02AlchemyIt’s the most wonderful time of year — Income Tax Season. Could you use some fast cash to pay Uncle Sam? What if you had a way to turn your old rusty three-speed bike into solid gold? When was the last time you turned lead into gold? Been a while, hasn’t it, Binky? Back in the good old days of the Medieval period, Alchemists were using secret processes to whip out more gold from lead than you could shake a stick at. Unfortunately, over the centuries most of the alchemists’ secrets have been as forgotten as the location of Jimmy Hoffa’s burial plot beneath Giant Stadium.

So as a public service, we shall stroll down memory lane to learn about alchemy. Through the miracle of crowd sourcing, perhaps we can come up with a way to revive the lost secrets of alchemy. Alchemy will allow us to render unto Caesar what is due to Caesar. We will still have enough cash left over to buy the newest iPhone. Yo, both of you readers! It’s time to put on your Tom Terrific thinking caps. Ponder what we know about alchemy in the hopes we can revive this bigly patch of forgotten scientific lore. Alchemy’s goal is to take something yucky and worthless and make it into something bright and shiny. Sort of like listening to Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer trying to explain The Donald’s latest bizarre actions and tweets.

According to the gnomes at Wikipedia (not to be confused with Trump’s favorite news source — Wikileaks), alchemy is designed to “purify, mature and perfect certain objects.” Changing lead to gold is alchemy’s most well-known objective. Another goal of alchemy was to create a Medieval version of Red Bull, which would let the drinker live forever. This goal has not yet been achieved. However, the Disney Imagineers in the alchemy department are still diligently pursuing this goal so that Walt can be unfrozen and brought back to life.

Another alchemy goal was to create a one-stop cure for every disease. The alchemists actually created such a panacea in the 16th Century. Their drink successfully cured all diseases with one swig of Alchemy Brand Granny’s Spring Tonic. Unfortunately, Big Pharma bought the patent to the elixir from Nostradamus in the 1500s. Big Pharma then promptly took Granny’s Spring Tonic off the market. The formula for Granny’s Tonic remains locked in a vault in Atlanta, alongside the secret recipe for KFC’s 11 herbs and spices and the name of the author who wrote the Book of Love.

A lesser-known goal of alchemy was to create an “alkhest,” a universal solvent. Due to the mists of time, it is unclear what the alchemists were trying to dissolve with their alkhest. Scientists today think having a universal solvent would be a pretty groovy thing and continue to work on a modern alkhest. The only remaining descendants of the Medieval universal solvent are duct tape and the spork, which are now universally recognized as the greatest inventions in the history of man.

Our Medieval pals also thought alchemy could be used to perfect the human soul from its rough-around-the-edges human frailties into the profound excellence of the character of all billionaires. This process involved the use of the Philosopher’s Stone to be rubbed up against the patient’s psyche by a Shaman trained in the dark arts of personal development. This aspect of alchemy survives today in the form of the self- help books at your local Barnes & Noble, psychiatry, psychology and psychotropic drugs designed to smooth down the quirks of individuality to conform to
society’s expectations.

There is a concept known as entropy, which essentially means that there is “an inevitable and steady deterioration of systems or societies.” Cosmologically speaking, entropy will make the universe expand over time until each star system flickers out isolated, alone and dark. Basically, things fall apart over time. Entropy has come to change our old friend alchemy, which used to turn bad stuff into good stuff. Now with reverse alchemy, good stuff turns into bad stuff. For example, consider The Donald’s proposed budget. His budget plan demonstrates reverse alchemy in which he magically turns Meals on Wheels, medical research and after school food programs into bullets and bombs.

The moral of our story: Don’t get hungry. Don’t get sick. If you do, it’s your own darned fault, loser.

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