September 2002 (v5 i1)
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The End of a Dream
My narrow escape from death to a prison called “fame”
by Todd Nienkerk, Managing Editor

May 4th, 2002. The late afternoon sun streamed into my boudoir, splashing across my rippling physique as I danced. I was in the midst of interpreting the evolution of amino acids to proteins, trying in vain to grasp their struggle to achieve peptide bonding; attempting, hopelessly, to envision the plight of a molecule structure capable of infinite combination and length. I curled up into a ball, symbolizing the static state of folded protein strands. Then I stood, toned arms outstretched, beckoning other proteins to join in my dance. Come, thrombin, actin, and myosin! Join me, bacteriorhodopsin! Cyclooxygenase: teach me how to fly! I pirouetted, folding my arms across my glistening body, becoming deoxyribonucleic acid—DNA, the Molecule of Life.

Dance completed me, made me whole. If life were a stage, as Shakespeare so eloquently observed, then I would have pranced and fluttered upon it, from curtain rise to curtain fall. I could have been something great—the best, really. But then a phone call changed everything, squelching my happiness forever.

The sound ripped through my senses with the subtlety of a sledgehammer opening a can of soup. Ringing! It carpeted my temporal lobes with sonic napalm. My vision was reduced to a tunnel through which I could see nothing but the phone mocking me from across the room with a soprano cackle. I staggered to my desk—the very desk from which I once composed multudinous volumes of biting satire—and lifted the receiver.

“Hello?” I gasped, my normally rich baritone reduced to a timid tenor sigh.

A female voice queried, thick with insatiable lust: “Is this Todd, the Managing Editor of the Travesty?”

I cried out—“GAAAAH!”—and threw the phone across the room. The impact of the receiver against the wall sent a shock wave across my apartment complex that shattered twelve Tahoe windows, exploded a handful of empty kegs, and briefly created a planet-sized black hole. I fell to my knees, crushing the concrete foundation beneath the carpet.

“Not the Curse!” I wailed. As the echo of my desperate cry faded into memory, I noticed a surreal silence. My epochal outburst had disoriented birds in flight, causing their brains to melt and fizz like Alka-Seltzer and ooze out their ears like Alka-Selztery brains oozing, out of ears, melted and oozed.

It was indeed the Curse. It haunts all Managing Editors of the Travesty, causing us to project an intoxicating aura of passion, driving the opposite sex psychotic with desire, turning their very souls into prurient puddles of hormones and filthy human excretions—the names and descriptions of which are not fit to soil any upstanding, student-funded publication.

Suddenly, the lifeless pile of circuitry and transistors that used to be my phone sprang to life—SCHZZZZ!—and began to ring once more. Driven mad by fright, I pulled the phone cord clean out of the wall, disemboweling the complex’s entire phone system, extracting it like a tooth with an exceptionally difficult root.

Since that day, I have lived in seclusion, a recluse from the society that I had grown to love. I survive on scraps of venison and quail that I capture using rudimentary traps of twine and carefully concealed Vietnamese tiger pits. Like Dick Cheney, I cannot disclose my exact location, for doing so would alert women worldwide, sending them into lustful trances from which the attention of another man could never draw them. I can tell you, however, that I am somewhere in West Campus.

Men, I implore you: do not allow your girlfriends, sisters, mothers, aunts, babysitters, female cousins, casual acquaintances, or perky Chili’s waitresses to read a single word of any text conceived—even in part—by me. The effects of the Curse are not yet known. The sheer magnitude of my charm, wit, and unparalleled sexual prowess may intoxicate even in print form.

Drat! I’ve been spotted! My secret location has been revealed by some insidious mole hell-bent on wresting any semblance of peace from my fragile and tumultuous existence! I can hear the orgiastic moans of femininity approaching! The time of exodus is now! Prepare the getaway rocket! Fueled by the incomprehensible power of the female orgasm, my escape vessel takes flight—VOOOOM!—shooting high above the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere! High, high into the silent black void of outer space!

For now, I am safe. Alone in my spacecraft, I observe the planet below. The screams of the lustful still ring in my ears and echo in my mind. I miss my former life: dancing, writing, playing my antique gut-stringed zither.

I will return, but for the time being, I must wait. Wait and wonder. They say that in space, no one can hear you scream… But can they hear me cry?
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