I Almost Joined A Cult And Was Glad About It

A Umass Club Review

Deep in the recesses of UMass Amherst’s seedy underground, there are a series of clubs that you need to have the "know" to even discover their existence. Last weekend I was able to infiltrate one of these said clubs, and what transpired was a multitude of events so far out of grasp to this normal reality that I am not sure if it is possible for me to ever recover. This experience has left a vast ravine in the subject of myself. So let me explain to you the club that is the Mario Kart 64 Club.

On the surface, what do you picture when you hear the idea of the “Mario Kart 64 Club”? A bunch of sweaty nerds sitting around a bowl of puffy Cheetos speedrunning a game so removed from this generation that many would shake their heads in an awkward unknowingness? That’s what I first thought. And upon entering, that is entirely what it appeared to be. There were five of them, and the strangeness began immediately. I don’t think any of them gave me their real names. I refuse to believe there were five people with the surname Demonskull, but that is how they introduced themselves. There was the Corporal, there was Goose, Johnny Marmaladefingers, Sebastian Pingas, and Jacquelyn.

As I entered the den that they appeared to live in as a commune, they greeted me with a loud and in unison “Hail Demon.” I was quite put back, but by the time I had the chance to react, the Corporal sat me down on the floor and instructed me to race Jacquelyn on the Mushroom cup level of Mario Kart 64. The race started normally, but by the third stage, my vision started melting. Vast pulsating shapes surrounded everything I came to perceive, and Jacquelyn had assumed the characteristics of a large voracious reptile. Four hooded beings began chanting in tongues nearly unspeakable and totally indescribable to the human ear. As the race concluded, the Corporal invaded my entire perception. He was skulking in the shadows of the place in the area before me.

Before I knew what was transpiring, I found myself deep somewhere in a clearing in the woods. Through my blurred vision and the smoke emanating from the bonfire, they appeared to have assumed the form of shades of vibrant pink, except Jacquelyn; she was still a reptile. All of them moved in dimensions as if they were a well-oiled machine, heaving and hoeing like the smoothed cogs on an ancient industrial piece, forever revolving til the end of some arcane experience in the Choco Mountains.

Sebastian Pingas came to me with an amanita muscaria. “Eat, my son,” he said. The flow ran through me as a river flows through the Adirondacks. I accepted the mushroom without question, and it was then that I became totally dismorphed. Potent psychedelia totally ravaged my entire idea of surviving and living. Life is to survive, the pleasures manifest themselves in different ways. Cheap excitement is a way of living. Judgment from others is nothing more than a fleeting expression of their current selves. Patterns of refractory light shone from Goose’s purple hat as he handed me a cigarette of which we both enjoyed nicely.

I finally woke up in my dorm, unaware if what I experienced was merely a dream or the true underbelly of UMass Amherst’s underground. I don’t know if any of them exist. I don’t know if Jacquelyn is a reptile, if the Corporal is a divine savior, if Goose’s hat is actually purple, if I ate wild amanita muscaria from a man named Pingas Demonskull who seemed almost totally in control except for the fact that he inhaled the smoke from the bonfire of which fleeting moments paint a picture tall with hemp plants and cloven wood burning within. But it doesn’t matter anymore, I found my true meaning. My alarm can keep blaring but I don’t care. I'm going on a road trip, I need to experience life. Hail demon.

For inquiries related to the Mario Kart 64 club please email s.pingas@surrealtimes.net or v.mauve@surrealtimes.net.

For more articles by V. Mauve and Sebastian Pingas, click here.