“So,” said Don Capri, drug lord of the western Mediterranean. He was wearing only a t-shirt and tenting his fingers, fat and sausagelike and glinting with rings. “Tell me of this proposal, of how it would benefit me, and why I should not kill you this very moment for the insult you have wrought.”

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NARRATOR: Do you notice that time seems to pass irregularly for you?

YOUNG WOMAN: I had just gone for a jog around the park but I’d been gone for six days, long enough for the police to open an investigation!

NARRATOR: Do seemingly normal events seem to take far too long, or happen far too quickly?

MATRONLY LADY: I had just sat down to tea and then, all of a sudden, my thirties had passed on 6.2 seconds.

NARRATOR: You’re not alone.

TEENAGER: I know the clock said it was only six seconds, by from my point of view it was thirty-six thousand years. I used the time to invent a new language.

NARRATOR: If you or someone you know experiences random bouts of irregular time, you may suffer from Irritable Time Syndrome, a chronological disease experienced by one in twenty adults. But now, there’s something to help.

YOUNG WOMAN: Chronosterol.

MATRONLY LADY: Chronesterol.

TEENAGER: Chronesterol.

NARRATOR: Once-daily Chronestrol can help you with your Irritable Time Syndrome. Ask your chronologist today. Possible side effects include nausea, upset stomach, headahce, deja vu, memory loss, temporary temporal dislocation syndrome (TTDS), and dry mouth. Stop taking Chronesterol immediately if you experience sudden aging or sudden youngening.

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Daniel “Colorado Dan” Upanishads took a deep breath and surveyed his yoga class.

Emmylou Richards’ lotus has wilted as she struggled to keep herself upright while giggling.

John Dushington’s downward-facing dog was chasing its tail as he repeatedly assumed the position only to fall flat and cry out that the force of gravity had it in for him.

Madison Jung’s leotard had slipped away and her half-moon had become a full moon.

Lance Wladziu’s crane was more of a backhoe, with him wheezing about on the floor in between plaintitive cries for burgers and chips.

“Hmm,” said Colorado Dan. “Maybe these Pot Yoga classes still have a few kinks to be worked out.”

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WHEREAS we have found consciousness to be fluid and expansible

WHEREAS we have found the pursuit of knowledge through the use of various chemical aids (known to the laymen as lysergic acid diethylamide or LSD)

WHEREAS we have learned more in the space of a few short years under chemical guideance and chemically expanded consciousness than any of us have in the whole of our lives in academia

And WHEREAS we have been opposed by every turn by the Consciousness Limiters (hereafter referred to as the CLs) closedminded, the fearful, and the oppressive who seek to outlaw, constrain, and otherwise harass and suppress Truth in all its chemical forms

THEREFORE I submit to the Consciousness Society of America (hereafter referred to as the CSA) that we take our work underground

CONSIDER that a refuge or shelter, suitably constructed and outfitted with technology designed for nuclear fallout, could sustain our Carbon Shells (hereafter referred to as CSes) for a nearly indefinite period of time

CONSIDER that, with careful planning, we would be able to deal with considerations of hydration and waste

CONSIDER that, with a well-stocked library of books and consciousness-expenders, we would be able to advance our work by leaps and bounds

CONSIDER that, by doing so, we would free ourselves both from the strictures of the Imposed Reality (hereafter referred to as the IR), and the repression of the aforementioned Consciousness Limiters (hereafter referred to as CLs)

THEREFORE I submit to you that the Consciousness Society of America (hereafter referred to as the CSA) construct a network of Consciousness Shelters (hereafter referred to as CSes) beneath our current dwelling places

THEREFORE I submit to you that we stock the with the Consciousness Shelters (hereafter referred to as CSes) with the necessities for maintain our Carbon Shells (hereafter referred to as CSes) as well as the chemicals needed for expansion

THEREFORE I submit to you that we seal ourselves in these Consciousness Shelters (hereafter referred to as CSes) for a period of not less than 30 years of explorations of the boundaries of consciousness, thereafter to reemerge to share our revelations with the world

THEREFORE I submit to you that work has already begun on an example unit to be held up as a model and sealed at a predetermined time

SUBMITTED this day, October 17, 1985, to the monthly meeting of the Consciousness Society of America (hereafter referred to as the CSA)

-Dr. C. J. Applewhite IV, Southern Michigan University, AKA Ceejayaye, AKA Applecore, AKA Consciousness #32283

Inspired by this satirical post.

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HOPEWELL, MI – With Proposition 426 nearing the necessary 666,666 signatures needed to put it on the ballot this fall, the Hopewell Democrat-Tribune spoke to several of the activists who have been presenting passersby with petitions on the Southern Michigan University quad.

“There is absolutely no reason for xenobryo to be illegal, much less for the punishments handed down to people for having it,” said one activist, who identified himself only as The Bro. “It’s the outdated result of a moral panic in the 1950s, just like Prohibition in the 20s. Xenobryo is a healthy and natural way to feel good, and the secret to reviving the world economy. It shouldn’t be a reason to sentence someone to hard time just for being caught with a headclasper or testing positive for implanted xenobryo.”

When asked how exactly xenobryo use would revive the world economy, The Bro clarified: “Well, you can tax it when it’s legal, but people shouldn’t do that, it’s not fair. And, um, the dead headclaspers and passed xenobryos have lots of uses.” Asked what these uses were, The Bro took a moment to think. “The atomic acid that’s their blood could be used for, I dunno, etching or something. And the carapace of protein polysaccharides and polarized silicon can be used to…uh…uh…”

The Bro claimed to have gathered nearly 1000 signatures from passersby on the quad; a few of the people he was soliciting spoke to the Democrat-Tribune about Prop 426 and the legalization of xenobryo.

“I’m against it,” said Susie Mulligan, a double-major in biochemistry and structural engineering. “Sure, they say that using a headclasper is safe, and that you’ll get a great high as long as you flush the xen0bryo from your chest before it erupts, but think of all the accidents caused by people driving with a headclasper, or what could happen if someone doesn’t flush the xenobryo and we have a torsosplitter growing to maturity in our midst?”

“I already signed the petition,” countered Ricky “Stonewall” Jackson. “I think people should be free to use headclaspers and xenobryo, since the risk of death isn’t any worse than cigarettes and booze. You can still throw people in jail if they drive into someone while birthing a torsosplitter, after all, and torsosplitters are vulnerable to fire for the first twenty minutes of their life outside a living host. It’s all overblown.”

When asked to comment, Southern Michigan University president Cynthia Mayfield’s office issued the following statement: “SMU remains committed to protecting the right to free speech and enforcing the law.” When asked about xenobryo use among students, and cases in which free speech and the law might clash, the office declined to issue a clarification.

In the meantime, opinion polls place statewide support for legalizing xenobryo at around 50%, though the complementary Proposition 223, which would fund a statewide initiative to eliminate any escaped headclaspers or torsosplitters before they mature into xenodrones and establish a colony, is trending at 99% opposed.

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“Yeah, I’ve got the goods if you’ve got the cash.”

The money changed hands quickly, the product even more so. After all, it was illegal to sell, illegal to buy, illegal to use. They said that it was bad for you, one of the worst things, but that didn’t mean there weren’t addicts willing to buy and pushers willing to sell.

Coming out of the alleyway, the buyer looked both ways to make sure the coast was clear, and then opened their handwrapped brown package to reveal the treasure within:


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[At a party, people are passing around bowls of candy and cans of soda pop. TEDDY is offered a can and refuses, holding up his hands.]

TEDDY: Whoa, better not drink that Coke. I just ate a bunch of Pop Rocks and I might explode.

[The girl next to him rolls her eyes.]

ELISABETH: Don’t be a wuss, buddy. That’s just an urban legend!

TEDDY: Yes, but I’m Teddy Mauser, the guy for whom all urban legends are true.

[music begins as TEDDY looks sheepishly into the camera]

SINGERS: He’s Teddy, Teddy Mauser
For him all urban legends are true
He’s Teddy, Teddy Mauser
And he never quite knows what to do

[TEDDY is driving a car at night in the rain. He pulls over to pick up a hitchhiker]

SINGERS: The hitchhiker in the back is really a ghost
Just trying to get from A to B

[The hitchhiker floats into the car three feet off the ground. A bolt of lightning reveals a pasty and rotted complexion. TEDDY shrugs and looks sheepishly into the camera]

SINGERS: He’s picked up seventeen and that’s not a boast
Of course no one else can see

[TEDDY pulls a temporary tattoo out of a pack of Dallas Cowboys sports cards. He licks the back and presses it to his skin]

SINGERS: Temporary tattoos all have LSD on the back
Licking them gets it started

[The world suddenly goes tie-dyed and pink elephants and Robert Crumb prints in vivid colors attack TEDDY. He wakes up in an underpass wearing a stewardess’ uniform, shrugs, and looks sheepishly into the camera]

SINGERS: Unhinging his sanity by more than a crack
When for pink elephant world he’s departed

[TEDDY purchases a pack of bubble gum at a gas station and throws all eight pieces into his mouth at once]

SINGERS: There’s always spider eggs in his Bubble Yum
They taste as good as you’d think

[TEDDY gags and spits out a mouthful of baby spiders. He gropes for another piece of candy, and takes an Air Head taffy, shucking the wrapper and biting in deeply as if to clear his palate. A moment later he gags again and spits out a mouthful of baby scorpions before turning and looking sheepishly into the camera]

SINGERS: It would maybe be better not to chew any gum
But the eggs are in anything sugary and pink

[Music ends as scene returns to the party]

ELISABETH: I don’t believe that for a second, loser. Drink up!

TEDDY: Well, all right. What’s the worst that could happen?

[TEDDY drinks the soda and smiles. A moment later he lets loose a deafening belch and his abdomen explodes, coating all the onlookers with viscera]

SINGERS: He’s Teddy, Teddy Mauser
And for him all urban legends are true!

[TEDDY shrugs and looks sheepishly into the camera]

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It’s the hot new thing this year, direct from Europe or so they say. Genetically engineered microbes, smuggled over as nigh-undetectable spores. Activate them with nutrient agar, and strap in.

Nobody’s sure how they work. Hell, it’s not like they’re chemistry majors out there. Some say the bugs make hallucinogens as by-products like botulism makes Botox. Others say the bugs infect the part of your brain that keeps your consciousness grounded and unaltered (a pretty small par in some people, admittedly). One crackpot in Boston has even been heard saying that the critters rot out and replace a small but key part of the brain like a tongue-eating louse replacing a snapper’s tongue.

But regardless of how it works, everyone’s pretty sure it does work. The period of time you go under varies–a few minutes, a few hours–but in that time you’re enraptured in the most realistic psychedelic paradise dream this side of the Matrix. If it weren’t for inconveniences like needing to eat and drink, having to post trustworthy guards (or junkies taking their turn) over the sleepers, or the delay of 2-12 hours before the stuff kicks in after you dose it, most people would probably never willingly snap out of it.

It was the perfect dead drop for money and drugs–deep in the cemetery where the ground had gotten rough and no one would notice turned-over earth. Cunningham looked for the marker, which Debs had chosen as much for the unusual name as the remote location.

“Here lies Nikolai Ilyich Tyicov, beloved son, 1951-1980,” he read. The tombstone bore the crazy three-beamed Orthodox cross, probably the only one in the cemetery. No chance of screwing it up if they had to send some snot-nosed junkie over as a patsy.

It didn’t take long to turn the earth over to reveal the latest shipment laid out on the lid of the coffin: bundles of drugs and money in plastic baggies. Cunningham bent down to scoop them up.

A pale, bony hand punched out of the lid and seized his lapel as he did so.

People moaned about how much things had changed, but Petra had been around for a while. Were pharmaceuticals really all that different these days? They still gave them made-up, optimistic sounding names: Purpure, Shineol, Welaire, Atatrea.

It didn’t matter how the prescriptions were bought and paid for, either; that may have changed, but people still wanted their drugs for longer than their pharmacist was willing to let them. People were still willing to pay for the privilege of experiencing side-effects that made it easier to take life one day at a time.

Petra chuckled as she typed, recalling how things had been done when she was a girl. Paying dealers strung out on their own product in a dirty alley and getting stolen pills that had been cut with laundry detergent…no more. People had been suspicious of a 16-year-old girl with a pharmacy in her medicine cabinet; people saw a 70-year-old woman with pill bottles all over the place, they didn’t even blink.

And of course distribution was so much easier these days.

“Prescription Atatrea available in 5, 10, and 15 pill packs,” Petra typed. “100, 200, and 400mg doses.” She hit enter and sat back, smiling. A little feigned arthritis, a lonely old doctor not above being charmed, and she had pills to sell without ever having to touch a bill or step into anything dirtier than the local post office.