Today we have a guest post from author Chad Coenson who is currently on his . We have a contest currently running for his new book Me and Bobby McGee and we will be back with a review on his book tomorrow. This is one funny guy!
Life On The Edible Edge
by Chad Coenson
Cheap thrills. That's all the possibility of short-term effects really are, dime-store rollercoaster rides, like bungee jumping or shooting San Francisco speedballs with Gary Busey. Sure the rush is immense, but its instantaneous and over far too quickly. In mere moments you're left either done or dead. The true adrenaline fiend knows that the anticipation should be at least as exhilarating as the experience itself, it should linger and keep you up through the wee hours. And that is why I find myself dreaming day and night about the long-term effects of all the fore mentioned products, as well as a host of inedible items that also pose the suspenseful potential for permanent health hazards. Every day I wonder when the mutations are finally going to begin and that keeps my blood pumping.
I can gleefully see it now. Human DNA slowly being altered over time due to the unforeseeable long-term effects of products manufactured by organizations that unselfishly invest so much into providing the public with quality marketing campaigns and quirky commercials, that they barely have any money left over for costly, time(-to-market) consuming, scientific evaluations. And that stuff is boring anyways. I figure if they've generously paid their own people to do conduct unbiased studies, and have had the good sense to invest in a press small enough to print health warnings in a font that only fleas can read comfortably, they've done just about all they need to do. The rest is up to time and nature, but with a bit of luck it won't be long before sub-species of humans begin to evolve based on the consistent use of under-researched products. And since each sub-species will have been fostered by means of whatever genetic defect their consumer good of choice initiated, humanity will need to be divided up into quarantine colonies just like the lepers of Malachi Island, and the native people of New Jersey.
All kidding aside, the reality is that the future is fairly easy to predict. The sub-species will probably begin with people addicted to energy drinks. These fascinating potions guarantee hours of extra energy, revitalizing an individual synthetically so that they can enthusiastically perform mundane daily tasks. A most useful set of products, but something tells me that the manufactures are leaving out an important part of the equation. Where exactly do those extra hours of energy come from? The answer is simple, they come off of the end of the consumer's life. Each drink is essentially a high-interest advance on vigor, and like any unfavorable loan, the bank incrementally bleeds the borrower, and then all too suddenly takes everything away. It is fairly similar to the notion that every puff on a cigarette takes a measure of minutes off of one's life expectancy, but without the burden of inaccurate estimations. Instead, many of these drinks openly inform the user of exactly how many hours of lifespan they've been fronted. Unknowingly, this developing limited-life-expectancy will become ingrained in said individual's bloodline, and the trait will be subsequently passed on to future generations creating a sub-species aptly named "Short-Termers". Though they will be the most energetic of the new breeds, these mutants will coincidentally bear the most similarity to the common leper, except instead of unexpectedly dropping limbs and appendages, "Short-termers" will simply drop dead on a whim. With the possibility of these folks dying at any random moment, a fore mentioned quarantine colony for this group is easily justified.
Of course, "Short-Termers" won't be the only sub-species of humans with the ratio of products thoroughly marketed to products thoroughly tested available in stores today. I predict that the true effects that cell phones and Bluetooth devices have on the brain will finally be revealed. And though the standard hypothesis is that they cause cancer, I tend to disagree. Anyone who has watched a horror flick or two knows that when the human brain is exposed to consistent heat and radiation over long periods of time, it does not cause cancer, it causes Zombieism. Thus, those individuals we see today that might as well have their phone stapled to their ear or their Bluetooth surgically implanted are the likely forefathers for this special sub-species of cellular casualties, who will come to be known as "Combies" (hint: the "c" is soft). Having melted their own brains by way of constant remote communication, they will naturally crave those of others, making the establishment of their quarantine colony, dare I say, a no-brainer.
Others will spring up as well as more of the long-term effects of under researched products become apparent. For instance, "Super-Sizers", a sub-species of colossal Asian ogres spawned by the continent's fast-food craze. It may take another fifty years, but the steroids injected into those mass produced meals of convenience will surely leave their legacy within their daily indulgers. Even the consequences of Pop Music, the factory manufactured genre that has been known to cause diseases in laboratory rats, will finally be evident. Research will show that it contains a special type of parasitic sound wave that was first discovered, and reliably exploited by Walt Disney circa 1939. Persons over 18 are typically immune to its toxic frequency, though children are highly susceptible to its venomous vibrations. Time will show these sinister sound waves to be a slow poison, a pollutant in the gene pool, forever altering the carrier's offspring. Should these future generations be exposed to the same menacing frequency, their bodies will have developed a defense mechanism. Like an over indulgent blowfish, the effected descendant's frontal lobe will swell until it literally bursts . Because of this process, this youthful, mass-produced sub-species will likely be dubbed "The Popped" and should be very adept at living a mindless life. In fact, you may know some kids that are already exuding the early signs of this exact species alteration.
But getting back to the point, with the multitude of mildly researched consumer goods and services that have become available in the last 20-30 years, the mutation possibilities are endless. Without thinking twice we swallow weight loss pills, television-miracle-cures, Carl's Jr., plutonium-preserved-produce, dietary supplements, Aquafina, boner boosters, and meat that only contains trace amounts of meat. We intentionally expose ourselves to microwaves, synthetic ultra-violet rays, toxic trash fumes, American Idol, airport X-rays, televangelism, and cancer causing cosmetics that are used to hide all the accumulated wear and tear. And so, as I finish the last bite of my reheated .99-cent-menu dinner, plug in my cell phone so it is charged up for another full day of dialing, use the final sip in the Red Bull can to wash down the latest and boldest prescription-free sleeping pills (which I of course take to counter the effects of energy drinks), and then chase it all with a pull of aged whiskey to be sure I remember my roots, I can't help but feel my heart flutter for the future. Will I get to see the full effects of all the questionable ingestibles, experimental accessories, and sadist services? Will I witness the televised corporate apologies, recalls, and class action law suits? Will the mutations occur in my lifetime or long after I am gone? I can't help but wonder if the surgeon general felt the same way when people first began to ponder the long-term effects of cigarettes. Giddy.
The anticipation is almost too much to bear. My blood rushes, spiked with adrenaline as the last of my daregestion for the day commences. With regards to witnessing the origination of human sub-species, something tells me the cards are stacked in my favor. After all, the disclaimers on all of my morning health and dietary supplements read, " This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease." Notice that it doesn't say anything about not causing a disease...
(*Note: The Surgeon General warns that these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA)
Chad Coenson was born in Orlando, FL, but he can barely remember that and pretty much spent most of the years following his birth in a nomadic state of perpetual motion until finally finding a home in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and two dogs. He has a degree in creative writing from the University of Arizona and spends his time “trying” not to take life too seriously. Despite his generally adventurous nature and willingness to attempt almost anything, he has never had the opportunity to cast the first stone.
Me and Bobby McGee is Coenson’s first novel.
You can visit Chad on the web at http://www.chadcoenson.com/.