According to Wikipedia, according to the World Health Organization, “drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for 7% of all injury related deaths (est. 388,000 deaths by drowning in 2004, excluding those due to natural disasters).” And yet how scared are you of drowning? Unless you have a specific phobia or an s.o. who’s got a Guantanamo fetish, probably not correspondingly much. What a terrible publicity guyorlady drowning must have! Well no fear, Big Airless– I’m here to help.
We’re all familiar with such drowning classics as: in an above-ground pool, in an inch of water, in a drunken nightswim, in your own vomit, and in close proximity to your parents who– overfamiliar with the tv version of drowning– did not suspect that your lack of sound/weird new dancemove was the sound/vision of your demise and now will never be ok again ever.
But what about Shallow Water Blackouts? Hey diving dummies– don’t hyperventilate to extend your dive! You’re not adding oxygen but subtracting CO2! That sounds good but you need your CO2 to signal that you’re running out of oxygen! Now you’ll be able to dive forever because there ain’t going to be anygas around to alert you that you have run out of oxygen and you will just stop having any oxygen and blackout and die! What a treat!
And what about nitrogen narcosis? Sure, we’re all familiar with its made-up cousin hydrogen psychosis, aka crazy-eye
But did you know that nitrogen narcosis (the real one) is the sweetest fucking way to die ever? Here’s the pitch: Nitrogen Narcosis, a.known.a. Choose Your Own Death – Perennial Contender (Realistic Division), why it is the right drowning death for you
I Should Live Underwater: Nitrogen Narcosis and You
You dive down. Just because you have air doesn’t mean you’re ok. The human body just isn’t meant to experience all those depths and pressures. As you sink past 30 feet, past 100 feet, past 2 bars of pressure, past 4 bars of pressure, so comes the following (cribbed from wikipedia):
% Sweet hang-outs; a-ok
%% Mild impairment of reasoning, motor skills; mild euphoria [tipsy]
%%% Delayed response; sapped memory and reason; bad at arithmetic; idee fixe; stifleable giggles; chatty kathism; HALLUCINATIONS
%%%% Confused; severe delay in repsonse; l’il sleepy; dizziness; can no longer stifle full on uncontrolled laffs; panic; “Terror in some.”
%%%%% You are Psyduck (but real pep’d)
%%%%%%%%%%%% Intensely hallucinating– knowing soon you will lose consciousness and die, but unable to fight it– you levitate, briefly time travel, have a braingasm, rictus and die.
Sure, Terror sounds bad, but have you ever really experienced capital T “Terror”? If so, was it while on the slow spectrum of multifarious exhilarations on the way to a beautiful loving undersea death? 2001 is real and the obelisk is Davy Jones’s’s Locker. It’s a real palate cleanser. The pickled ginger of this Sushi Deluxe of deaths.
That (awesomeness) aside, water is not the only way you can drown. In paperwork, in sound, in love (aka cum), in the fucking sun, and so on. Here are three of my non-water favorites. What a treat this is for you!…
In your drowned problems
You thought drowning your problems in alcohol was, besides the risk of alcohol-related side effects, safe– like lancing a boil, besides the risk of lance-related side effects.1 You were wrong.
You underestimated just how many problems you had (a) and were also (b) unaware that problems, upon death, manifest physically. You’ve drowned your problems but you had so many problems that their little trouble corpses stack up and suffocate you.
Ironic, no? Drowning in drowned things? You appreciate the irony only momentarily as your arms bob out of control, trying to push you up out of nothing, your mouth gasping at no surface.
Sleep is the suicide that you come back from. Usually. But if you get too much sleep you risk sinking in so deep you can never emerge…
There are advantages to this ostensibly disastrous condition. Technically, it will make you immortal. As we sleep, and moreso when we dream, the universal somnodex makes a temporary perfect copy of our consciousness froze at that moment; it is dissolved (slowly) upon waking.2 If you remain in sleep long enough (two weeks, or so) your consciousness will be unable to return. While your body will remain in our physical world– vegetative but able to maintain, with assistance, the least function of life– you will exist in the somnodex as a sleepself with integrated consciousness. As long as you can avoid deletion, these barren and seemingly impenetrable plains are yours for the roaming! You will soon wish for death.
You are Lost at Sea.4 Survival is, for the first two days, a tremendous and desperate struggle. Fresh water is scarce. The sun constantly beats down on you, burning and chapping your skin, stroking you heatly. Your socks are wet and yet you are in the middle of the sea, alone, no dresser anywhere within hundreds– if not thousands– of miles.
If only you had worn you wik-y-socks, you think, perhaps they would have wiked away the wet, parting the sea and saving your life at the cost of innumerable sea lives. It is a cost that, having chosen to wear your most absorbent sweat socks, you would have been willing to pay.
But you adapt. After a week, survival is a cinch. You collect fresh drinking water by drinking the spinal fluids of fish and hoping it rains. Luckily, your algaeic complexion is finally paying off. During the day, you dry your socks (and pants) by using them to cover your head. Two birds with one stone– the garments protect your face from the sun, and by the time the sunsets you have nice, dry socks to put back on your feet. Sure– your feet are generally located inside the sea and therefore you enjoy approximately 0 seconds of dry sock before re-soaking. But you’re pretty sure you can detect a textural difference– the dried sock has a crustiness that the water doesn’t rid it of for at least a minute or so.
As you become accustomed to this drifting life, even sharks become your pals. You converse with them as they circle you; they find your lack of condescension refreshing and decide to spare your life. In return you try to teach them human speech, thus ensuring your controversial status amongst human remoral slaves in the post-warming oceantopia of the 23rd-48th centuries, [you race-traitor – ed. Redecember 16, 4828]. For your troubles, you learn the most important lesson of all– sharks are super boring when you aren’t watching them kill stuff.
A month passes and you can no longer tread it. It’s like stand it but for the sea. Cute, right? A month passes and, rather than hear another story about how ‘faggy’ porpoises are in broken, poorly vocalized English,5 you decide to drown yourself. It goes unswimmingly and you sink all the way to the bottom, the sharks having been too insulted (by your preference of death to your company) to eat your dumb corpse.
It is a slight their descendants never forget.
Thanks a lot.
1. Needle hits bone – I bet it would be like how you can hammer a nail way up in your face and be fine except for having to always remember what it’s like to drill your own skull; pus – I mean, gross; spontaneous joust – homonymically-challenged armored man on horse senses your presence, plows down your door, and rails you into hay; boil actually a front for an intradimensional sinkhole – needle disappears/reappears in Lesotho/Billings, MT/the Horsehead Nebula (sure that doesn’t sound so bad, but keep in mind it’s a two-way street (watch out for space dust, a vaultful of sweet 200 maloti notes, and regular dust disrespectively!)!)!/; testicular cancer – :(–.<
2. Full deletion is contingent on safe completion of a standard sleep cycle. Sudden wake-ups cause a rapid withdrawal from sleepspace that scatters pieces of your replica consciousness; these pieces often escape deletion, littering the universal somnodex with your residue. The exponential increase in sudden wake-ups in the modern-era, due to the invention of the alarm clock/the 9-to-5 workday/and humanity’s general attempt to re-make time in its own image, has caused the universal somnodex to expand rapidly.3
If minimal sleep is combined with sudden withdrawal, the sleeper risks loss of their dreamself (oneiro-bot), and with it, the function of their somnobellum. The afflicted generally suffers no adverse physical effects, and may not even notice something is missing. But something is missing. This sense of loss exhibits itself in sharp relief to those who experience long durations (two weeks or more) spent with low or no somnobellar activity. Other side-effects include: improved quality of focus; complete monochromatism; incipient Britishness [as opposed to insipid Britishness (see: Madonna)]; autumnalacrity [increased appetite for brisk afternoons, mid-gauge sweaters (I mean jumpers); that these afternoons should be grey goes without saying/escaping, but a non-rain-based cloud cover as well]; assorted symptoms associated with mental illness (such as: anhedonia, flat affect); and occasional bouts of hallucination [(auditory and/or visual) as the waking brain tries to compensate for the loss of dreams in condensed super sessions].
Note: those who suffer monochromatism as a result of lost somnobellar activity are known to re-experience color during visual hallucinations.
Fortunately, this loss is generally temporary, as your oneiro-bot is intrinsically twinned to your consciousness (1) and (2) somnodex space, while visually manifest, does not operate according to the same limitations as our waking earth (i.e. while points exist, and are distances away from each other, travel from point to point is instantaneous upon mastery of local transit methodology). However, if during your time awake, your oneirobot is in any way damaged or broken or erased from the somnodex (generally due to cleaning), loss of somnobellar activity can be permanent.
In some rare cases, the afflicted will regain the ability to access the universal somnodex. This can be very dangerous, as it will not be their oneiro-bot that enters but their actual wachenselbst. With practice, one can learn to proxy dream using the scraps and leftovers that litter the somnodex. The dreams experienced will not be one’s own, but pieces and images from each litterer’s junk consciousness. For this reason, proxy-dreamers are at high risk for dream leakage, inter-consciousness contamination, false memories, and potential full-scale infection feat. complete loss of self.
On the plus side, with some clever re-programming they may be able to rig the pieces so as to track them back to their original dreamer. It is also theorized that a well-practiced wachenschlafer could potentially collect enough scraps and leftovers that they would be able to build a makeshift dummy oneirobot with which to safely travel the somnodex. This oneirobot could hypothetically be rigged as a blank slate, able to freely roam the dreamworld without any risk to the driver’s waking self. There have yet to be any successful attempts.
3. While the somnodex will never be in danger of becoming overfull, it expands and shrinks as needed, the resulting growth has increased the pseudo-gravitational pull of the soporiphery. If nothing is done to clean the somnodex of these expansion-driving scraps, the draw of sleep will gradually increase until it is no longer merely a third of our life that is consumed. It is important to remember that, for early humans, a toll of only 5/17-a-life was paid.
As sleep requirements increase, so would the risk of sudden withdrawal, and the corresponding increase in scraps would create a perpetual engine of unchecked spoporipheric expansion. It is easy to extrapolate, then, that further down the line the integrity of the barriers that separate the sleepspace from our waking existence could be at risk of breach.
4. You tried upbraiding them on their homophobia, but the sharks claim that they mean it in the playground way, and that anyways if you care so much you could go suck a dick. It seemed to contradict their original excuse, but the concept of contradiction proved difficult to explain to animals whose context was limited to kill, eat, and move.
5. OK, technically this one is also in water. But without the boredom to drown in your dumb body would have at least put up a fight. Defeating the innate will to survive is no trivial accomplishment!
Congratulations, suicidal idiots– hopefully this footnote you can never read will silver-line your ‘no reward plus forever elimination from existence’!