- And what I had really wanted to do for a long time
was a lot of drugs.
I had been high before,but I had never been
"don't squish tiny horses"high.
And I definitely wanteda piece of that action.
[dark electronic music]
[muted, echoing voices]
[raspy, echoing voice]
[cheers and applause]
- Welcometo "This Is Not Happening."
I'm your host Ari Shaffir,
and tonight the topic is"psychedelia."
[cheers and applause]
Please help me welcomethis first comic,
I've been watching himfor years.
Please give it up for
Mr. Dan Cummins, everybody.
Let him hear it! Dan Cummins!
- It was 2011 and, uh,
two grown menare lying face up.
It's Super Bowl weekend,Saturday night.
Two grown men are lying face up,fully clothed,
on twin bedsat the MGM Grand hotel,
and they're focusingreally hard on their breathing,
and they're listening to Enya,
'cause that's the only thing...[laughs]
they've been ableto figure out that keeps them
from completely justfreaking the fuck out.
One of these guysis comedy booking agent Stu.
Doesn't want his last namedto be revealed for this story.
But it sounds a lot like[bleep].
It sounds exactly like that.
Right now Stu is really worriedthat the other guy in the room
has a knife and wantsto stab him with it,
and the other guy in the roomdoesn't have a knife.
He also doesn't careabout telling Stu
that he doesn't have a knife,
'cause he doesn't thinkStu is a real person.
He's currently convincedthat Stu
is a psychological construct
that's been plantedinto his subconscious
by some kind of evil scientist
that's been studying himin a coma,
trying to get secrets,
and he doesn't wantto reveal those secrets.
Uh, that man is me.
And, uh, this is aboutthe night my agent and I
tried to recreate "Fearand Loathing in Las Vegas."
I've thought a lotin the years since
about why at 33I decided to head to Vegas
with a bag of drugs,including nine hits of acid--
like, I had never partiedquite that hard before or since.
And a lot of it was the movie,
"Fear and Loathingin Las Vegas."
Like, I saw that movie, finally.
I was really fascinated that
Hunter S. Thompsonand his lawyer
just went to Vegasfor work, like,
technicallythey're there for work,
and they just blew offall responsibilities in life
to burn through a literalbriefcase full of drugs.
And I found thatstrangely, uh, inspiring.
Like, I've always beenso worried about consequences,
and I thought,"How fun would that be?"
Just for, like, one night,at least.
Just to do whateverI wanted to do,
no matter how terribleof a choice it was.
And what I had really wantedto do for a long time
was a lot of drugs.
I wanted to know how it feltto have that mind just, like,
brutally altered to the levelthat their minds were.
And so, uh, I think it--
and especially acid.
I feel like acid was a big partof that movie for me too,
'cause I'd been fascinatedwith acid.
It was on my bucket list eversince a buddy of mine in college
told me this storythat I'll never forget
about how he dropped acid.
He went to this party,
and he got stuck in the bathroomfor a couple of hours,
where he was perched upon the the toilet,
and he was afraid to get down,
'cause he had noticedthat a lot of tiny horses
had sprung up from the tiles.
And he thoughtthey were beautiful,
and he didn't want to riskhurting one of these...
like, you know,really gorgeous creatures.
And I had been high before,but I had never been
"don't squish tiny horses"high.
And I definitely wanteda piece of that action.
So it's--you know,it's 2:00 in the afternoon.
We get to the MGM.
We check in,and we pop some codeine,
smoke a little weed,have a few drinks,
just to put our brainsin a peaceful state
to ensure that wehave a nice, soothing trip.
And we each take a hit of acid,
and then we goto the Circus Circus,
where Hunter S. Thompsonhallucinated,
to go play some poker.
And we get there and the acidstill hadn't kicked in,
and we got really nervous.
We were like, "Aw, man,I think we got a bad batch."
And we decided to takea second hit of acid.
Not bad.Not a bad batch.
I sat down at the poker table,
started havingsome very new thoughts.
Like, I remember thinking thatthe guy sitting across from me
had the most chips.
Like, he was doingthe best at poker
specifically 'causehis face had too many angles.
Like, I didn't know how manyangles a face should have.
I was like, "This fuckerhas more than that."
And I felt like it gave hima strategic poker advantage.
And I also had a thoughtthat Stu
has no chance ofwinning at poker,
'cause he hasa teeny, tiny head.
I'd never noticed how truly tinyit was until that moment.
Like, not "Beetlejuice"head shrinker dust tiny,
but pretty goddamn close.
And I'm like, "He can't win."
You can't winwith a tiny head at poker.
That's just--I know that now.
And I'm havinga lot of fun thoughts.
I'm laughingat these fun thoughts.
Stu's laughingat this fun thoughts,
and then we decideto take our great time
and ruin it by making
easily what was ourworst decision of the night.
We decided to go backto the hotel
and take the rest of the acid.
Taking the rest of the acidis just a bad premise.
Right, like, it implies you'vealready taken an amount of acid
you thought would be enough
when you didn't alreadyhave a head full of acid.
And now you're takingmore than that,
'cause you're quiteliterally insane.
So we take 2 1/2 more hits each.There's a half in there.
We were so greedywith our drugs,
we couldn't let one guy haveone more hit than the other guy.
We actually tore a little tinytab in half, and we had 2 1/2--
and then we decidedwe need to reconfirm
picking up some cokeand ecstasy in a little bit,
and before we go getthe rest of the drugs,
we need to go get some pizzaacross the street.
We're really planningthis out as best we can.
And it should have takenus about 15 minutes
to make it across the streetto get some pizza.
We estimated later it took usroughly an hour and a half.
'Cause by the timewe hit the lobby,
the acid was kicking in so hard
our brainswere just disintegrating.
Stu's new reality became,once we got to the lobby,
that there wasa security team tracking us
trying to catch usdoing the drugs
complete with dogs.
He thinks dogs are following us.
Like--like that'sever gonna happen in Vegas.
Like they're just gonna let,you know,
drug-sniffing dogsloose on the strip.
They would bark at almostevery fucking person
they came across.
And--but he thinksour best course of action
is to hide in the MGMparking lot behind some cars
so the dogs don't find us,and so we do that.
We go out,and we're hiding behind a car.
It's not even dark out.
We're two men in our 30sjust hiding behind random cars.
And then we would--he would get nervous
that the dogs were closing in,
and then he would decidewe got to, like, head down,
scurry to the next car
to not looks suspicious.
That looks so suspicious.
And I'm following himknowing it's a bad idea,
but I have to stay close to him,
'cause I have a new realityas well.
My new reality is that
everything that's now really,really close to me
that I look atstarts to drift back and away
and up into the air,including Stu.
And I actually am thinkingthat if I don't stay
within grabbing distanceof my friend,
he could drift into space.
And I can't handlethat right now.
I just cannot risk that,and so he's--
We're just scurrying,and I'm chasing.
And finally we make itto the pizza place
where I decide to order ustwo pepperoni pizzas,
which--I don't even reallylike pepperoni pizza,
but another realthought I'm having
is that I'm convincedthat some things
that I've always thoughtwere real are real,
and some things that I've alwaysthought were real are not real.
I love Canadian bacon pizza,but you know what?
It's fucking fake pizza,you guys.
It's never real.It's never existed.
And you can't eat thingsthat don't exist.
So pepperoni pizza,it's super-duper real.
It's the most real pizza.
And by God,that's what we're gonna eat.
and all this makes perfectly--sense to me at the time.
It makes really good sense.
And they have this, like,you know like
the individual little boxes inthe little trays on the shelf?
And I go to just grab ustwo pizzas from the counter,
and, like, millimetersbefore grabbing it,
my fingers crumpleand my wrist bends
like I hit something,and it really hurts.
And I'm just like, "What thefuck is that--happened?"
And I just look at Stu, and he'soff worried about security.
He's in a bad place.
And I just keep tryingto grab it,
and it just keepscrumpling over and over.
And I'm like, "I cannot forthe life of me get this pizza."
I went back the next dayto see what the hell--
there was a plexiglassbarrier...
Between product and customer
that I'm unableto visually process.
I remember at one pointactually digging
at the fucking force field
like an insane badgerjust desperate for pepperoni.
And they take pity on me.They give us the pizzas.
I wish they would have given ussecurity camera footage
of that interaction.
I would--that'd be priceless.
But we were somehow ableto eat these pizzas.
And then we hop on a taxi to gofind the rest of the drugs.
And I have a piece of paper
I'd put downin my pocket earlier
with the address written down,
'cause I knew I'd bein a bad place.
And I read whatI think are the words
on the paper to the driver.
I'm reading himwhat I think is an address.
He hears, what I'm guessing,is just drug-fueled gibberish,
and he wants more information.
Essentially,he wants an actual address.
And he wants--or references,what part of town is it?
You know,nearest intersection.
I can't answer any ques--I'm only mentally capable
of re-readingwhat I think it says
louder and more aggressively.
I don't know what I was yelling,just some--
I'm sure it was some justgibberish-y address-y kind of--
"7-6 Street Durango 7-6!
[yelling]"7! 7! 7! 7! 7! 7! 7!"
I'm freaking out, uh...
Like a lot of people,
the driver doesn't likebeing screamed at by a maniac.
He becomes very upset,
and now he's screaming at me,
and this freaks Stu out.
Stu's really freaking out.
Now, I found out later thatat this point in the evening,
Stu becomes convincedthat this driver
is part of the security team,
and he's driving usstraight to prison.
Like, not even a--not processing,
not police station,not jail, just prison.
We're going to some kind ofdrug prison.
And at the next intersectionat the red light,
he just leaves.
He just opens the door mid-fare
and just starts runningaway from the taxi,
which I didn't know wasan option you could do in taxis.
I grab an unknown amount of cash
and just throw it at the driver
and chase him,
and we just run for a long time.
I don't know.We couldn't track time.
I do know--I remember, like,being in alleys.
I remember a lot of scurryingand hiding.
Finally we're able to actually
see the MGM towerin the distance,
and we were, like,we navigated like savages.
We just, like,would see it visually
and we're movingsomewhat towards it
like two monstersfollowing the moon.
And we finally do makeit back to the room,
where I decidewe got to lay down,
we got to focuson our breathing,
and we gotto calm the fuck down,
'cause shit'sgetting real weird.
On the way back, Stu startedtalking a lot about a knife,
and he was real worriedabout getting stabbed.
He's asking me over and overabout the knife.
I don't even care aboutanswering him,
'cause he's the Canadian baconof people to me right now.
I don't--like,you're not even a real thing.
You're justso annoying right now.
You're a fake, annoying thing.
And I just think that, like,if we could just lay down,
focus on our breathing,
and maybe listento some music or something,
'cause things are--it's getting so dark.
You know, like, I--every time I look around,
I'm convincedthere's a wall of blood
behind me in the background.
I need some kind of music,but unfortunately,
I listen to a lotof hard rock and metal,
and Rage Against the Machine,Queens of the Stone Age--
not what I fuckingneed right now.
Not gonna put mein a better place.
And luckily I think back
to an album I used to fallasleep to in high school,
and I'm able to type fourletters into the keyboard,
which is really hard'cause my keyboard's melting.
I can't look at itfor more than a few seconds
without it starting to melt,
but I'm able to get inE-N-Y-A.
[sighs]Oh, sweet Enya.
I have never loved hermore than that evening.
If you don't know who Enya is--you've heard her.
She's that sweet, like,New Agey spa music,
like wizard music.
Like, if elves were real,
Enya would be number oneon the elf charts
week in and week out.
Like, to meshe's not even a real human.
She was never born.
She just, you know,just sprang up
from some mystic Irish pondfully-formed--
I'm like, "Please, Enya,
"turn these blood wallsinto waterfalls.
I need you now more than ever!"
And we laid down and listenedto her soothing rhythms,
and it worked.
We rode Enya through the peak,
and things got a little bitworse for a while,
but then they got a lot better.
Stu stopped talkingabout the knife.
I started thinking he was real.
And we were able to stand up,
and I looked outat the skyline, the strip,
and it wasthe most beautiful skyline
I've ever seen in my life.
It was, like,pulsating and trailing
and just truly beautiful.
And I remember thinking,like, I knew
that I shouldn't have doneany of the things
I'd done so far that night.
I knew thatI definitely shouldn't,
after all of that,still go find coke and ecstasy,
but I was going to.
I mean, I--you know,it's bad choices.
You know, it's like,I got responsibilities,
got a mortgage,I got two kids.
Not with me that weekend.
Let's not get too fuckingjudge-y right now.
They were safe away from me.
But, you know,I don't regret it, you know?
It's, like, I finallyjust did a night
just truly for me.
I got my own story.
You know,I didn't see tiny horses,
but I now definitelyknow how it feels
to have your mindterribly altered.
And if this storythat I've just told
actually inspires youto go on your own drug binge,
I got to say, uh...
No.Don't fucking do it.
It was terr--I was inthe Devil's brain
for a good six hours.
Like, it was terrifying!It was truly terr--
I feel like I was one hit away
from still wanderingthe strip today,
just like,"7-6! 7, 7, 7, 7!
"You can't eat pizzathat's not real!
Ha ha ha ha ha!Okay!"
So close to beingthat guy forever,
but if you're gonna do it--and I can't stop you--
bring your own snacks.
You don't wantto deal with force fields.
Bring a little bit of Enya,
and never takethe rest of the acid.
Two is more than enough.
Thank you, guys.Be safe out there.
[dark electronic music]