THE BLOG
12/03/2014 02:26 pm ET Updated Feb 01, 2015

Is It Working?

Soon, my buddy Paul will be making online site reservations for our July 4th camping trip. That's seven months away, you say. Yes it is, but here in Southern California, the land of too many fucking people, you have to plan ahead. If you don't, you'll be pitching a tent between a bear box and the campground dumpster.

There's a sushi restaurant we like on Sawtelle Blvd. We made our reservations for a Saturday night.

In March.

Of course, this long lead time gives my wife ample opportunity to start crossing items off The List. Each year, without fail, we haul up a half dozen of these useless Citronella candles. Supposedly, the burning of Citronella oil repels the bloodthirsty mosquitoes.

Bullshit.

Unless the mosquito decides to set down on the burning wick and thus subject himself to a little self-immolation, these candles do nothing. Personally, I like my repellents like my cough medications, that is, they should contain chemical(s) the FDA has declared potentially hazardous or addictive.

This doesn't stop my wife, or the others in our camping group, from swearing by them. Not surprisingly, Citronella falls into the same fairy tale category as organic fruit, past-life memories, and Congressional bi-partisanship.

Last week I watched a program on CNN, I know, I should be ashamed to admit that. Lisa Ling had travelled to the jungle to watch some addle-brained Americans go on a Ayahuasca weekend retreat.

There, under the moist canopy of a Peruvian rainforest and the spiritual guidance of a "shaman" (oh please), these wayward souls paid top dollar to drink a brew of banisteriopsis caapi.

Chemists say the plant contains DMT, dimethlytryptamine, and like LSD can induce severe hallucinations lasting up to six hours. I would suggest the hallucinations don't stop there.

Lisa Ling interviewed many of the participants, who after much vomiting, reported:

"I feel totally cleansed."

"It's like I was being born again."

"I was expecting to see my spirit animals. They didn't show up at first. But then they did. And now I know they live inside my. And guide me. And protect me."

The spirit animals should have warned you not to do an interview with CNN and making a total ass of yourself in front of millions of people.

I'm not sure how Lisa Ling kept a straight face. I may not be the most perceptive man on the planet, my wife can chime in on that, but Lisa looked like she wanted to burst out laughing.

One shaggy-haired participant looked her in the eye, and while stroking his soul patch said:

"I feel like I've reached a higher level of vibration."

If I thought reaching a higher level of vibration had any therapeutic effect and could ease my mid-life neurosis, I would save myself the airfare to Lima, Peru, pass on the self-inflicted hurling and hop on top of my Sears 7.6 cubic feet, front-loading Kenmore Dryer.
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