"Hey man, yeah you! C'mere a minute," a strikingly ugly teenager motions you over. According to the CW - the closest thing to a news channel that you watch - all teenagers are either stunningly beautiful or else they have magical powers. Considering this kid looks like the ass end of an asshole, you figure him for the latter. Unwilling to risk the anger of a pubescent warlock, you oblige him.
"What's up uh… esse? You still say that, right? Esse?" You greet him and begin an elaborate fist-bump handshake, which he declines to participate in. It's too late to stop now without clear embarassment, so you decide to try to pass it off as some sort of epileptic seizure instead. You flail your arms independently from your body for the duration of the conversation.
"No. Nobody says that. Listen, I saw you with that girl, right?" He motions to a woman reclining on the beach, her beauty at once visceral and etheral, like some sort of ancient goddess of boobs (I checked, there's no deity of titties, per se, so the position's open. And it needs to be filled! Right? RIGHT?!).
"Yeah, so maybe her face is nothing to write home about... but we don't worship her for her giant, jiggling, heaving, bouncing pair of faces, jackass."
"Yes, she's my girlfriend," you answer, "or at least she will be once I tell her. We're in the courting phase of the relationship right now, where I follow her around until she gets comfortable with my presence. Then I let her smell my hand so she knows I'm not a threat. That's second base," you inform him knowledgeably. Teenagers don't know about girl laws yet; they teach that shit in college.
"Yeah, sure sure. I don't need to hear a biography of how retarded you are, I got something guaran-fucking-teed to get you action. Check it," he gestures to a collection of pills in his hand, "Rohypnol. Roofies. Right? Get you laid, for sure."
If you decline the mystical little troll's offer for surefire sex, turn to page 2. If you take the roofies from the prolifically unattractive pimple-wizard, turn to page 3.
No, you don't. He said it was guaranteed! Don't be stupid, stupid.
Turn to page 3.
"What, for real?" Of course! Why didn't you think of it earlier? Who brews love potions? Witches and vampires and shit! Who are mostly witches and vampires and shit? Teenagers! It all makes perfect sense.
"I'll take a dozen!" You scream in excitement.
"Shit! Shit! Keep it down, man!" The kid takes a step back, looking all around for cops or vampire-hunters or whatever it is that kills teenagers these days.
"Oh, right. No, it's cool, Twitter. We're cool."
"Did you just call me Twitter?"
"Yeah, that's a thing, right? That cool kids call each other?"
"I just… man, take these," he says, thrusting a handful of pills into your palm, "and gimme that," he adds, taking the wad of cash you have safety-pinned to your shirt (so you don't forget it).
Magic is real! And it's conveniently in pill form!
"Thanks, Rap Music!" you yell to him, jogging down the beach towards the love of your life, who noticed you were distracted momentarily and abandoned all of her possessions to run - just run. But that's OK! There are literally dozens of girls with breasts scattered all around this beach – and that's really the only "soulmate" criteria, come to think of it.
"Let's see this magic work!" You declare to nobody in particular, downing all of the mystical love pills in one go. Now you just need to figure out a way to get some girl's attention, and let the magic do its work!
If you decide to strip naked (to let the magic breathe better,) and practice backflips in case ninjas ever attack, turn to page 4. If you decide to take a swim, thus showing off your athletic prowess to all potential mates at once, turn to page 5.
Ahhh! The fresh ocean breeze caressing your nether regions, the cry of the gulls overhead, the crash of the distant waves, the approaching sirens – nothing relaxes a man like the beach! You bend low in preparation, and launch yourself backwards into the air.
"Ninjas! Quick, do a backflip!" "I can't! I never practiced!" "You've doomed us all!"
As the world wheels about you, you suddenly remember that you've never actually tried to backflip before, and therefore have absolutely no idea what the next step is. You hesitate, trying to right yourself. Then you decide "fuck it" and to go through with the backflip. Then you waffle again and try to land normally. At this point, however, it is far too late for any of that, because you have already landed directly on your neck. There is a horrible snapping sound, and you're amazed to find your body bent nearly in half. Your own genitals are resting gently on your head. Wow, you never got this close before! Those guys back at the bar all said it was impossible, but here you are – junk in face. You feel a great sense of accomplishment as the world starts to go black around you.
The police photograph your body before the autopsy, and the pictures hit big on the Internet. Your mother eventually finds it. She denies you ever existed. Sometimes she weeps quietly for that thing she called "son," but she tells everybody it's just allergies.
Your sleek body cuts through the waves like they're made of water, and you soon find yourself miles out in the ocean. Good lord! These pills really must be something! You don't even know how to swim, and now look at you – you can barely even see the beach! It's so relaxing out here. The water is like a giant, moist blanket caressing your every fiber. The sun warms your face, the waves rock you gently, and you find yourself drifting off into a meditative calm. You feel so at one with the natural world! It's like the waters themselves are enveloping your entire body, filling your lungs with their gentle caress...
A cry for help! Your eyes snap open, and you are shocked to find yourself underwater! You frantically search about for the source of the noise, and you soon find a beautiful mermaid trapped in some sort of cage.
"Free me!" she cries, and when you notice that yes – mermaids do have breasts – you quickly swim over to her.
"Hey, wouldyalookitthat. Looks like you finally caught something in that freaky fish-poon trap, Jerry."
"What's up, baby? Come here often?" You ask, doing your best to lean non-chalantly, but your legs float up above your head and you find it impossible to keep your elbow on the cage.
"Come… where? To this cage?" She seems perplexed.
"More like per-sexed! Or wait... mer-sexed! Yeah!" Wait, did you say that out loud?
"Just get me out! Before Mer-Linn, the evil water-wizard comes back for me! He's going to grind me up to make his potions!"
"Easy, sweetie. Maybe after I let you out, you and I can get a drink somewhere."
"What's a ‘drink'?"
Jesus Christ. Fucking mermaids, right? What dipshits. Don't they have Sea School or something down here?
"It's when you put liquid in your mouth and… oh, right..." You release the latch, feeling (and also kind of looking) stupid.
"Thank you so much! I owe you my life!" She cries, hugging you desperately. Her shell-bra totally brushes up against your arm. It, being comprised of razor-sharp shells, slashes up your flesh pretty badly, but it's still pretty hot.
If you decide to use this newfound gratitude to your advantage, turn to page 6. If you decide to be a gentleman about it, or at the very least not be a felon about it, turn to page 7.
"You know what could use a little thanking?" You ask her, hoping that the subtle sensuality of the double entendre will set a romantic mood. "My penis."
She looks less than enthralled.
"My penis," you say again, thus making it a "double" entendre. Someday you should look up what "entendre" means.
"I have fish parts," she says bluntly, obviously not appreciating your complex word play, "do you want to fuck fish parts?"
"Hell ye- I mean, uh, I guess not," you answer reluctantly, not wanting to seem gross by participating in any kind of bestiality, "but you got a mouth, right?"
Everybody knows the mouth doesn't count for sex! That one president signed it into law, right? Taft, maybe?
"I… OK, no. Let me take you back to my city," she says, pointing downward to a fantastic underwater kingdom that you have been far too shell-boob focused to notice until now, "my father rules this world, and he will reward you handsomely."
"Ew, dude!" you cry in protest "I don't want the gay stuff! Let's talk some more about the fish parts."
"No like… with gold and such. What is wrong with you? I swear to god, the only reason I'm not throwing up right now is because it tends to hang around in low current areas like this and I don't want to breathe in my own vomit," she swims away, shaking her tail like she wants it. In somewhere. You're still not totally sure where.
Turn to page 7.
You manage to refrain from graphically pelvic thrusting a nearby reef to show her how best to thank you, and instead follow her down to the city in relative peace. You manage to maintain a stoic, gentlemanly silence for the better part of two and half minutes before you start asking her increasingly detailed questions about fish copulation. At some point the conversation turns to "vagina analogues" and you feel you may have lost a little of your savoir faire.
"Baby, come on! Don't swim away like that - I only wanted to know if it smelled like fish in here, or if you were just excited to see me!"
You enter the magnificent lost world - with its soaring towers, impossibly detailed mosaics of many-colored corals, and dizzying array of animal and plant life never before seen by man - and you are absolutely awestruck… at all of these hot mer-skanks in nothing but shell-bras. They regard you with what seems like equal parts fear and fascination. It must be the magic love pills. One of them bursts into tears and hides behind a wall, clearly horrified by how much she wants you. You think you might even hear some lust-retching going on back there.
"They're scared of you. They've never seen a land-dweller before with your two deformed, separate tails," your recently-freed mermaid friend explains.
"More like THREE deformed separate tails, right? By which I mean my penis, my penis," you wittily retort, double-entendre-ing that shit up.
"Oh god, just shut up. My father's in here," she brings you before a horrible...thing – it's like somebody shredded a frog and glued all of its parts on a man.
Wait... why does it need to wear the helmet underwater?
"JESUS FUCKING WHAT THE FUCK!" You cry, and attempt to drop-kick the monster but, forgetting that you are underwater, you end up merely floating sideways at it gently.
"Brrghhlll berg brrrg," it croaks to you.
"That's my father!" The mermaid yells, attempting to wrangle your awkwardly floating body away from the king.
"Why is it wearing frog skin?!" It's proving more difficult to wrestle you away than initially thought. There is a moment of sheer panic as it becomes clear to everybody that your ass has settled firmly onto the side of the king's head.
"What do you mean? All of our men look like this. Why did you think we were all half-fish, half-women? It's customary for our menfolk to ravage your sea-borne women whenever they happen upon one, and when they inevitably try to drown the baby, we take them back to us."
"BRGOOOW GRK BRK!" The king frantically swats at you, trying to free an ass-free space in which to exist. You have to admit that, at this point, some of it might be intentional. I mean, how often does one get the chance to reverse tea-bag a king? After everything settles, and you are forcibly restrained - ass noticeably pointed downward and away from all present royalty - the king speaks to you once more.
"Bguk bak guuuurrk," it croaks.
"My father wants to know what reward you seek from our kingdom. We have scrolls here with all the wisdom of the ancients contained within. It is said that they bestow a nigh-mystical knowledge upon the reader. We also have all the lost gold that every ship has ever dumped in the sea... and then we have this thing," she gestures to a corner of the throne room, where the single most beautiful object you have ever seen sits in disrepair. It is a bright pink jet-ski with aquatic blue flames racing down the sides. The seat is leopard print. The handlebars are chrome. The tears on your face are of joy.
If you take the tablet or rocks or whatever, like a dick, turn to page 8. If you take the god-king of ski-doo technology, a steel mount of beauty and a veritable poem to the concept of speed and awesomeness, turn to page 9.
You're such a dick. This is just like you. All right, fine. You get some fucking gold and, like, a tablet that gives you stupid powers.
"This is what you chose?! You had a sweet fuckin' ski-doo and you brought me a big leaf tablet?!"
You really only use these "gifts" to play pranks on your unsuspecting friends, and though the money does allow you to purchase a jet-ski – you know nothing will ever match the one you passed up on. It haunts your dreams until the day you die. Your last words are "pink...sweet flames," which kicks off a Citizen Kane style hunt to decipher their meaning. Ultimately, it's decided that you were referring to the "sweet, pink" love of a "flame"-ing drag queen, whose questionable association you have kept these many long years. He/she inherits what remains of your fortune after writing an exceptionally graphic tell-all book about your relationship. You wish you could say that it was all a misunderstanding, and you were really just referring to the paint-job on that one fateful undersea chopper, but it totally wasn't. God damn it all, you loved Starr Cummings with the entirety of your heart.
You mount up your fiery chariot of radical notions and tear ass out of that undersea kingdom - the mer-women loudly lamenting your absence (probably) and the mer-men permanently besmirched by your ass-bagging (almost definitely). As you break the surface and return to the world above, your momentum and great speed carry you far, far above the waters below. The sun catches the droplets spraying in your wake, and its brilliant light renders them as a million sparkling diamonds in the sky. Everything goes into slow motion and – holy shit! – a shark jumps out of the water at the exact same time! At the climax of your bitchin' jump, you and the shark high five. An explosion of badass ripples out from the five, and forever unites man and shark in peace.
Thanks, bitchin' jet-ski!
"I think he's coming around," a voice says. There is pressure on your chest and your lungs feel significantly more watery than usual.
You retch up filthy liquid all over the face of the concerned officer above you.
"My god! He is! He's alive!" The people around you gasp in wonder.
"You've been dead for 20 minutes!" The officer tells you, awestruck, "why in the hell did you flail all the way out there if you didn't know how to swim?!"
Oh Christ. It was all a near-death hallucination? What a gyp! Ah well, at least you're not under arrest at the end of this one.
"Also you're under arrest," he informs you, gesturing to the recently expelled, half-dissolved roofies.
SON OF A BI-
You can pre-order Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead on Amazon, or find him on Twitter, Facebook and his own site, I Fight Robots or you can turn to page 43 by clicking this super secret link! If you can't find it, you're just not trying hard enough!