Summer Guide 2014 Sports & Recreation: Not safe for Summer Guide

Our writer consumes psychedelic mushrooms in his quest for the perfectly debauched summer—and fails

That man’s face isn’t melting. I can’t read the furniture’s thoughts. And my emotional state remains stable.

Something is very wrong.

“You haven’t eaten enough,” the man says, irritated.

In my lap is a sandwich bag, containing what I’ve been told are potent psychedelic mushrooms. The toadstools look more like the calcified bones of a miniature civilization. I’ve already choked down one baggie’s weedy contents—on an empty stomach, per drug doctor’s orders—including something that looked like a cancerous mole. I fish out a stem the size of a Q-tip and snap off its bulb, finding chalky moss inside. I make a face, and disappear it into my mouth.

The things I do for work.

I’m not positive who made “summer of sin” this year’s theme for SN&R’s annual Summer Guide, but I did my best to take it literally.

As it turns out, sinning is hard.

And, sometimes, trying too hard can be the deadliest sin.

The weekend before, I sampled some of the same psilocybin fungi with friends. Nothing happened. I got not-high and stared at eight flimsy stars. Not a great story. For me, anyway. A man who shall remain nameless witnessed a wad of toilet paper morph into the face of a nun as he urinated on it. He found this profoundly upsetting.

That was precisely the experience I needed for this essay, which started out as an experiment in old-school alternative journalism and devolved into a travesty of old-school alternative journalism.

The following Thursday, I mushed down more of these regurgitated sunflower seeds. Rather than try to explain what happened, here’s an edited journal, recorded via texts and notes I typed into my phone in real time:

Ate drugs. Because journalism!

Feel intermittently weird. May grab the second bag and eat the white thing that looks like a baby zombie’s penis if nothing more happens in 30 minutes.

Blech. I ate it.

But am stoned now. No visuals yet which upsets REDACTED. Just watched Mad Men. Took notes for the episode. It took me two hours.

Now writing postcards to a yellow hazard sign I named Bruce. This makes sense.

Side note: “Bruce” is a child-shaped traffic marker I “borrowed” from an overzealous neighbor, who left two of these figurines near the middle of the street late one night to deter speeders and endanger everyone else. After three weeks, I decided to return Bruce, along with postcards from all the “friends” he made in all the places he “visited” while away. At a nearly empty bar in historic Folsom, a few people join in the writing. Overhearing the plan, a drunk man with a red mustache approached me:

He’s big with a face sunburn except for where he must wear wraparound shades 24-seven. Giggles frenetically. “Ha-ha, you guys are hilarious!” he says. Shows me photos of his grandfather and dad in horse and buggy. It’s like 1918, or something. Yellowed photo that makes me think the word “halcyon,” even though they look hard and impatient for the future to come.

He then proceeds to tell some epic adventure tale about his time in Alaska and rigs and gear and swimming a mile, and I can’t follow anymore because I just want him to go away.

Mushrooms make me feel vaguely like I have to poop all day.