Your Tax Dollars at Work

Thanks to Johns Hopkins Professor Gül Dölen and the zany research crew at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, we now have a clear picture of what happens when you dose a California Two-Spot octopus with the party drug ecstasy, or Molly for you hipsters. Like you, I have pondered this question since I was a little clown. But not having the money, the Molly, the octopus or the research lab in which to perform the experiments, the answer had to wait until Professor Dölen got a grant from the gummit to do the work.

You may wonder, as I did, why the gummit is interested in this particular subject. Well, it turns out that octopuses (no, it is not “octopi’, you cretin) and humans have a link dating from 500,000,000 years ago in our serotonin transmitter genes. How this particular link was discovered is a blog for another day but you can be sure that it involved a gummit grant.

The results of Prof Dölen’s study proved that octopuses, famously anti-social most of the time, become very social and mellow when rolling on Molly. This same behavior in humans on ecstasy, when observed scientifically in an electronic dance club in Baltimore where Professor Dölen filmed her human test subjects, proved that not all that much has changed over 500 million years when it comes to recreational drugs.

The octopus test involved two steps.

First, two sober male octopuses were put into a salt water tank which was completely devoid of any stimulating octopus toys. In this sterile environment, the octopuses tried to eat each other. I think we can all agree that this is a first-rate definition of anti-social behavior.

Second (and here’s where the serious grant money was used), Prof Dölen completely re-decorated the salt water tank. This transformation included a Dolby sound system, a multi-colored revolving disco ball, a volunteer dolphin DJ, a well-stocked bar and disreputably scuzzy bathrooms. Then, one at a time, the two male octopuses were lured into the men’s room with the promise of “something very special” and dosed with Molly by the research team who had verified the drug’s potency by testing it on themselves the night before.

Once the octopuses were tripping’ on the ecstasy, they tenderly embraced arm-in-arm, in-arm, in-arm, in-arm, in-arm, in-arm, in-arm, etc. on the dance floor. There they were bathed in the flickering pattern of the disco ball’s reflecting lights and began to rhythmatically ungulate, as one, to the pulsating beat of Sister Sledge’s “Lost in Music”. The researchers noted, however, that as the drug began to wear off, the octopuses began to get snippy with each other. These were small insults at first having to do with styling choices or clumsy dance moves, then escalating to threats of cannibalism. At this juncture, the octopuses were separated and returned to their parents’ basements.

According to Prof Dölen, “Sonuçlar tam bir sürpriz oldu ve daha fazla para istemek içinekibimiz te?vik eder.” This loosely translates to “The results were a complete surprise and encourage our team to ask for more money.”

The 13th Clown is energized by this whole field of study, wherein previously banned substances are emerging as potentially useful products for altering behaviors or perceptions among animals and humans. For instance, an unscientific but creative study is being conducted in a Maine restaurant where lobsters are dosed with marijuana prior to being boiled alive. The owner’s theory is that it calms them before their horrific death. The owner is a huge contributor to PETA. This theory is tough to confirm, however, given that the lobsters do not survive the ordeal. Perhaps Prof Dölen can think of a way to pry more money out of the system to test the idea.


Observoid of the Day: The number of medications you take is inversely related to the number of years you have left.

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3 Responses to Your Tax Dollars at Work

  1. Anonymous says:

    Always hilarious Bruce! Ray

  2. Anonymous says:

    I believe the correct spelling is gummint with an “n” but my brain is so addled with medications that I’m probably not long for this world and can’t be relied on. Lauren

  3. sherryking says:

    Bruce, always enjoy reading your pieces as they come to me. I regret that I will not be anywhere near Newton, America on the 18th (or so…give or take) when you are to be celebrated. I will raise a glass in your honour. Sherry

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