Team Deathray – Letter 10

Dear Scott,

HOLY HEMP MOCCASINS!!! WE WON! WE ACTUALLY WON! It’s two days after our dominant win over the “Beer Dudes” and I’m stillmore excited than I was when Phish announced they’d be playing extra-long, extra-meandering solos on their upcoming tour. Sure, they put “Team Deathrye: League Champions” on our trophy, but I’m not ashamed to be named after the most lethal loaf of bread anyone has ever tried to put corned beef on. We put such a hurting on the “Beer Dudes” I literally thought they were going to die from embarrassment!

Scott, I really want to thank you for showing me how good winning a piece of plastic that’s painted gold can feel. I’d have to compare the feeling to dropping 4-5 hits of acid without all the visions of Joan of Arc murdering an infinite line of Oscar the Grouches. As much as I enjoyed that fuzzy-green genocide, winning keeps you elated and still allows you to enjoy normal, everyday pleasures – like recognizing things. Just today I arm wrestled my buddy Scrawny-Joe, beat my mother at a rousing game of Bloody Knuckles and WRECKED my grandpa in a two mile run! I’ve never been on such a high!

The Book of Kyle has taught me much, especially much about shunning. Since breezing through this easy 985 page read, I’ve been shunning dudes like you wouldn’t believe. I shunned my cousin Smiley for wanting to relax after a jog; YOU DON’T RELAX AFTER A JOG, YOU WORK ON YOUR PECS AND DELTOIDS! Through my study of the Book of Kyle, I’m going to become the most efficient, jacked hippie since, well, you.

Thanks again for being such an inspiration, Scott. It appears we’ve both learned something from each other, huh? I’m super-jazzed to have you as a brother-in-law. You can create religions for me whenever you want, okay buddy?

Licking Victory,
Phil

Team Deathray – Letter 9

Phil,

Listen man. I know that you’re worried about my new lifestyle change, but the truth of the matter is that it’s all good. Before you took me under your wing, I used to be angry and omnivorous, ALL THE TIME. Now that I work out my aggression with a mortar and pestle, I am nothing but peaceful. Plus, I learned to make great Pulse Chutney and Khichdi. Is there anything a mung bean can’t do?!?

I am just a man of extremes, and for that I would apologize, except that I don’t feel it is necessary to do so. For instance, you know how your belief that Kyle, the all-knowing being that presides over all living things, was simply a faith loosely embodied by a presence and without the confines of organization?

NOT ANYMORE!

I took a bunch of PCP the other day and created this chapbook.

It outlines much of what I believe to be your personal beliefs. See that? Because I am COMMITTED to everything I do, you now have yourself an actual religion. Now you can totally SHUN people for not following it properly (there’s a whole chapter on shunning).

As for the reason I am changing, I must say that at first it was about the volleyball (and my wife continuing to love me). But I am happy this way now, Phil. There are so many simple joys in life that I just overlooked beforehand. I like to think that this is the ideal me.

However, if you expect me to give up competition, you are QUITE MISTAKEN. In fact, one could assess that my habit of going to extremes is due to an underlying belief that everything in life is a competition, and therefore an ultimate state of perfection in each field should be striven towards at all times.

Just look at me now: I don’t like most foods anymore, I take recreational drugs as frequently as possible, and I just wrote the Kyle Bible. I am so much more PERFECT than I thought I was when Sunny and I first moved to New Jersey!

And to top it all off, next week is the championship Volleyball game! Holy smokes I am so excited I could just grab a hackey sack and do a Stepping Ducking Paradox Blender into a Barfly Swirl, you know?

Since I can tell from your letter that you are not so into giving people drugs without their consent in order to ensure our victory, I am going to have to use a bit of “tolerance” that I learned from you, and do it the old fashioned way. And, by that I of course mean by assuming our group mind will function flawlessly and the TROPHY WILL BE MINE!

So, I’m turning the tables a bit. I have learned from you, and I am asking you and your clan to learn a little bit from me. If you are as tolerant as you’ve made me believe you all were, you will tolerate my competitive spirit so fully that we all will be flyin’ high as a free bird atop a rainbow of dreams, and we will WIN THE TOURNAMENT!

Let’s try this out at the next few family drum circles, man. Then, next week, let’s rock out that championship. Team Deathray, go!

Licking frogs,

– Scott

Team Deathray – Letter 8

Scott,

Hey man, um, listen. I’m, like, super excited about that whole lifestyle change of yours and everything, and I’m really glad things are working out really well with my sister. It’s just, you started to become a lot like us and then you were a lot like us but then you started to become so much like us that you were us and then you, like, transcended us to the point in which you weren’t like us anymore. You know? The clan is all about your acceptance of our lifestyle and even your dabbling in it is cool; you’re always welcome to the hacky sack games, drum circles and “science” experiments. But do you remember when you were an ultra-competitive ‘roided-out shit bag? Well, replace “roided” with “trippy drugs’d” and you’re pretty much right back where you started.

We’ve been winning a lot of our games without the assistance of Performance Deteriorating Drugs (at least ones that the opponent is taking), so I’m not so sure we should be giving these people the trips of their lives without their consent in order to win a couple NON-COMPETITIVE volleyball games. Drugs are to be taken for recreation or to bring oneself closer to that all-knowing being that presides over all living things. Some call him “God” – I call him “Kyle.” It feels less intimidating when you’re talking to someone named Kyle. But whatever you call him, he most certainly does NOT wish for us to be cheating/trying very hard at volleyball.

Scott, I’m really starting to think that the only reason you began to accept our lifestyle was so you can get us to play harder for you by understanding us better. Like the Vince Lombardi of sports that no one should care about. I’m guessing that once you figured out that “try hard” is not in a true hippie’s vocabulary (on a side note, neither is “scrub thoroughly”) you decided to use our one competitive advantage – our resistance to mind-altering drugs – against the opponent. I really hope this isn’t true because I really like you and Henry but some signs have been popping up. Just for example, you CELEBRATED during hackey sack. COME ON MAN, YOU KNOW NO ONE DOES THAT!

Before I head over to the farmer’s market, I just want to let you know that we all love you and are still pushing for you to change for real. I sent over some glazed soybeans for you to enjoy so, uh… enjoy!

-Philip

Team Deathray – Letter 7

Phil Man,

Bro, that Anti-Insulting of Animals rally was GREAT! There was a time when I called protesters “shit-for-brains un-American scum.” But now, through our yoga, organic lifestyle, and recreational drug usage, I see the value in it. I really think that we blew a few minds yesterday, man. Standing still while holding signs and peacefully allowing everyone to go about their daily lives with no interruptions had to make a difference. I like the way you put it: “we will be the lonely man eating a cheese sandwich alone at a diner. We will not disturb you, but you will not be able to take your mind off of us. We will infiltrate your consciousness.” So true man. So true.

And even more true after you drop a few tabs of acid and just let the colors of the wind sweetly caress your music. Know what I mean?

This past week of hippie training has reduced my want to punch people so much so that I barely think about it anymore. Even Henry has noticed that ever since I created him by jamming a bunch of toothpicks into a lonely apple on that crazy night (oh man…so much blood and sour cream!) that I have made vast improvements. Henry frequently talks to me on my drug-induced “trips,” and I must say that he really knows how to put things.

As for Sunny, my beautiful wife, your lovely sister, I must say that I finally UNDERSTAND where she’s coming from now. She’s always spoke highly of author and pioneer of New Journalism, Tom Wolfe. But now I actually listened to her advice, and in a mere 3 days I have read both The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby. The colorful language, the frequent use of onomatopoeia designed to stimulate the senses…I NEVER would have picked up these books before unless it were to throw them in the fire (which I have done several times in the past, and which is why this is her 6th or so copy of each).

So, this new lifestyle, and the way that you say I am close to achieving a state of complete Utopia full of love and Grateful Dead records, is now giving me a new goal we must achieve.

I believe that our Volleyball games would be made ALL THE BETTER if we conducted our own little “acid test” during them. Let’s bring a large container full of a delicious sugary beverage that is laced to the MAX with acid. Then we will offer our opponents some drinks. Since we are now used to the way these psychedelic drugs affect our conscious minds, we will play well while the opposing teams may themselves freak out, run away, open containers of sour cream and ask butchers for buckets of blood to cleanse their soul. This would give us a win by default. It is a new strategy I have adopted to allow us victory in this recreational beach volleyball league that I still care about winning very much.

I noticed at our last game that since I am now beginning to smell like “the clan,” your family and I seem to have a better “group mind” which allows us to properly succeed at Volleyball games! I believe that soon both our desires will be met: I will be a smelly hippie just like my wife and your family, and I will be able to place the league trophy on my nightstand and kiss it goodnight before bed at the end of each day.

So ready the acid, Philip. We’re gonna make drug users out of innocent people!

Free love,

– Scott

Team Deathray – Letter 6

Dear Scott,

First things first, my man: “Pie Fest ’98” was THE Pie Fest. It topped all other Pie Fests before it and has yet to be replicated, so if anything you should be honored that I let you wear that shirt. I sent it over as a sign that you are very much welcome in the clan. That is, as long as you refrain from TOO many more violent outbursts towards other members of my family.

I’m happy you finally noticed my family’s ability to not care about the extremely hurtful things that so easily spout out of your mouth. It’s partially because my family grew up in a very loving, accepting and understanding household where we call each other Raphanus on a fairly consistent basis and it’s partially because we’re usually stoned stupid on whatever mind-bending drug we can get our hands on. Remember that back pack full of frogs we brought a couple weeks ago that we told you were for little Sheena’s biology homework? Well, we told a little fib. We had actually smuggled them across the border to escape an evil dictatorship in South America. In exchange for the rescue, they let us lick the hallucinogenic slime off of their bodies. AND LICK WE DID! How’s that for the barter system, buddy?

Now that you’ve had a couple days to come down from the trip and regain complete control of all of your senses, what did you think of your first LSD experience? When I saw you running screaming at my door covered in blood and sour cream (non-vegan sour cream, CHEATER) I thought maybe it wasn’t going too well. But once we smoked you up you started to relax and just talk to the ceiling fan for 4 hours, so maybe you enjoyed it a bit. I bet it had a lot to say! HAHA! Henry seemed nice, too. From what I could tell he was just kind of an apple with a bunch of toothpicks sticking out, but he didn’t do anything to cramp my vibe, so he can hang whenever.

You’re getting close, Scott. When I meditate on your situation I can see you grasping for that elusive pair of homemade sandals. Just inches out of your reach, they dangle their straps and brush against your outstretched fingers. You don’t grab them though, Scott. You must push onward toward your goal. Tomorrow we will be going to the Anti-Insulting of Animals rally bearing our “NO, YOU ARE THE DUMB DOG,” signs. We’ll show those people who make fun of our unable-to-protest-for-themselves friends that we mean business. See you at the crack of 1pm!

-Philip

Team Deathray – Letter 5

Philip,

I felt like a complete asshole in those clothes you gave me. I normally like my clothing very snug, so as to show off the beautiful muscles I’ve worked so hard to achieve. Long khaki-cargo “shants” and an oversized “Pie Fest ’98” Shirt are not exactly what I would call in-style.

But, for the love of Sunny, my beautiful wife, I accepted your proposed change in wardrobe. However, do not think this is me giving up on my way of living. I NEVER give up. I am simply a team player, and I understand that at times you need to rise up the ranks rather than immediately be given the position of Family Emperor.

I’ve heard Sunny blab on about Yoga, but, of course, I have never tried it — until our class yesterday, that is. Taking the class with you really opened my eyes to how puny those sons of bitches are. You call that a work-out? The closest I came to breaking a sweat was when I gave your instructor a left hook to the kisser for stating that I will “get there soon, Raphanus.” My initial reaction is to punch anyone who says the word “anus” to me. After you explained that the Raphanus is just a genus of the plant family which contains the cultivated radish, and that the instructor was complimenting me by calling me a nutritional, vegan-friendly food, I realized that I may have to stop punching what I don’t understand.

It will be a hard habit to break, but I am going to give it a shot.

As for our volleyball game yesterday evening, I was trying SO hard to stop yelling and flipping a shit when you all continually sucked. However, there was that point where I snapped and told your father it was this exact kind of horrendous lack of dedication towards manly pursuits that gave him his hippie offspring. I am going to have to get used to hearing the sounds of laughter and joyful acceptance from your family. It seems no matter how much I yell, it bounces off all of your “clan” and has no affect on your ability to play sports.

As for your dedication to hallucinogenic drugs, that may be the biggest hurdle I have to overcome. I have never put drugs into my body. Not even ones which, as you state, “open up your mind and make colors appear like sparkling rainbow unicorns drunk on elderberry wine.”

I can’t begin to explain how much that sentence makes me cringe. But the fact of the matter remains that if I want to be accepted by your family, I must open my mind and try these new things. I must do this in order to ensure that my wife will continue loving me, and to better understand your personalities so as to be able to get you all whipped into shape under my guidance for the purpose of winning this recreational beach volleyball league.

Since the drug usage will be the hardest to overcome, I want to get that out of the way first. Tonight I will begin taking the LSD you gave me and reporting my progress to you. I am hoping that they will make being some vegan dickbag easier. Perhaps with my mental clarity clouded by illegal substances, it will be easier to live in your smoggy world of acceptance.

Ok. Here goes nothing.

It’s been about 35 minutes and I am starting to feel fuzzy. I am starting to feel like a vision of the sound of yellow. HA. O it is a joy that takes two tolls on this one right here. I am something that not is becoming. Henry is here. He is a player on our team now. What is that Henry? You are becoming music? I can see that. I can see EVERYTHING.

Philip, your name is that. I am alone in this house. Sunny is at an advanced making-shampoo-from-hemp course. Philip, I am heading there. You must show me what to do with this VIOLENCE I SEE OH GOD THE VIOLENCE IS HERE WHY IS IT CONTINUING NO I DO NOT WANT KNIVES IN MY VOLLEYBALL OH GOD I HAVE TO LEAVE I AM COMING THERE!

– SCOTT AND HENRY

Team Deathray – Letter 4

Scott,

Holy Moley! My heart’s doing triple-somersault 180’s at the thought of you becoming a true member of the “clan.” I really always liked you Scott, but let’s be honest, things have not been exactly right since you told my mother she had “the backbone of a worm with scoliosis,” when she obliged my request for seconds of her plum-rhubarb pie. I’ll refrain from delving into the biological inaccuracies of the statement but rest assured the family was at the very least slightly offended and at the very most fairly perturbed by your comment.

But enough chit-chat, let’s get to work. So, you want to be a vegan-friendly, tree-hugging hippie? You just so happen to have chosen the perfect mentor! I am EXTREMELY friendly to vegans (some may say too much so) and I’ve been known to hug a tree every now and again, usually after I’ve made some of my PCP brownies. It’s going to be a vegan-marshmallow, soy-based rocky road ahead (haha, see what I did THERE?), being carefree, loving, and addicted to hallucinogenic is not as easy as it may seem. But if you truly want to be as close to my sister as I am, you HAVE to do this. Wait, is that weird?

I’ll be shipping over some more… suitable clothes for you that I’ve had in my attic since I was fat and unaware of the magic of veganism. They may fit you differently since you’re a huge, hulking mass of sexy man, but they’ll serve their purpose for the time being. Soon you’ll make your own hemp clothes like the rest of us and you’ll at least look the part. We’ll start small with this as well as you giving up meat completely. You see, Scott, our clan is not only made up of us humans, but also a number of our animal friends. There’s Sun Beam our tabby cat, Moonbeam our Shih-Tzu, Steel Beam our donkey and Jim Beam (my dad’s name, silly him) our gold fish, just to name a few. I’m sure they wouldn’t appreciate you consuming any of their cousins when there’s a perfectly good tofu replacement for them.

So I’ll see you at 9am tomorrow, bright and early, for our first yoga lessons. OH GOSHBALLS, THIS IS SO EXCITING! See you then.

-Philip!