Fear & Loathing At Comic-Con 2014, Part II: How I Went To San Diego, Joined A Cult, And Sold My Screenplay

Fear & Loathing At Comic-Con 2014, Part II: How I Went To San Diego, Joined A Cult, And Sold My Screenplay

Scott may be a lot of things.  Crazy may be the first that comes to mind, but he's no liar.

Unlike the mental institution that I was just released from, I was given another seventy two hour time frame, and this time it was accurate. It's Thursday evening when we arrive at the San Diego train yard which borders on Petco Park just behind the San Diego Convention center. I can almost hear the mating calls of slightly autistic geeky males in heat. I can almost smell their man funk, a combination of natural pheromones, hoagie pit B.O., and Aqua Velva after shave.

It's 8pm and the sun is just beginning to set. We wait for the night to come in full and blanket the train yard in total darkness before we make our move to cross towards the closest unsupervised exit.

I'm anxious to get to the con and hawk my story.  I'm feeling the type of confidence that can only come with a brain full of psychedelics and powerful anti psychotics.

But there's still not enough swimming around in my head to let me forget that I'm about to trespass through heavily guarded private property with a duffle bag full of guns and ammo.

And that's exactly what I do.

Scott takes point and becomes our sergeant, guiding us through the massive labyrinth of parked train cars and cargo boxes, signaling us to duck and weave behind numerous chest high walls as if we're playing out a scenario in Splinter Cell.

Either Scott has been playing too many video games, or he's actually done this before. Both are probably true.

It takes an hour to cross over past the bordering fence to a civilian road where we find a jet black 1993 Ford Ecoline Van waiting for us with the engine running.

There's a young, dark skinned man leaning against the van with a cigarette in one hand and a handle of Old Crow in the other. He's wearing a gaudy black and turquoise blue ensemble embroidered with vaguely Native American patterns on it. His whole get up is like some misguided combination of a professional card dealer mixed with an offensive Indian Halloween costume.

When he finally spots us walking his way, he stubs out his smoke against the van's side and turns around to toss the bottle of gut rot onto the driver's seat.  That's when I see the name and logo of the Golden Nugget Casino stitched across the back of his shirt.

I'm already putting the pieces together.

Scott makes sure that he's the first to approach the man and leans in close for his introduction, whispering something into the stranger's ear.

The two men hug each other in that odd way that men who don't really know each other hug to show respect without affection. It's like a half hug, a way for a man to put his hands on another man in a way that won't suggest they're attracted to each other.

You know, a bro hug.

Scott hands off his duffle bag full of killing machines to the man who still hasn't spoken. I imagine a lot of William Penn's later "peace" treaties looked a lot like this. "Sorry that we killed most of you off and took your land, but here's a bunch of guns, oh, and you can run legal casinos now, so...umm... we cool?"

Scott turns to face us waving his hand as a confirmation that everything is OK, as if any of us were ready and waiting to attack.  Then again, I don't know Scott's two buddies so well, and have no idea whether their fingers have been resting on the safeties to any concealed weapons they may have.

And with that wide eyed smile of his, Scott announces, "This is Tom Tomahawk. He's going to be putting us up for the next few nights. He's a good dude and I hope y'all be nice to him. He's also renounced the Reptilian regime."

Great, another delusional conspiracy nut who now has access to a bag full of guns.

Tom opens the door to the back of the van for us to get in.

I'm not surprised to find that the twenty one year old vehicle is in complete disarray. The floor is coated with the stink of week old McDonalds, dried cum, cheap whiskey, dollar store aerosol, petroli oil, and tobacco.

Tattered skin rags promising huge knockers, slutty milfs, and barely legal legs line both sides of the Ford rust bucket. A crusty yellow stained cabin blanket with a pattern similar to Tom's shirt is laid out in the center.

I almost sit down on a large unsheathed survival knife, the type of knife that Rambo might use to field dress a rhino.

Scott seats himself at the front next to Tom.

For the entire ride, I watch Scott leaning over, whispering into Tom's ear.  I try to eaves drop but can't decipher any of the words.

Tom never speaks. But I can still smell the Old Crow on his breath from where I'm sitting.

We were only minutes away from Comic Con and now it feels like I've been sitting in this van for more than an hour.

Just where the hell does Tom live?  Where the hell is he taking us?

The other crust punks don't say anything, they've already fallen asleep. I'm stuck biding my time by watching Scott conspire in whispers with Tom. The big Native American's only response comes from tipping the jug of cheap hooch up into a perpendicular angle, funneling the liquid fire down his throat.

I expect to die tonight.

But I don't.  

One hour and 60 miles south east, Tom finally pulls the van over. We've reached the Campo Indian Reservation, also known as the Campo Kumeyaay Nation to anyone whose ancestors didn't try to genocide the indigenous peoples of America.

There are few things that will make a person more ashamed to be an American than when they're confronted with what life is like on a Native American reservation.  They are truly some the of the worst, most depressing, hopeless shit holes on the planet.

There is this fantastical image that most Suburban middle class white people have in their movie influenced brains of Indian reservations being open cul de sac styled communes with large teepees and ceremonial huts where you might find a group of men in traditional garb performing a rain dance at the center park on any given day.

In reality, most Native American reservations are lawless, piss soaked, economic wastelands where the only employment available is the local casino, if there is one, and the only form of entertainment is at the bottom of a bottle or end of a needle.

It comes as no surprise that the very moment Tom opens the back doors of the van that I'm immediately hit in the face with the stench of hot garbage stewed in boiling sewage. It comes as no surprise that San Diego's largest landfill borders the stretch of barren desert that the Campo Kumeyaay Nation sits on.

We gave these people just a pinch of their land back and then literally took a shit on it.

Tom leads us out of the van and over to his thirty foot Airstream Cloud aluminum trailer parked next to the smoldering remains of what used to be a small house that must have caught fire sometime in the last week.

It's Scott who explains that Tom's home had burned down after an accident a few days ago.

No one asks what the cause of the accident was, but I'm sure we all have our own assumptions.

After we transport the duffle bags from the van to the trailer, Tom passes around a mason jar full of home brewed moonshine for all of us to share. By the time the five of us finish it, we're all unilaterally smashed, reduced to babbling apes running purely on primal instincts and urges.

From here, the night devolves into the type of montage you'd find in some crass frat boy comedy. It's that part of that shitty movie where the all male wolf pack drink, party, and do other stupid debaucherous shit in slow motion while some popular one hit pop rock song wonder from the mid 90's plays in the background.

So we do what people do on Native American reservations. We go to the casino and gamble away money we don't have while Tom hooks us up with comp drinks. And then we hit the local titty bar near the casino.

As night becomes early morning, we stumble towards the further most southern point of the reservation. That's where we run into three volunteer border patrolmen doing their civil duty to make sure that no Mexicans cross their way into San Diego by driving around the desert in civilian Hummers carrying heavily modified AR 15s, pretending they're G.I. Joe waiting for a Mexican Cobra Commander to storm the breach.

Of course, they're just as huge of assholes as you'd automatically presume them to be. But since none of us are Black or Mexican, and we're all carrying guns of our own, we become friends for the next hour.

Although, one of the militia men keep asking Scott if he's positive that I'm not a Taliban cell agent.  I look kinda dark to him. Actually, "darky" is the specific word he keeps using to describe me.

I don't think they're fully convinced that I'm actually Greek no matter how profusely Scott makes his case that I'm not Osama Bin Laden's cousin.

They also keep asking Tom for his green card. They think that he's an illegal Mexican.

One of them starts to show their agitation around the third time they ask Tom whether he's a spic to no response.

Finally, Tom opens his mouth, and we all see that he has no tongue.

The Minute Men are initially taken aback and keep their silence for a while before they continue with the harassment.

Scott diffuses their accusations of Tom just as he had with me.  They remain apprehensive but they enjoy his talk of Reptilians, and big government conspiracies. Every time he mentions the Jews and evil world banks, they raise their cans of Budweiser in a toast.

The ridiculously armed conservative racists have a jar of moonshine of their own that they retrieve from their hummer.  After finishing a second wave of the liquid delirium, we're all spinning in circles like elephant ballerinas struggling to learn how to use a hula hoop.

Even when I close my eyes, I see streaks of neon colored light dancing across my corneas.

So I decide that shooting a gun right now is the greatest idea in the world and all of my cohorts agree.

Scott, Chimp, Fingers, Tom, the two minutemen, and I all take turns firing different rifles, pistols, shot guns, and sub machines out into the nothingness beyond the hills towards the mountains of steaming shit and melted plastic.

I don't remember how we got back to the trailer or what time it was when we finally crashed.

When I wake up in the morning, the crust punks have already left. Maybe they're roaming the halls of Comic Con looking for Reptilians. Or maybe they've rented a van that they're filling up with fertilizer and gasoline that they plan on parking in front some civil office.

I'm still too drunk to care.

Tom scrambles some eggs for breakfast and hands me a post-it note that says, "I'll drive you into town."

An hour and a half later, Tom drops me off six blocks away from the convention center after hitting a traffic gridlock due to the swarming masses of media addicts who've have taken over the entire city to fix their dope jones.

As I step out of the van and thank Tom, he hands me another post it note stapled to a small dime bag with two purple pills rattling at the bottom .

This time, the note reads, "I made these pills for you. They will help you see the Reptilians."


This is my second time at the San Diego Comic Con. I had came here two years ago when I was still writing regularly as a contributing critic for ScreenAnarchy.com, but without my lowly Sisyphean film blogger status anymore, I've become nothing.

All of these past years, I've resented being relegated as the online critic, the type who can only obtain the most bottom tier press badges. And now, I'm beneath even that.

I didn't think this through. I didn't expect that conventions actually sell out.

I knew there was little chance of me getting into any of the big presentations or press conferences, but I can't even make it past the massive lobby.

I'm wavering from one side to the other watching all of the Tony Starks, Norman Reeduses, Black Widows, and Survey Corps members pose for photos.

Of course, Potato Salad is also a popular costume this year.

Mother fucking Potato Salad

Is this really a celebration of geekdom?  

Iron Man isn't a character, he's a property. The Avengers are a commodity, no different than an affordable sports sedan. These kids, they're like NASCAR vehicles, racing from one spot to the next wearing official corporate sponsorships all over their bodies. They're walking advertisements for next year's tent pole films and upcoming network franchises.

I spot a few dozen Rocket Raccoons and wonder just who the fuck has ever actually read Guardians of the Galaxy.

I pass a small vendor,  It's some new start-up selling USB keychain phone chargers shaped like Super Heroes. There are two underage looking identical twin Asian sisters working the table as booth babes.

They might be professional models, but it also wouldn't surprise me if they were human trafficked sex slaves finally given an opportunity to leave whatever down town massage parlor brothel they've been sold to in order to hawk cheapie electronics made by people even younger than them from their home country.

I play that awful game that all white people play and try to guess their specific ethnicity. Their eyes and cheekbone structure make me think Taiwanese, but their almond skin tone suggests Cambodian, possibly Filipino.

Both women are dressed in their underwear. I can't help but stare wondering if I'm mistaken by what I see. Surely, this must be some lazy form of cosplay, but no. They are both wearing matching cheap lacy panties, the type of lingerie you'd find in the clearance off bin at some tacky suburban mall shop. They're both wearing wonder bras two sizes too big for their small, childish body frames. They do nothing to embellish their cleavage. Instead, whenever either of them bow or otherwise tilt their body, everyone within their vicinity is treated to a complete view of their breasts.

The only hints at anything resembling an actual costume are the large Batman and Super Man bumper sticker decals that have been arbitrarily placed on their sagging wonder bras.

The women wave every sexually frustrated male over to the table unintentionally inspiring every nitwit with a penis to flirt with them. A lot of the men introduce themselves in random Asian languages in the pathetic hopes of impressing the booth babes.

The women never speak in return though. It might be that they don't understand English, or it might be that they're already doing enough by just being there. 

The salesman running the booth is also Asian. He has the type of broad chest and large shoulders doubled with a thin neck and large stomach that's usually the result of a protein shake junkie who also drinks a case of Miller Lite every night. He's wearing a tight polo button up to show off his arms, but rather than having a tie, he has several large gold chains draped around his neck.  

He's wearing mirror lensed Aviator sunglasses to prevent anyone from making any real eye contact, and I can smell his hair product from twenty feet away.

All of this feels so degrading. It's degrading to the women, and it's degrading to any fan with any slither of pride still intact.

But I'm not here to advocate ethics in promotion and advertising. I'm here to whore myself out just as all of the other half naked cosplayers walking around selling kisses for $5. And yes, I've counted at least ten making their rounds in the lobby with signs offering Polaroid photo ops of said kisses for an additional $20. And from the lines their attracting, I'd wager they're going to pull in more in a single afternoon here than I do in an entire month at my gloomy phone sales position.

I leave the convention center and search the streets to find a Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, Duane Reade, or whatever big chain pharmacy has its monopoly on this town.

I purchase a meter long ruler, a glue stick, three poster sheets, a foam board, a large black sharpie, a pack of highlighters,and a box of jumbo sized crayons.

I find the least packed public park within walking distance and make a sign of my own.

It takes me about an hour to make a life sized illustration of Robin's decapitated head which I glue to the foam board to give an element of depth and weight.

I cut one end of the meter into an edged spike and glue the head to it. Underneath that I fasten a large sign that reads, "Kill Your Heroes."

I head back to the convention hall lobby and start a one man protest against everything this frantic media frenzy represents.

I seem to be getting a lot of attention. People either cheer and laugh or they yell at me. Some even make threats.

After an hour or two of walking around in circles screaming in tongues to whoever will listen, I hear someone calling my name.

And that's when I spot Sarah roaming the halls in a sexy Harley Quinn outfit while waving a large picket sign of her own.

I haven't seen Sarah in five years. The truth is that I barely know her. Actually, I really don't know her at all. I had a one night stand with her on Christmas Eve back when I was trying to make a living in Austin. 

We met through the Casual Encounters section of Craigslist and for anyone familiar with the wonders of the strange and terrifying world of Craigslist, you already have an idea to just how crazy the story about our night together may be. 

Sarah was a stripper squatting in an unfinished McMansion. I was living out of my car in the parking lot of a Gold's Gym while logging footage for some shitty reality show at a small post house. 

Neither of us wanted to be alone for the Holidays, and crazies, they always find each other. That's what the internet was made for. 

So we spent Christmas Eve and the following afternoon smoking up and fucking on a bare mattress before getting Sushi and seeing Avatar 3D.

We never saw each other again, but we have continued to write each other Christmas messages every year. 

We always  wish each other well saying, "I hope this year brings you luck. I hope you're doing better now then when I met you."

But our years never bring us any better luck, and we've both have always been even worse off then before. 

But I've already written about this. I've already used her as a character in one of my Fear and Loathing articles for ScreenAnarchy over a year ago. I can't even remember what I wrote, but I think she played a role in the Sundance series. 

Sarah comes running over to me, talking to me like a former best friend reunited after years.

We make the usual chit chat. 

She gives me a summary of her life. I give her mine.

She's living in San Diego now.

I'm still stuck in Philly.

She's stopped stripping and mostly bar tends in between circus gigs.

I just got out of a mental institution and came to San Diego to sell my screenplay.

After talking for a while, she tells me that she's been following my work online; she's read my articles, all of them. She enjoyed being character in one of my stories, and appreciated the kind things I said about her.

And then she tells me that she wants to see me meet my goals and she believes she knows how. 

Something about the way she talks changes almost instantaneously. 

She's not trying to encourage me, she's trying to sell me on something.

She asks me if I've ever heard of the Sunshine Podium, and I tell her no.

She gives me a big long hug. It's a bit too big, a bit too intimate, and  a bit too long. 

It makes me uncomfortable.

She talks like she's high, but I can see it her eyes that she's not.

She tells me how wonderful the Sunshine Podium is and how it's perfect for me, how it will help me meet my goals and teach me to become the person I've always wanted to be.

We didn't know each other well in Austin. Hell, we didn't know each other at all. But I still remember that night well, and I do remember her. This isn't how she acted. The way she talks now isn't at all like the way she talked before.

Sarah tells me that she's at Comic Con to promote the Sunshine Podium and that there is an open session, a class that she wants to take me to. She tells me that this session, this class, will change my life.

I ask her how much this class will cost.

She tells me that it's her gift to me.

And before I know it, I'm taken back to a large open room in the convention center with about two hundred fold out chairs set up.  Three quarters of them are filled already. Half of the people here are in costumes, although none share the same quality or level of polish that you'll be seeing in the countless pictures posted to every geek blog in existence for the next week.

Everyone and everything about this room reeks of sad, lonely, desperation. Once again, the crazies always find each other.

I'm barely acquainted with the Sunshine Podium and what they do. The general idea from I've gathered by Googling it on my smart phone is that it's kind of like Scientology without the science fiction aspect. It's something of a self help cult.  It sounds more like any generic pyramid scheme than the next Heaven's Gate or Jonestown.

Organizations like the Sunshine Podium thrive by preying on gullible people where the only thing running shorter than their net worth is their self worth.  

It's a brilliant concept on their part, hosting a free weekend session at Comic Con where there's no shortage of insecure, depressed men and women living in a fantasy world looking for an escape from reality. 

What Sunshine does is contextualizes the construct of hope into something real, physical, and tactile.  It does so by utilizing terrifyingly effective techniques developed out of proven theories rooted in psychology and psychotherapy.

But the men and women who lead and teach the many Sunshine sessions that take place worldwide are not psychologists, psychiatrists, or therapists. A lot of them have probably never gone to college, and have no degrees, but they are using very potent tactics with potentially disastrous consequences in a completely irresponsible manner.

And what better place to find a few hundred or few thousand gullible people hoping to find a way to actualize their hopes than at Comic Con?

But I have nowhere else to go, and thus have nowhere else to be.

So I decide to give this thing a shot, I tell myself I'm better than this. I'll sit in for a few hours as a purely academic social experiment. And if it leads to another one night stand with Sarah, so be it.  

My eyes scan the room watching all of the nervous Captain Americas, Batmen, and Sailor Moons jerk their knees and compulsively pick at their cuticles to the point of bleeding. I ignore that I'm doing the very same thing and I tell myself, "I won't fall for this shit."

But the problem is that I do.  Everyone does.

Constantly losing my shitty paying jobs means that I'm constantly looking for new shitty entry level jobs, which mean I'm constantly being invited to open job interviews that quickly turn into pyramid scheme pitches.

It rarely takes me more than five minutes to spot a pyramid scheme, and this immediately has all the trappings of one.

Our session host's name is Mark.  He's an attractive man in his mid thirties, the type of attractive that's hard to trust. He has a perfect jaw line, his eyebrows are perfectly manicured, his teeth are perfectly bleached, his skin is perfectly tanned, and his clothes are perfectly tailored.

He opens his introduction by sharing all of his past failures from his childhood to his teens up through his late twenties. He shares the type of embarrassing things that a person should never share with a group of strangers.

It makes me uncomfortable. I can tell it's the same for many of those sitting around me.

But that's the point. Every single one of coldly calculated words has been well rehearsed.

He tells us how he was introduced to the Sunshine Podium by a close friend 10 years ago and how it changed his life.  He tells us how he was able to find stability in becoming an entrepreneur, and how he's grown his own business and became a multi millionaire who now owns beach property in the Bahamas. 

I wonder how he's able to run his own multi-million dollar business if he's also running Sunshine sessions full time. 

He introduces his wife to the audience, she's an impossibly gorgeous Vietnamese woman in a slinky red cocktail dress with breast implants so large they look positively silly on her slender frame.

Mark is charismatic and confident. He's just like every person I've ever seen or heard sell a pyramid scheme to a group of unemployed losers like myself desperate to find income large enough to actually live on without the constant stress of bad credit and never ending debts.

A lot of the math in his story doesn't quite work out. He tells us that he's 35 now and that he's been a private business owner for ten years. But he had also previously said that he left his demoralizing IT job at 29 which is right when he discovered the Sunshine Podium.

I want to raise my hand and call him out on his bull shit. I want to publicly shame him in front everyone. I want to be the savior who protects my fellow manic depressive aspergers nerds looking for easy answers from blowing their savings on the hard sales line that's bound to come at the end of tonight.

But I remain silent, oddly entranced by the performance being given.

Three hours later, Mark has the attendees sharing their own problems to the group, all of them, all 150 of them.  He chastises every person for their problems, breaking them down, and reducing them to crying messes.

Women stand up to share stories of the men who raped them, of the family members who they were molested by. Men talk about their drug addictions, their sex addictions, and their porn addictions. A man dressed as Snake Pleskin explicitly describes his first suicide attempt. A young girl dressed as a member of Team Rocket tells us that she's a kleptomaniac. An older Nick Fury shares his Vietnam stories of burning down village schools with kids still in them.

And they cry. We all cry. I cry.

With every name mentioned in any story, every oppressor, every victim, every regret, every scapegoat, Mark hands the speaker a phone and has them call that person to apologize or forgive.

It's a lot like AA on steroids that were developed in a Russian nuclear plant.

It reminds me of the mental institution that I had previously been held captive in, any sense of time ceases to exist.

All of our cell phones had been collected at the beginning of the session, and there are no clocks on the walls.

Just how many hours have passed? I can't tell. Six? Eight? Twelve?

No food or drinks beyond water are allowed during the session, and bathroom breaks are strictly regulated and monitored.

My only barometer for measuring time are those approved trips to the pisser.

We've all been locked into this room but no one is trying to get out. But we should be. We should be running from this madness. No good can come of this.

But even I share. I talk about my father, about my doubts, my fears. I talk about the women I've loved and let go, the ones who hurt me, and the ones whom I've hurt in return. I talk about the bridges that I've torched to the ground, about the worst of all of my decisions.

Mark spares me no mercy. He tears into me far deeper than any vindictive, disgruntled ex, even worse than my mother after she's had a few too many glasses of wine.

He renders me to a limp, soggy rag doll with a new found absence of identity.

I'm not even sure who I am anymore.

And then it's Sarah who steps forward to console me. She places a hand on my shoulder and nods. She's the one familiar face in a sea of unknowns to assure me that I'm still here.

And even though I know that is all part of the act, that she was instructed and taught and coached to do this before she even ran into me today, it still gives me comfort.

Sometime after my fifth outing to drain my bladder, Mark hands everyone a business card for Sunshine.

He tells us that this session was his gift to us, that this would have otherwise cost $600 to attend. He tells us that we need to pay this forward by gifting an introductory session to another friend, family member, or anyone we may meet who is in need.

But we don't have to worry about the costs of paying that for that session. That is Mark's second gift to us; the business cards we have will admit one person to any introductory Sunshine Podium session free of charge.

I knew not to trust a gift from a one night stand from five years ago. I knew this was a god damn pyramid scheme.  

And yet, I still want to return the next day for the second installment that's taking place.

But of course, that will cost me $1200.

I'm still light headed after we're dismissed. The previous night's drunk is now gone. I feel fully detoxed from the two or three liters of water I've drank during the day. I feel both cleansed and high, and I know that even this is intentional.

They have you drink more water than you need because you're hungry, and eventually, if you drink enough water, your body begins producing endorphins, and you'll experience a sense of euphoria.

Spend three straight hours crying before said euphoria kicks in, and, well, you get the picture.

I feel reborn.  I start making mental notes of every one I need to call. I'm excited to tell my loved ones who've I just become, and who I will grow to be.

For a moment, I forget about what brought me to San Diego. I forget how I actually got here.

I forget all about the Potato Salad, the couch that I'm living on, my nonexistent love life, Dead Heroes, and my three travel partners walking around the city with bags of guns.

Just as mind my floats up into the clouds to leave reality altogether, a stranger's voice grabs me by the ankle and pulls me back down.

"I really liked your story ideas. I think that Dead Heroes project you talked about to the group sounds really good, and I think you needed someone to tell you."

I turn around and find a shorter, slightly Middle Eastern looking man in a sleek jet black suit with an open white shirt underneath. He reaches his hand out for me to shake.

I accept and meet the gesture and politely tell the man, "Thanks."

His eyes are still red with the ghostly remnants of tear streaks running down his face. His voice is hoarse and meek when he says,  "I went in there as a joke, you know? A friend told me about it and I didn't believe him. I thought he was putting me on. I thought it was going to be a big hoax."

"I know."

"But it's not. I've never felt what I felt today."

"Me too."

"I missed two of my panels. My publicist is going to have my nuts, I had no idea how long we were in there. It's like doing Quaaludes on a yacht off of the coast of Panama."

"Excuse me?"

"I'm going to pay it forward. I'm going to give someone a chance who's never had one before."


" I want you to meet your goals.I think there could be a great film in Dead Heroes. Fuck the e-novel business. I can put that thing on two thousand screens next summer."


"I think it could actually be a hit. Fuck it, even if it fails, I'll have done it, you'll have done it, and we'll all be better for it either way."

"Who are you?"

"My name is Uzi Silverstein. I'm a film producer." 

I know this name. Uzi Silverstein is a character that I've created. I rub my arms, searching for any straps or restraints that might be holding me down to a hospital bed but I don't find anything. 

There is no spoon. 

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