Louis Jolyon West is a son of a bitch. Let's just get that right out of the way. He's the kind of irredeemable bastard you have to pat down on his way out of the Salvation Army. His most notable experiment, at the University of Oklahoma, was researching the effects of LSD. After witnessing a few bad trips, West drew a parallel between the drug-induced fits in humans and the tendency of some male elephants to go "on musth"--a fugue-state where they are overtaken by a bizarre kind of temporary rage and attack everything in sight. Figuring that nothing goes better with crazy than more crazy, he thought to combine the two, and dosed up a bull elephant with a metric-fuckton of acid.
"Well damn, Johnson, I honestly can't tell when an elephant is trippin' balls. Do you think it's working?"
West and his lab assistant hooked up with a morally lax zookeeper at Oklahoma City's Lincoln Park Zoo, who gave them access to Tusko, a 7,000-pound, 14-year-old male elephant. To accurately dose the elephant within levels experienced by the average human drug user, they painstakingly calculated the elephant's metabolic rate, assessed the relative potency of the drug, accounted for the weight difference, then converted all the measurements to Fuck It, and just shot everything they had into him. About 300-milligrams of pure LSD. Enough for 3,000 hippies to bother God about their mundane bullshit on a Friday night. So what valuable data did this experiment yield?
Five minutes after the injection, he fell over and died.
In a move that practically elevates dickotry to an art-form, this is the actual conclusion to their report: "It appears that the elephant is highly sensitive to the effects of LSD - a finding which may prove to be valuable in elephant-control work in Africa."
End result: Hopefully some sort of furious, hallucinogenic elephant curse.
Sometimes, comedy just fails at its task. Sometimes the effort to bring out the inherent humor in something--to dissect a subject, analyze it, spin it and ultimately reintroduce it so that society might understand it better--simply does not work. Sometimes the world just writes a better joke. Here is the actual lead to a story announcing the results of this scientific paper:
"A new study has been published, demonstrating for the first time that rats on ecstasy who listen to loud music have more sex than rats on ecstasy who do not listen to loud music."
Knowledge Gained: They prefer Nine Inch Nails.
You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook or you can get good grades, study hard, and one day pursue a fruitful career feeding psychedelic mushrooms to bats to see if they fly "all fucked up."