* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

Altered States

24 February 2003
Jamie suggests you try this at home

The tea tastes pretty fucking minging, to be honest. Even with a couple of lemon teabags in the mix, there's still the earthy, fungal taste, which isn't helped by the fact that we're presently sans sieve, so there are itty-bitty bits of finely-chopped matter floating around and collecting at the bottom of each mug. But as one of the more experienced members of the crew, I tell the guys to put up, shut up, and down the lot. Bits and all.

There's something to be said for playing Playstation while you're waiting for the effects to kick in. It's quite a good way of measuring the change in your perception as things start leaning towards the mentalist - footballers in ISS going a bit van Gogh, landscapes in Tiger Woods starting to wobble - and this is no exception. I know we're on a winner when I've been knocked down by Clubber Lang, am being counted out and the referee's hand is pointing out of the screen at me. Taken out of context, Jacqui's comment 'Is anyone else seeing in 3-D?' seems ridiculous, but it made sense at the time. The other sure-fire sign that things are going well is that Mike's leg has started shaking uncontrollably, and he won't stop asking for chewing gum to keep his jaw busy.

To be honest, I'm still feeling quite lucid by this stage - it's probably about time to graduate to either double dosage or the Hawaiians - which means I get to have a detached view of proceedings, verging on the amusedly cynical. I'm still giggling like a fool at the happenings on TV - though as this involves crazily-dressed Laplanders being pulled behind reindeer on skis and falling over a lot, this might not be entirely due to the mind-bending drugs - but I don't feel like I've been completely swallowed up. The lid's been lifted off the world, but I'm just peering in, not throwing myself into the box and having a play.

That's what I think, anyway - and the impression stays until I decide we've reached the time to crack into the Kinder eggs. After the initial disappointment that I've only got a jigsaw puzzle (toys made of brightly coloured plastic that you have to build yourself are much more fun), I realise that I am one hundred percent boxed. Apart from the fact that I can't find any corner or edge pieces - and this in a puzzle consisting of twelve pieces, of which by rights 10 should qualify - I appear to have forgotten what the aim of the game is. After a bit of soul-searching I challenge Mike to a race - about ten minutes later, he yells triumphantly, 'I've done it! It's a hippopotamus - with an owl on its back... actually, I think I've done this wrong...'

Meanwhile, despite the late hour and heavy last night, Paul has been given a major energy boost. While the rest of us laze and look at the floors, he's full of beans and off exploring. [The fact that we have heavy power tools in the house doesn't go unnoticed, and I keep a paternal ear open.] We track his movement by the deep Scouse giggles emanating from the upstairs bathroom - sounds like he's discovered the mirror. After what seems like about an hour of solid hilarity, he re-emerges with a conspiratorial grin.

- 'What we need to do is turn the TV off. Turn that bloody telly off, and let's play a game I've invented. It's called the Mushroom Game.'

- 'How does that work?' (I don't really want to know, but I'm feeling indulgent and am ready to be amused.

- 'We all sit in a circle, and we each get a mirror and a plug. Your plug's brilliant, man - it's the wrong size and everything. Or if not, we can turn the TV off and go to the shops. That would be mad, man!'

The TV stays on. We go nowhere.

* * *

I'm starting to think Paul had the right idea about the TV. It's like it's draining the energy out of those watching, while ignoring it is fuelling his fire. Problem is, I'm tired and it's keeping me entertained. Not as much as Paul himself, who's still coming out with inane genius as we watch snowboarding videos on Extreme.

- 'If you're going skiing, you've got to have a coat with big pockets.'

- 'What, for all the stuff you have to carry?'

- 'No, so you can steal whisky from shops.'

- 'They don't have shops that high.'

- 'Of course they do. Haven't you ever heard of ski shops?'

- 'But you don't even like whisky.' (This from his weary-sounding girlfriend of seven years)

- 'Yeah, but if you were up a mountain, wearing a coat with big pockets, walking through a ski shop, it'd be rude not to. [Momentary pause as he considers the implications of this last statement] Ok, you're right. I picked the wrong spirit. Rum, then.'

* * *

Things are slowing down a little now. We've gone through anti-avalanche berets, more offers to go to the shops, conveyor belts taking you up to the 90th storey (though Paul was adamant he didn't want to be the guy that operated the belt and the bell, he just wanted to ride on it), begging to be let out of the flat to go to the shops, the similarity between herons and dogs, etc. Now we're just watching TV, having a quick come-down smoke and eating stroopwafels.

- 'I tell you what, it's lucky I don't live out here. I'd probably be dead within a month.'

- 'What, because your body couldn't take the abuse?'

- 'No mate. I reckon that snail over there would probably have me first. Evil-looking bugger.'


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
13 October 2003. Jamie writes: The Persistence of Memory
22 September 2003. Jamie writes: The Email Eunuch
1 September 2003. Jamie writes: Credo
11 August 2003. Jamie writes: Brad and Jennifer and Me
21 July 2003. Jamie writes: Interruption
30 June 2003. Jamie writes: Do you remember the first time?
12 June 2003. Jamie writes: Forthcoming Attractions
19 May 2003. Jamie writes: Stupid Mistake
28 April 2003. Jamie writes: Hoping and Praying
7 April 2003. Jamie writes: Strangers on a Plane
17 March 2003. Jamie writes: Q&A
24 February 2003. Jamie writes: Altered States
3 February 2003. Jamie writes: How to say goodbye
13 January 2003. Jamie writes: In A League Of Their Own
23 December 2002. Jamie writes: What's in a name?
2 December 2002. Jamie writes: Lies, Damned Lies and Spastics
11 November 2002. Jamie writes: Memoirs of a Gaysian: A Preface
21 October 2002. Jamie writes: Love is blindness
30 September 2002. Jamie writes: Time for bed
9 September 2002. Jamie writes: Angry Exchanges Can Be Puzzling [10]
19 August 2002. Jamie writes: High Speed
29 July 2002. Jamie writes: Firkin Hell
8 July 2002. Jamie writes: Do you, er... haiku?
13 June 2002. Jamie writes: Unnatural Porn Thrillers
20 May 2002. Jamie writes: The Triumphant Return of the Septic Fiveskins
25 April 2002. Jamie writes: Meeting People is Easy
4 April 2002. Jamie writes: I Want I Want I Want
7 March 2002. Jamie writes: The Player of Games
11 February 2002. Jamie writes: Fat Man Walking
17 January 2002. Jamie writes: Passive/Aggressive
3 January 2002. Jamie writes: Love (classified)
29 November 2001. Jamie writes: A Lil' Nite Muzak
5 November 2001. Jamie writes: Natural born liar
11 October 2001. Jamie writes: All I need
17 September 2001. Jamie writes: Postcards From The Edge (of the pool)
23 August 2001. Jamie writes: Class act
30 July 2001. Jamie writes: Ritchie Neville is dead
5 July 2001. Jamie writes: A Letter from God
11 June 2001. Jamie writes: "If it's in French, it must be deep"
17 May 2001. Jamie writes: Reportage
23 April 2001. Jamie writes: Show me the Logos
29 March 2001. Jamie writes: Sobering Thoughts
8 March 2001. Jamie writes: Stupid, Stupid, Stupid
8 February 2001. Jamie writes: Spent
15 January 2001. Jamie writes: Full to the brim
21 December 2000. Jamie writes: fuck xmas
27 November 2000. Jamie writes: Eye Candy
2 November 2000. Jamie writes: World-wide-web?
9 October 2000. Jamie writes: Kids' stuff
14 September 2000. Jamie writes: Scatological Warfare
21 August 2000. Jamie writes: I can't stand up (for falling clowns)
10 July 2000. Jamie writes: The Etymology of Greatness

Let meeeeeee entertain you

We are all Upsideclown: Dan, George, James, Jamie, Matt, Neil, Victor.

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