) and got a semester's worth of detention. At which point it came to the attention of the horrified administration and School Board (so much lawsuit potential), at which point he got removed from his classroom and turned into the computer lab monitor.

I hated that class so much, I felt like I was constantly having a low-level panic attack because there were no actual RULES and consequences and the bad students behaved like it was Lord of the Flies. It was so fucking stressful. I was like 12.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:54 AM on May 30, 2012 [43 favorites]


KP!
posted by Edogy at 12:08 PM on May 30, 2012


Wait, the story of The Wheel isn't 100% truth? Why I'll never...

I figured there had to be a web-based version of this nowadays, but my googling seems to only turn up BDSM-themed materials. Perhaps that's a good thing...
posted by zachlipton at 12:15 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Darn. I thought Dr. Adler and robocop is bleeding finally made that Parenting Matrix.
posted by CancerMan at 12:21 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


So that's where robocop is bleeding stole the idea from. Gotcha.
posted by special-k at 12:37 PM on May 30, 2012


The Wheel still beats having to face The Steer, with "Yes" or "No" written on each buttock.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:42 PM on May 30, 2012


Metafilter's complex dance of reality and illusion continues.
posted by The Whelk at 12:43 PM on May 30, 2012 [4 favorites]




Spin, spin, spin the Wheel of Justice
See how fast the bastard turns ...
posted by scruss at 1:29 PM on May 30, 2012


It's missing Underworld, Gulag, Amputation, Forfeit Goods, and Aunty's Choice.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:38 PM on May 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


and the Lash Of Thanatos
posted by The Whelk at 1:38 PM on May 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


If you google "Wheel of Ding," you will find many anecdotes about a history teacher from my high school.

Mr. Plato's Wheel of Ding was the reason I opted not to take history.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:40 PM on May 30, 2012


It's patents like this that give patents parents a bad name
posted by bearwife at 2:06 PM on May 30, 2012


The fuck? This doesn't strike me as what MeTa is for: "Look at this thing that wasn't really even in anyway like the thing I say it is similar to, other than it's a wheel."

I'm gonna do a MeTa about how robocop is bleeding's comment is related to the Price Is Right wheel.

And, btw, that comment does stand the test of time, but this seems like a lame excuse to link it and nothing more.
posted by IvoShandor at 2:08 PM on May 30, 2012


A somewhat surprising fact I came across was that the phrase about having someone "over a barrel" is from a real thing.
posted by XMLicious at 2:47 PM on May 30, 2012


A somewhat surprising fact I came across was that the phrase about having someone "over a barrel" is from a real thing.
posted by XMLicious at 10:47 PM on May 30


At least it's not your turn in the barrel.
posted by Decani at 3:00 PM on May 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Holy crap, if this post did nothing else it alerted me to the sheer brilliance that apparently is robocop..
posted by tully_monster at 3:11 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


yellowbinder: “OH DEAR WHAT DOES KP STAND FOR??”

Rock Steady: “I hesitate to consult Urban Dictionary here at work, so it must be left as an exercise for the reader to come up with all the possible unseemly explications for that abbreviation.”

ketchup penis
kippered prostate
kaleidoscopic prick
kinky politician
posted by koeselitz at 3:18 PM on May 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


And, btw, that comment does stand the test of time, but this seems like a lame excuse to link it and nothing more.

There is never a lame excuse for linking to The Wheel.
posted by zachlipton at 3:42 PM on May 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is not The Wheel. The Wheel had randomized rewards/punishments even if you were good. This only has punishments and hence has only partial life scarring potential.
posted by arcticseal at 3:46 PM on May 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


shhhhhh robocop is sleeping shhhhhhh
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:14 PM on May 30, 2012


Mal - 'The Wheel never stops turning, Badger'
Badger - 'That only matters to the people on the rim'.
posted by unliteral at 6:51 PM on May 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's patents like this that give patents a bad name.

All patents are obvious after you read them.

Much like graduate theses, 95% of the effort goes into asking the right question.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:04 PM on May 30, 2012


The Animaniacs clip above is missing the best part! At the end, where the Warner brothers and the Warner sister chant "We won! We won! We won! We won!" - the reason is that after the usual "Wheel of Morality, turn, turn, turn! Tell us the lesson that we must learn!" the wheel landed on TRIP TO TAHITI!

To this day, whenever I see the hackjob glued on moral/educational lesson at the end of a show, I think to myself, TRIP TO TAHITI!
posted by maryr at 7:28 PM on May 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


OH DEAR WHAT DOES KP STAND FOR??

Anything you want it to...

no wait that's AYWIT.
posted by grog at 7:34 PM on May 30, 2012


"SWATS"

"SWATS"
posted by mendel at 7:35 PM on May 30, 2012


maryr: "The Animaniacs clip above is missing the best part"

It is. I also wanted it to come up on morally bankrupt at least once, but as far as I know, that never happened during the show's run.
posted by radwolf76 at 8:10 PM on May 30, 2012


To this day, whenever I see the hackjob glued on moral/educational lesson at the end of a show, I think to myself, TRIP TO TAHITI!

That might almost make Glee bearable. Almost.
posted by NoraReed at 8:33 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's not a wheel.

This is a wheel.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:30 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dr. Ernst Klinefelter was an early pioneer in the innovative and liberal use of corporal and pain enducing punishments to ensure compliance in early childhood development. Dr. Klinefelter, however also believed that striking a child only promoted violence and therefore these punishments must not involve caregivers inflicting pain upon the child, rather the child must inflict his own punishment. In addition to corporal punishment, Dr. Klinefelter was an early advocate of meditation techniques to calm, relax and center a person's psyche. He travelled to India in 1863 to study the techniques of the fakirs. Returning to Austro-Hungary in the 1870s he developed a series of yoga-like positions which he would force children to pose, sometimes for hours, in order to maximize the pain they derived without striking the child. Much like the Wheel, the Klinefelter Positions or KPs never caught on in mainstream child development.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:36 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I read that comment as satire, but it's fine satire because it doesn't wander far from truth. There were a whole lot of really strange psychological theories floating around during the 20th century. I don't know of a Benjamin Adler from the University of Maryland and all web references to him look to be spurious, but Alfred Adler was a very important psychologist who wrote a lot on children, discipline, and behavior and whose ideas underlie a lot of present-day mental health treatment. The Wheel of Punishment idea has a number of pop-culture expressions. Here's a radio morning-show version, this iphone app seems to have a wheel of punishment, Here's a Better Behavior Wheel that to all appearances is serious. This site also recommends using a wheel:
Although I don't recommend that you use this tool exclusively, it is highly effective to use to discipline children when you don't have time or in situations in which there are no immediate or natural consequences. Since spinning the wheel is fun, kids actually look forward to their consequences and perform them willingly. Since the child's spin of the wheel determines his consequences, you are no longer the bad guy.
I think it sort of makes sense that the idea would pop up here and there in different incarnations through time. The spinning wheel as a metaphor for fickle, random fate is a pretty old meme in which many cultures have participated in, going back to at least about the 5th century BCE. Perhaps the very early development of water-powered technology helped to fuel that, as people had plenty of opportunities to watch the turning of a wheel and be concerned about when it would stop. We've applied the spinning wheel in so many contexts: games, gambling, mythology, entertainment. The seeming cruelty of randomized discipline makes kind of a powerful match with the "round and round she goes, where she stops, no one knows" sensibility around the wheel, connecting, probably, to some pretty deep anxieties about being human and the unknowability of outcomes.

Thanks for the opportunity to do some overthinking with my morning coffee!
posted by Miko at 5:51 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


the Klinefelter Positions or KPs never caught on in mainstream child development.

I have a couple memories. One of a teacher who would take the class joker of the moment and have them stand in front of the room, arms straight out, with a penny in each palm, without allowing them to put their arms down. After about a minute or two, you physically can't hold your arms up any more, which would embarrass the kid and satisfy the teacher. Punishment over.

Another person when I was growing up (can't remember who) had a story about a teacher who would draw a tiny circle on the blackboard and make the miscreant come to the front of the room and place their nose inside the circle (usually this required an awkward bent stance). The punishment would be to keep your nose there until the teacher let you sit down again.

So though I'm quite skeptical about Dr. Ernst, the philosophy of the Klinefelter Positions seems to have been alive and well in American education of the last century!
posted by Miko at 5:55 AM on May 31, 2012


Also, can't resist
posted by Miko at 5:57 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


This was the Wheel that my parents tortured me with during my childhood.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:01 AM on May 31, 2012


Benjamin Adler from the University of Maryland and all web references to him look to be spurious

Holy crap, I forgot about writing that years ago and started getting all Foucault's Pendulum up ins.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:08 AM on May 31, 2012 [10 favorites]


obiwanwasabi: "That's not a wheel.

This is a wheel.
"

I see you've played knifey-spooney before.
posted by IndigoRain at 7:43 AM on May 31, 2012


This is like, The Dice Man, Junior Punishment Edition!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:06 PM on May 31, 2012


I thought that KP duty, in addition to referring to actual kitchen patrol, was also a euphemism/slang for: "You're being assigned to clean the latrines." That was the implication behind the threat of KP duty at the summer camp I attended for a few years in my youth, at least.
posted by asnider at 12:20 PM on May 31, 2012


I recently attended an Elvis Costello concert where there was a giant wheel which meted out punishment upon randomly chosen concert goers selected the set-list for the night's show, including entire groupings of songs (sometimes) or letting the audience member who was chosen to spin it pick any song on the wheel (sometimes).

It was one of the coolest ideas for a show ever, and proves that EC and his band are godlike in their abilities.

[The audience members were asked to dance in a go-go cage for the duration of their randomly chosen song(s), and so maybe that was punishment. Hard to tell, really.]
posted by hippybear at 12:41 PM on May 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


I thought that KP duty, in addition to referring to actual kitchen patrol, was also a euphemism/slang for: "You're being assigned to clean the latrines." That was the implication behind the threat of KP duty at the summer camp I attended for a few years in my youth, at least.

At my summer camp, KP was definitely "kitchen patrol" and featured fairly fun things like shucking corn, shelling peas, and peeling potatoes. The assignment that related to latrine-cleaning was called "GU," for "General Utilities." Now that's a euphemism - there's nothing "general" about toilets, they're actually very specific things.
posted by Miko at 12:47 PM on May 31, 2012


The was a teacher in my Elementary school named Mr. Greenberg. If a student annoyed him, for whatever reason, he would give them the Astronaut Training Program. He'd lift them up and dangle them upside-down by their ankles. There was sometimes shaking involved. The guy was a pure psychopath.
posted by Splunge at 3:48 PM on May 31, 2012


Most of the punishments meted out in my elementary schools were of the stand in the corner/stay in during recess variety, except for third grade. That's when we had a fearsome homeroom teacher, Ms. Traynham. Her mode of punishment was to write your infraction in large letters, in red magic marker on an A4 sheet of paper, make you come to the front of the class, and then stand there as she pinned that sheet to the front of your shirt. The rest of the class was not only allowed but encouraged to laugh at the poor sucker who had to deal with this. I was very, very well behaved in her class, but even at that tender age remember thinking just how fucking twisted this punishment was.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:20 PM on May 31, 2012


I was laughing last night reading about the New England Puritan punishment for incest, which was in one settlement to sit in the town square with a piece of paper reading "INCEST" pinned to your hat. I'm sure in reality that would be mortifying, but it seemed so light a touch (well, after reading about burglars having their ears nailed to the stocks and Quakers tied to a cart and whipped) that I couldn't stop giggling.
posted by stoneandstar at 4:52 PM on May 31, 2012


I recently attended an Elvis Costello concert where there was a giant wheel which selected the set-list for the night's show, including entire groupings of songs (sometimes) or letting the audience member who was chosen to spin it pick any song on the wheel (sometimes).

Yo La Tengo did this as well, although with concepts rather than individual songs: "they could play a set as their noisy garage alter-ego Condo Fucks, or as bassist James McNew's solo project Dump. Or they'll do a question-and-answer set, with music. Or they'll play half of their instrumental film-accompaniment album The Sounds of Science, except without the film accompaniment."

Other options were playing an entire set of songs with a name in the title, or a set of songs that begin with the letter S. Or acting out an episode of Seinfeld.
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:41 PM on June 4, 2012


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