Wednesday, April 30, 2008

We Haven't Noticed Anything Strange at Our House Since Eating the Rye Bread

Today Nutmeg and I made some rye bread with the machine. It turned out so-so -- it didn't cook completely on the inside, but I finished it off in the oven and I'm hoping it will be better later.

It's funny that we got out the rye flour for the first time today, because I read in today's obituary of the inventor of LSD that the hallucinogenic drug is derived from ergot, the fungus that can grow on rye and is blamed by some for the Salem witch trials and, indeed, all supposed witchery.

I remembered that a high school teacher had told us about ergotism, and how witches are depicted riding brooms because in reality women were using broomsticks to topically apply drugs to their hoo-hahs. I always kind of wondered if my teacher -- a party guy himself -- embellished this or even totally made it up.

Sadly, there was no Google when I was in 10th grade. Happily, there is today. And even more happily, I found plenty of evidence of witches riding the hell out of those brooms anointed with "flying ointment."

Funny, isn't it, that you can tie the let-it-all-hang-out counterculture of the 1960s to the supremely repressed puritans of the 1690s?

Funny, too, that despite the many negative side effects of dropping acid, the man who took the world's first acid trip not only survived, he lived to be 102. Bye-bye, Albert Hofmann. Hope your long, strange trip was a good one.

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