RL73 - Ketchup is Hard to Remove

This week, Merlin and John talk about:

The Problem: A new thought technology that changed the way John looked at himself, referring to his friend telling him that he was the most introverted person she had ever met.

The show title refers to placing an order at McDonalds without something that is hard to remove like ketchup to force them to make you a fresh hamburger.

Raw notes
The segments below are raw notes that have not been edited for language, structure, references, or readability. Please do not quote these texts directly without applying your own editing first! These notes were not planned to be released in this form, but time constraints have caused a shift in priorities and have delayed editing draft-quality versions to a later point.

Tumblr being sold to Yahoo (RL73)

Merlin is late for their call because he was microblogging. There is a lot of stuff to talk about on the Internet right now. Merlin was making a post on a site that you are not supposed to use anymore, which is going to kill the longevity, but Tumblr has been sold to Yahoo for $1.1 billion (John says sold to Facebook) three days before they record the show. Merlin would be happy with just the .1 and could pay a lot of bills with that. Merlin checked on Wolfram Alpha and it is $100 million. It is just like that couple who won the lottery in Florida.

Placing a grill order at McDonalds (RL73)

Earlier today John tried to figure out what percentage of the world’s population was represented by America, and he used the calculator instead of Wolfram Alpha. Merlin is screwed up about that because of a Burger King commercial from the mid-to-late 1970s. Merlin used to work at McDonalds and it used to be that if you placed a grill order, an exception like extra something or without something, the key is to order without something that is hard to remove. Ketchup is hard to remove. When John was a kid he would order a plain hamburger at McDonalds.

It used to be that you screw up the McDonalds if everybody came in and asked for it as Burger King would say it ”make in their own way” Merlin went to a McDonalds once at midnight in Chicago, which is 3 mistakes in a row, and the members of Cult Jam showed up signing photos, but Lisa Lisa was not in full force. A busy McDonalds any time of day is going to be really good McDonalds, not as good when Merlin was a kid, but good.

John plagued by allergy season (RL73)

John has a bit of a head-cold because it is allergy season. The allergies climb up inside him and make themselves comfortable. Right now they have outfitted the inside of his head with those green velour couches that were in all the dorm rooms in the 1980s that were full of dander. Merlin owned a brown velour pit group in college, a big square couch pit comprised of 8 distinct pieces, like Hollywood Squares, but one piece missing. It was the style of the time to furnish your home ironically and he had a velvet Elvis and an 8-piece pit group, which was fine until you dropped a doobie. Merlin had a superbowl-sized loogie yesterday the size of a small bouncy ball.

When the allergies go in there John’s mucus membranes become so enamored with the idea that something fuzzy is going to come and tickle them that they are: ”Welcome travelers!” and his regular residents who are peaceful happy compliant little villagers who are just going about their duties, being non-infectious, are going: ”Wait a minute! We demand equal time infecting your mucus membranes!” and now John basically has the plague. It is a beautiful sunny day in Seattle and the only thing obscuring the sun is the clouds of histamine-agitating pollen floating through the sky John is sitting inside like someone with the AIDS. People with AIDS have learned to live with it and have fun, they can go on boat rides, but John can’t even do that. Thanks Obama!

John is coughing and snorting and Merlin asks if he avoids allergy medicine, too. He will take the shit out of some allergy medicine because he is not kidding around with the allergies. Almost all other drugs that seek to alleviate symptoms, more often than not the symptoms are something you deserve and you are probably sick because there is something wrong with you. If you have a fever you should be in your hotness, if you have chills you should be in your shiveringness and if you have a mental illness you should be in the middle of it and see if maybe Virgin Mary appears. Merlin takes a off-brand Claritin a day and it makes a huge difference.

John was always an Ephedrine person, which is a speedy thing that makes your sinuses turn into the Goby desert where no moisture can escape and it does terrible things to you, but Merlin has gotten a lot accomplished with the Ephedrine. It does stuff to your penis, which John hadn’t realized because he hardly uses his penis. One time John ran out of Ephedrine when he was in Germany and he went to a pharmacist and asked for it, but they said this was a controlled substance in Germany and he couldn’t have it.

Instead they offered him a much better German allergy medicine and he went back and got his mortar and pestle ground up a couple of lavender leaves and half a shot of Jägermeister and some shit he pulled out of his ears. John threw it in his face and said: ”Fuck you, scheiße! I want my shit!” and he had somebody in the United States airmail him some Ephedrine against the law. John always uses it as a prophylactic drug and takes a little bit of it when the allergy season starts and it usually keeps the allergies at bay, but this year he was feeling strong, he was high on the hog and he flew too close to the sun and he decided he didn’t need it, but then he was away from the house and the allergies descended on him and by the time he got to his pills it was too late.

The other day John took a Claritin and a couple of Ephedrines and he was in a marshmallow candy land all day, it really screwed him up! Merlin can’t believe John takes Ephedrine because he thought it would be outside of his perimeter. Years ago they started adulterating it with Guaifenesin, which is an expectorant. When Merlin was in college you could get 50 Ephedrine for $2.95 and he has an Excel spreadsheet tracking the cost over the years, and finally it got really costly and he had to get it from other countries. He can’t say if he was using Bitcoin.

Merlin was doing some Pete Townshend research on Bitcoin because it sounded interesting, but he doesn’t understand it. Like every fad he wanted to get a starter kid and thought about getting $10 worth of Bitcoin, but all he could suss out was that you have to meet someone sketchy at a Starbucks and then something happens. John thought that Merlin of all people would be mining Bitcoin by setting up a website that interprets captchas. John wonders how many Bitcoin Marco (Arment) got when Tumblr was sold to Yahoo. He blogged about it today in a very nice post and got probably a pretty good handful of Bitcoin.

Merlin read the Bob Mould autobiography (See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody) and he knew there were a lot of stimulants involved in Hüsker Dü for a while, but he always assumed it was some kind of speed and he hadn’t realized they were just jugging down Ephedrine. There was a reason he liked those guys!

John wondering if he has sleep apnea (RL73)

Many years ago John’s friend Kristen told him that he was the most introverted person she had ever met, which was a thought technology that changed the way John looked at himself. Every day he had a new thought technology and the other day the latest thought technology that somebody hipped him to was sleep apnea. John tweeted about this. He had thought that was a thing for fat people and she said that he is fat enough to have sleep apnea, and she shouldn’t even have intimate knowledge of his sleepness.

Like a lot of mental technologies, once John gets ahold if it he turns it around in his hand like Frodo looking at the orb, and all of a sudden a flaming red eye-vagina is looking back at him and all of a sudden he feels cold and wonders if he has sleep apnea. John never thought of himself as a snorer. All those years on tour Eric Corson and Sean Nelson were having sawmill contests and John had to jump up in the middle of the night and grab the end of the mattress and yank it like he was doing the table cloth trick and neither of them woke up.

Lately John has been hearing unconfirmed reports because he is mostly a bachelor that he had snored. It was like somebody coming up and saying that maybe he had pancreatic cancer or bile duct cancer like Ray Manzarek (who died three days before this episode was recorded) and then you go online and look at it and you think you have bile duct cancer because all the symptoms line up. The symptoms for sleep apnea are depression, lack of focus, tired all the time, irritable, grouchy, think you know everything about the US Supreme Court. John has all of those!

John has repressed memories of waking up in the middle of the night, unable to breathe. It is something that scares the living shit out of bed partners because the person makes a choking noise and appears to stop breathing for a while. For many years one of John’s personal technologies was to eliminate bed partners. Kill the messenger! If you want to share the attention of a lady friend there are a lot of places you can do that other than beds and just because you have shared a bed with somebody doesn’t mean you have to stay there.

Right about the time when everybody is getting sleepy you just do a soft high-five, pull the covers up a little, bring a glass of water, set it on their bedside table, and they think of themselves when they wake up in the middle of the night: ”Nahhhh” and then the door goes ”click” and you are out on the street and you can go get a burger, you can do whatever you want. John does not have a tremendously large sample group of people who have spent the entire night with him and no-one has ever said that in the middle of the night he freaked them out because he was struggling to breathe, but that doesn’t mean it is not happening.

Now John is wondering if he is remembering waking up in the middle of the night, struggling for breath, multiple thousands of times in the last 20 years or if he is false-remembering when he was bad-touched at a daycare and it didn’t actually happen and it is the power of suggestion? All day today he was wondering if he has sleep apnea. Can he now be one of those people who say: ”… and I thought I had all these problems!” Merlin suggests he will have to go to a sleep clinic.

John’s daughter having big tonsils

The last time John went with his little baby girl to the baby girl doctor, who is actually a full-grown woman, she looked at John’s daughter’s mouth with a flashlight and asked him that when he haunts his daughter’s room in the middle of the night, just sitting there listening to her breathe, if she ever stops breathing for periods of time. Sometimes she does, but she always starts again. The reason she was asking is because John’s daughter has a really large uvula, or maybe her tonsils, one of the fleshy parts is genetically large in her and probably causes her to have sleep apnea, which is probably not a big deal because as kids grow up they grow into their architecture.

Merlin has a close family member with sleep apnea and they have a lot of luggage because they have to take a machine anywhere they intend to sleep. Merlin has tracked his sleep with a dingus and it will tell you how well you are sleeping and it is like a video game when you are trying to get better and better at sleep. Every time John goes to the doctor they ask him if he has problems sleeping, but how should he know? He is asleep! But he doesn’t like to go to sleep and once he does go to sleep he doesn’t like to wake up. He doesn’t feel rested when he wakes up.

Merlin used to shake his daughter a lot to make sure she was alive. He has been very inculcated with the fear of an infant dying. He would often feel like the baby finally got to sleep and that was so much the goal so much of the time in the first 6 months, and the last thing in the world he wanted to do was to wake this baby up. That whole business of telling people that the baby is going to die is so crazy-making and not helpful. John’s mom never worried about that and he was fine, no matter on which side he slept on that people were telling her not to do.

They used to stick him in the glove box of their Dodge Dart and do jumps and he was fine. Then you read the accounts of people whose babies did die and think there is nothing worse. If John’s baby died and he was sitting in another room, telling himself not to check on the baby because she is fine.

Merlin’s sleep tracking apps

Merlin talks about his various sleep trackers like a Fitbit and a silly looking watch, but the latest one is an iPhone app where you lay your phone on the edge of your bed and it records how much you moved through the night. Merlin gets the least amount of sleep on Sunday nights and he doesn’t know why, he probably has anxiety about Mondays. The app shows you how much you stir, which is really interesting.

John doesn’t like to spend the night with someone else in the same bed

One of the reasons John doesn’t like to sleep with somebody else in his bed, and he doesn’t mean that as a euphemism for having sexual congress, but actually being asleep in a place with somebody else also asleep, which is really weird and why do we even do that? In the old days where you had to keep warm or you had to shelter against bears it makes sense to all pile together in a cave, but now when you could be separate places?

John doesn’t like to do that is because other people are warm and they try and touch you, and if John wakes up in the morning the bed is Oklahoma and he was an F5 Tornado and she is literally a trailer park and there is nothing left of her except her foundation. The blanket oftentimes does 5-6 360s in the night. John is not just a flipper, but a spinner and in hotels with those cheap sheets the bottom sheet and the mattress pad are ripped off and he is sleeping on a bare mattress.

He is night-fighting with his bed, he trashes beds, and if there is another person sleeping in the bed he is so self-conscious about even injuring them that he almost never goes to sleep. He just lays there and silently curses humanity and curses the fact that he ever liked a person enough that he ended up in this untenable scenario where they are in a bed together.

Merlin has a much nicer inflatable mattress now. Maybe the fact that their previous two inflatable mattresses were like a fucking Taco Bell taco is because John was a spinner, which is a term for a very skinny lady.

Hitchhiking in Wyoming, the driver thinking John was his brother (RL73)

One time John was hitchhiking in Wyoming (see OM120) and he was standing at the side of the road in his hitchhiking outfit, which was blue jeans and a blue denim jacket, like Jon Voight in Midnight Cowboy, and a semi-truck pulled over, which was very rare. If he was a 20 year old girl he would probably be riding in semi trucks all across America, and if you talk to hitchhikers, which John doesn’t recommend, all their great stories are semi truck stories. But a guy who looks like John in his denim tuxedo, standing on the side of the road with his thumb out, semi truck drivers went by him 500 an hour and every one of them had his middle finger in the air.

This semi truck pulled over and John thought it was his lucky day and the guy popped open the door and looked at John and went: ”Oh, fuck! I thought you were my brother!” - ”Oh, sorry!” - ”Ahhh, alright, get in!” and they started off down the road and the guy said that John looked just like his brother and he went by John 20 minutes ago and got off at the next exit, drove back, and was really sure John was his brother. ”Would your brother be out here hitchhiking in the middle of Wyoming?” - ”He just escaped from prison!” and he pointed over his left shoulder at the prison that they were driving by.

John had just jumped off of a freight train and climbed over a fence and came to this Interstate and thought he might as well try. He was in a full-denim outfit next to a prison, and it made perfect sense for this guy to assume that John was his brother. The disappointment in the cab was palpable because he was bummed that John was not his brother and John was bummed that he was failing to meet the guy’s expectations. Then the guy asked: ”Got any drugs?” - ”As a matter of fact I do have some drugs!”

John had some marijuana, some Ecstasy and some mushrooms, and the guy had some trucker speed, some crosstops which John had never done at that time, and they traded some of John’s hippie drugs for his trucker drugs and they were in an American scene and John didn’t even have to be his brother now because they were all brothers and they drove all the way to Cody Wyoming together.

John not wanting to take speedy drugs, only downer drugs (RL73)

It was John’s introduction to speed. All of his drugs were hippie drugs, down-facing drugs or mind-blowing drugs, but he did never white powder performance-enhancing drugs, it just wasn’t where he was coming from and he thought those were greaser drugs for the Soshes, for people who who pop their collars, for Robert Downey Jr. in Less Than Zero and John didn’t want to end up getting pegged in a hotel room in Las Vegas and that is a lot less likely to happen to you if you are a mushroom taker.

You are not going to get so strung out on taking mushrooms that you end up getting pegged in a hotel room for it. The guy who got the mushrooms doesn’t want to peg you either, you both want to go look at the Zamboni at the ice rink and talk about how it looks like a giant dinosaur insect. You don’t want to get pegger or be a pegger.

Merlin’s abuse of Ephedrine was long-lived and in retrospect quite responsible compared to a lot of people. The fuck-tards who were ruining it for everybody were the ones who didn’t know what they were doing and they would take 5 or 6 like they were St Joseph Baby Aspirin. Two is a responsible amount to make a lot of courtroom exhibits, in Merlin’s experience and he got a lot done.

One of the things about speed is the high-pitched whistling in your head that would probably get louder if you took five. Merlin doesn’t like feeling his heart beat and if you take enough Ephedrine then you do feel your heartbeat and you feel a lurching in it and you know that you are about to feel a lurch in your heartbeat. With John’s downfacing Melvin drugs you were lucky to feel your heart continue to beat.

Up until that point people used to offer John cocaine all the time and he would always decline because there was no good way that was going to end for him, but after this trucker speed experience he was willing to try their cocaine and to see where speedy drugs would lead him, and it lead to no good place. He never ended up getting pegged or doing any pegging in any kind of Las Vegas scenario. You don’t fail to remember things that happen to you when you are on amphetamines.

One time John decided he was going to make a French-y graffiti art stencil and because he was on upper drugs he spent 5 hours drawing this picture in the minutest detail, sitting on a couch in the middle of a party, and you would need a precision laser to have cut this thing out. He was drawing things that a single lead of pencil was too thick for the lines that John had in mind. When John looked at it later he though: ”What the fuck? Drugs!” and John still has it because he kept it. Merlin would love to see that.

Merlin has done cocaine exactly once and it did absolutely nothing for him. It would be like dating somebody who is exactly like you: You don’t need more of this! As Bill Cosby says in Himself: ”I just take this and it makes me more like myself!” - ”What if you are an asshole?” That worries Merlin. If he had access to cocaine he would become a Merlin he could not live with. There is nobody that is made better by cocaine. Everybody thinks it, but it is not true.

Fleetwood Mac, some true talents being terrible people (RL73)

John has shown conclusively that a lot of 1970s and 80s albums are all literally made of cocaine (see RL337). Hotel California by the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac Rumors are made of cocaine. The terrible side of this story is that Fleetwood Mac is playing tonight in Tacoma and John is not there because he refuses to see him without Christine McVie and a lot of people are down on him for saying that she is the George Harrison of Fleetwood Mac. She is crucial! His friends in The Cave Singers tweeted earlier that they are pretty sure that Stevie Nicks was at the Tacoma Hilton, watching Cash Cab before the show.

Merlin likes maybe 3-4 of Christine McVie’s songs, but she is kind of a skipper for him. He really likes 3 Fleetwood Mac records a lot. Rumors is just about perfect and it is very-well sequenced. Listening to it on shuffle makes it a whole different album altogether. Christine McVie doesn’t want to be a part of it anymore because Lindsey Buckingham is such a fucking nut and he is not off the cocaine yet. He is very frustrating. He is one of Merlin’s 18 top favorite guitar players ever, but empirically he seems like a flaming asshole. Still, every note he has ever played on a Fleetwood Mac record, even when he plays live on an acoustic guitar he never hit a sour note.

There is a mashup albums called Feed The Animals by Girl Talk and there is one section of one song where they take Salt-N-Pepa and layer it over the solo from Gypsy. John might have heard that. The solo tells a story.

The problem with music is that you can be terrible as a person and be connected to the column of light. John has met a lot of flaming assholes, but also a lot of gifted people and certainly it is great to meet someone like Charles Bissell (from The Wrens) who is much more talented than John at the guitar, but he is not nicer than him. He is nicer than Merlin, though. They both dress like slightly retarded lesbians.

This goes back to the terrible paraphrase of Oscar Wilde: ”Great art …” The only thing worse than quoting Oscar Wilde is not quoting Oscar Wilde (actually ”There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about”). Losing one Lindsey Buckingham is understandable, losing two seems like carelessness (actually ”To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness” from the play The Importance of Being Earnest). John probably wanted to say: ”No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist”, but Merlin interrupted him laughing sillily.

John’s mom was excited to meet Roger Daltrey (from The Who) and he looked her up and down and said: ”You are 70!” and then looked away. John said: ”Yeah, she is 70! You are 65! Asshole!” He was nice.

Ryan Adams not reading the room and thinking everybody knows him in Amsterdam (RL73)

One time John had a 1-2-punch with Ryan Adams where they were in Amsterdam, playing a show at the Paradiso, an old church in the center of Amsterdam. It has enormous cathedral space with a big rose window, it is the main big club in Amsterdam. There is an upstairs room that has more of a club atmosphere and you can put 300 people in there. John has played there many times, always in the club upstairs, and one night Ryan Adams was playing the theater below. John went down and was sitting in the 3rd balcony at the back and very top of the theater, watching him soundcheck, just him and his band and John was the only person in the room.

John had never been a fan, he didn’t care about him, and he was running through his Rock band songs and then he sent his band away and did one song with an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, the one where he goes: ”You stole all my records and you fucked all my friends!” (Come Pick Me Up). John thought it was a fucking great song and he was rooted in his spot and thought that he didn’t even need a band because he had really got it and can fill a room with just an acoustic guitar and an harmonica.

Walking out of that soundcheck John thought he will never have any bad word to say about Ryan Adams again because that was an astonishing soundcheck. John is lucky that he has seen a lot of sound-checks and gets to see bands warming up and make that magical song. It has happened to John as well where he wished the room had been full to see that as the sound was coming together.

Later on that afternoon John was out in Amsterdam at the Leidseplein square that is very close to the Paradiso where all the restaurants have outside tables and everyone is drinking beer and there are jugglers and people doing street art and there are a lot of very beautiful girls on bicycles with their condescending little fucking bells as they are trying to ride through this crowd of tourists, trying to get home to their tall houses.

There was a street performer with some marionettes, one them playing the guitar, the other one playing the piano, and they are 3-foot tall. He had a boom box and they were jamming to some tunes. John was sitting there with his Fanta, watching this guy, and was thinking how a guy who makes his own marionettes comes out here, jamming along to some Elton John, and what his life looks like. He probably lives in a squat with a room mate that collects salt from around the world, and they probably have a theater group, he has a workspace to make his marionettes that he shares with the guys, some Japeto tools, they have a lot of terrariums in their squat and there is probably plenty of Macramé.

Into the square came Ryan Adams with an entourage of 6 dudes that were all looking super-duper hip. It was before the skinny jeans era, but they were looking like some New York skinny-legged, tousled hair, and they looked super-cool. John was in a crowd of 5000 people on this square and he was just invisible. Ryan Adams and his dudes were walking through this square like they are in the opening of Hard Days Night, clicking their heels up, pointing their fingers at people, walking in a phalanx like migrating geese with Ryan at the front.

On one side of the marionette guy there was a juggler and on the other side there was someone making balloon animals, this is the kind of European alternative entertainment that has held Europe in thrall for the last 2000 years. This marionette act minus the Elton John would have easily captivated Charlemagne. Ryan Adams and his entourage came up on this marionette guy and you can see in their faces like: ”Hey, alright!” and John is realizing that he makes his money both that he has his hat out where people throw money in as they go by, but also every street performer in Amsterdam make money because people want to pose with them for photographs.

Ryan sits down at the little fake piano and starts to pretend to play the piano and the marionette player is working his marionettes overtime, sitting at the piano stool with Ryan and his friends are taking pictures. John is watching from over on the side. Then Ryan gets up from the piano and it becomes apparent that to him and his friends they had just given that marionette guy the thrill of his life and the marionette guy who doesn’t know who these kids are was looking for some Guilders or at this point Euros.

As they were looking at the pictures on their phones they were fully ignoring the marionette dude who was reduced to grabbing his hat and walking over to them, going: ”Hey, that was fun, right? Throw a 1 in here!” and they completely give him the ”Hey kid, we gave you our autographs, now move along!” and they march off on their Hard Days Night adventure.

John having seen him earlier in the day do this song that was sing ringing in his head, and then watching him in real life going through Amsterdam, one of John’s favorite cities in the world, and be blind to what is happening and to everyone else in the world. The contrast in the space of an hour or two was devastating to realize that somebody can make something really beautiful, a song that showed humanity, and then see that same person be incapable of perceiving something so simple as their actual place in the world.

John had that feeling walking out of a club after a soundcheck, walking around a town and feeling that everyone in this town was talking about him and then realizing that everybody in this town was talking about the baseball game and only a few hundred people were talking about him.

Smoking pot in the bathtub and hearing a jet airplane and the washing machine go in sync (RL73)

It felt like that time a long time ago when John was sitting in the bathtub, eating a sandwich, having just smoked pot. Smoking pot in the bathtub is the thing John misses the most of all the drugs, it was so amazing, but John had to take the pot out of the equation because it is a net-bad. John never woke up in jail because he was on pot the night before. Pot doesn’t do that, it is not bad in that way, but it is still bad.

One time John was sitting in his bathtub and he had put a load of laundry in downstairs and the washing machine was on the spin cycle and it was vibrating the house and he was sitting there, enjoying the vibration of the washing machine freaking out downstairs. There was a jumbo jet flying over on its way to somewhere far away, full of people who are going to enjoy Seoul Korea and for a period of about 20 seconds the sound of the far-away jet and the rumbling of the washing machine created a harmony that was perceptible only to John in his stoner bathtub.

The sound of a jet overhead is a chord in itself, it is a panoply of notes, and the washing machine was making both rhythm and a chord and it all connected and filled the space with a pink cloud of a perfect harmonic. It has all been downhill since, and that was 20 years ago (see RL45 and Depression in OJR).

Finding a special Scientology book collection at Powell’s Books (RL73)

Not very long ago John was a Powell’s Books (in Portland), which is completely overwhelming, but on the top floor there is a rare book room, a contained and walled-off place where it is very quiet and everything in there is interesting and cool. This time there was a complete library of high-ranking Scientology books, not a box set, but it came with its own cabinet and was painted white and looked like an egg chair with a pedestal and magic doors and the pages were all in gold. It was incredible! It seemed like a thing John should have, although he would never read one of these, but it seemed like the Ark of the Covenant if you have it.

It makes the Necronomicon (by H. P. Lovecraft) look like a fucking candy cane. Don’t even get near it. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is like fucking chewing gum next to that shit. John looked at it and thought $1200 seemed reasonable for this because who else is going to have one, he could buy it and just give it to John Flansburgh and that would have justified his existence and he would have done his job in the world, but then he decided he can’t do it. Walking out of there felt like he had been inside the inner sanctum of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, they had opened the Kimono and he had seen the books.

Merlin says that if you get to a certain OT-level, like OT3 or OT5, that is some serious fucking shit and LRH (L. Ron Hubbard) talks about that if you look at this and you are not ready it will literally kill you. It is the Ark of the Covenant, it melts your face. Merlin thinks that compared to this the Ark of the Covenant is putt putt gold while this is 40 Tiger Woods with a very high-tone level. John did not know enough not to look at it and he looked at it a lot, but every time he opened it and read the words he felt like he was reading the owner’s manual for a Betamax.

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