This is me. Oh yeah, and I appear to be turning into the Incredible Hulk!

As the years pass me by like those people who were fleeing their burning apartment building after I lit their carpet and pets on fire, my body seems to fall apart and degrade in some kind of grotesquely exponential fashion. Now I don't want any of you out there to think that I was once in perfect physical condition way back when magic fairies and dinosaurs and dragons roamed the Earth and Dick Clark was only five-years old. All through my life I've had to deal with the fact that I have hyperhidrosis, a condition that forces my body to constantly emit streams of sweat from every available skin pore. This fun and wacky feature of my body has kept me entertained for years, ranging from my inability to write on school notebooks because my hand-sweat warps the paper, to the exciting feature of leaving watery footprints across the floor when I accidentally fail to wear socks. On the occassions that I forgot to wear socks and walked across the kitchen, my dad would always notice the watery puddles from my feet and sarcastically remark, "Jesus, did you just get out of the shower or something?" and then chuckle triumphantly to himself. Oh my dad, he's such a hilarious joker and pinnacle of comedy! For example, one day he was drunk and fell down in the bathtub. After he stood up and noticed the gigantic bloody gash that the bathtub faucet cut into his stomach, he began seriously insisting that "those goddamn Mexicans" jumped him in the bathroom and created the aforementioned battle scar. This event can explain a lot about why I am the way I am today.

Now suffering from hyperhidrosis is bad enough. The idea of becoming a mobile Slip-N-Slide may sound cool in concept, but it really begins to get annoying when I have to explain to friends and family for the 400th time why I'm wearing OJ Simpson murder-gloves just so I can play games on the PS2 without having the controller slide and squirm out of my hands like a pig being blown out of a butter-lined cannon. However, my body has saw fit to continuously develop new and exciting ways to fall apart quicker than lingerie purchased from the Sears automotive department. I've been to doctor after doctor and each one tells me the same thing: "sorry, but I can't help you. I'm not even a doctor; I'm the maintenance guy here to fix your closet's ventilation shaft." Did I mention that the ventilation shaft in my closet is broken? Well it is. Regardless, the doctors have no solution, there is no online medical site which can help me, and the phone psychics simply hang up on me right after I ask what they're wearing and if they could take it off. Since I cannot get any help from outside sources, I have taken it upon myself to perform a self-diagnosis and name the horrid disease I have been suffering from my entire life: Young Old Man's Syndrome.

Young Old Man's Syndrome is a horrible annoying disease that lasts your entire lifetime or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. It begins with some seemingly innocent and unimportant bodily dysfunction, such as shortness of breath, a runny nose, or AIDS. However, over time these symptoms continue to occur on a regular basis while accumulating "bonus dysfunctions" that are eventually traded in when you die for exciting cash prizes such as a trip to Maui or a hovercraft. I believe that since I am one of the first people to ever be diagnosed with Young Old Man's Syndrome, I can be considered a professional smart guy who knows everything about everything in this field. I'm so smart that I even know things that I don't know... how many crippled retarded astronomers in wheelchairs can claim that, huh?!? Since my brain is just literally crammed with smart juice and if I don't type this all out right now then my head will explode like those candies in the Gushers Fruit Chews commercials, I will now proceed to detail the symptoms of Young Old Man's Syndrome and advise you as to if you want to get this disease (HINT: you don't).

Sleep Deprivation is never fun, but on the plus side, it keeps your tongue from flying out of your mouth.

SYMPTOM #1: Inability to sleep. When it comes to sleeping disorders, you name it and I've got it. It takes me at least six hours to get to sleep, and once I am actually able to succumb to dreamland, I then proceed to wake up every 15 minutes. I'm fairly sure my body does this because it's afraid that there is a giant spider on my ceiling ready to drop down and implant eggs into my face because I once saw this movie where this guy was sleeping and then a giant spider on his ceiling dropped down and implanted eggs into his face. At some point in time about a decade ago, I eventually broke down and purchased those over-the-counter sleep medications with names like "Alwayz-Sleep" or "Safeway Slumber Time" or "Vodka." None of these worked except in the fact that I felt tired as shit the following day. They act as reverse sleeping pills; when you want to sleep you can't, and when you don't want to sleep you really want to. Am I explaining this clearly enough? If not, feel free to read some other website, one that isn't nearly as retarded as this one.

Soon I entered college, found myself in the world of "visiting doctors and not having to pay outrageous prices," and I was introduced to the miracle sleeping drug Ambien. In case you've missed the commercials that run 24 hours a day on every channel in the solar system, Ambien is a magic sleeping pill that makes you turn into an attractive 20-something year old woman who can then proceed to run through fields of flowers and push kids on tire swings even if you don't want to. While I may poke fun of the Ambien commercials, I must admit that the drug itself does everything it promises to... and then some. Ambien helps you get to sleep within 15 minutes and stay asleep the entire night. You'll wake up the next morning, energetic and refreshed, unlike other sleeping aides which make you feel as though you've got sand running through your skull the following day.

Somebody who has taken Ambien.

However, Ambien has a dark side. See, this is one of those "mystery drugs" where scientists essentially feed it to a group of prisoners and then observe what happens from behind a series of titanium-enhanced doors and one-way mirrors. On the good side, it'll put you to sleep quicker than an watching an episode of "Highlander: the Series." On the bad side, it has the unfortunate side effect of causing you to completely forget 100% of the events that you engaged in after taking it and before falling asleep. That's correct, taking Ambien is like spraying Windex on your brain; you'll act completely bizarre, say ludicrous things, and hallucinate nonstop. However, the next morning, your brain will have been scrubbed clean and won't remember a damn thing. It's like taking LSD and drinking a 12-pack of bottled grain alcohol, only without the throwing up, hangover, and praying for death. Here are some of the effects I witnessed Ambien have on various people:

My boss: he used a red laser pointer to "draw a kilt" on my wall for approximately 40 minutes while claiming the red laser pointer also had a "green trail" behind it. After the kilt-creation process, I asked him if my kilt was finally complete. My boss replied, "no, I've been drawing a rock covered with vines falling down a stairway." He then began to talk about marketing Peppy LePew's scent to McDonalds so he would smell like french fries and all the girls who wouldn't date him would go to McDonalds because he represented free advertising. Don't ask. Oh yeah, then he went into an hour-long diatribe explaining how we're all made of algae and we're here to harvest gold for our alien overlords, a group of beings who turn the gold into algae and put gold into Jewish people's teeth. You can visit the algae-harvesting ranking page here. I, unfortunately, do not rank very highly as far as intergalactic algae-harvesting goes.

My fiancé: she was pretty boring in the field of Ambien-induced hallucinations. All she did was see ants crawling on the ceiling and decided to name them "Tree," "Smaller Tree," and "Rock". She absolutely refused to fully open her eyes the entire time and had a difficult time walking from the bed to anywhere else besides the bed.

Me: Since I actually have a clinical prescription to Ambien, I naturally take it more often than the following two people. I never abuse it or take it daily, but when I desperately need sleep I make sure to take a couple tablets. Unfortunately, that has backfired on me numerous times. Here are some of the many stupid things I have done while on Ambien:

I took off my shoes and ran into a bar, where I attempted to take two entire cheesecakes from the dessert area and run away.
I once took off my shirt, put a coat hanger on my head, and attempted to impersonate various characters from "Battlefield Earth."
I was convinced there were trees growing in my apartment.
I became intensely worried that my neighbors were putting up Christmas tree lights around their apartment, despite the fact that it was April.

Yet in none of these occasions did I ever remember even a single second of what transpired the night before.

Somebody who has taken Ambien. Well, actually, he's just stupid.

How did Ambien get approved by the FDA? I mean, it's a drug that makes you act like Robert Downey Jr. after a two-night coke binge, complete with hallucinations and rampant weirdness, but doctors prescribe it all the time. Sure it works and is quite effective in helping people with sleeping disorders, but the side effects are on the same level as injecting LSD directly into your eyeballs. The commercials featuring women running through fields of flowers and families hugging each other while dancing squirrels parade around in the background make it seem like this perfectly wonderful drug that will cure all your sleeping problems and make your life a neverending parade of joy. I guess in a way it really does, just as long as you listen and pay attention to the disclaimer that plays at the end of each commercial:

"Ambien may cause hideous and horribly embarrassing side effects such as talking really loudly, acting like an ass, rambling on about stuff that makes absolutely no sense, hallucinating and thinking that everybody you see has at least four eyes, dressing up as fictional movie characters, losing all sense of dignity and taste, and basically emulating a college freshman girl attending her first frat party. Although you'll remember none of this the next morning, we can assure you that everybody else will."

Of course that disclaimer is spoken by the bald guy who did the Micromachines commercials and has the ability to speak 500 words a second, so you may have to record the commercial and then slow it down to 1/100ths of its normal speed to figure out exactly what the hell he's saying. However, the question remains: with all these goofy and screwball side effects, how in the heck did it slip by the radar of the FDA? I can see Ambien being regularly taken as a recreational drug during various illicit parties and Congressional hearings, and the fact that it's mildly addictive doesn't really help its case much, unless of course you're a Scientologist and the thought of a bunch of drugged-up weirdos acting out your cult's movie just absolutely thrills you. Then again, if you're a Scientologist, the idea of ripping the hearts out of babies is probably just a huge turn-on, so this is an unfair comparison.

Well it appears as if I've run out of space and willpower to continue this article any longer. I'm sure you are all just simply furious that I wasn't able to describe my various medical problems in detail, but that will have to wait for the next two or fifteen updates. If there's anything I'd like you to walk away from this article knowing, it's that:

1) My body is completely, 100% defective,
2) Ambien turns you into a fucking weirdo.

You may now carry on with your normal day-to-day activities and forget the fact that you ever read this article. If you've recently taken Ambien, you probably already have.

Helen Helps Humans Help Humans

Everybody please welcome the newest addition to Something Awful, the world-renowned advice columnist Helen Gunther! This fine lady has been helping people and dispensing practical, money-saving, household tips for like, at least the last few days or so. Probably more. Regardless, we were able to sweep this feisty lady off her large, large feet and convince her to write a weekly advice column so you, the reader, will learn some shrewd moneysaving tips and answers to questions that have been haunting you for years. You know, like "what the fuck is that brown thing on my foot?"

I'm good at giving people advice. I don't like to brag, but it's important that you know this so that you trust me with your problems. Once my niece asked me whether she should wear the blue shoes or the black shoes, and I said, "Sweetie, those black shoes really bring out the color of your eyes." She wore the black shoes! I was so proud that I was able to do something good for someone. Another time, the people who lived below me complained that some sort of strange brown liquid was coming through their ceiling and making puddles all over the darn place, so they were pretty put out. I was scared at first because I thought that maybe the liquid was coming from my large collection of locusts that tend to regurgitate brown liquid when they are nervous or threatened, just like you or I. In any case, I told the neighbors to put some gasoline on the puddles and then set them on fire. That way, the puddles would be burned up in the fire. As far as I know, problem solved, because I never heard from them again. I didn't ever figure out where the liquid was coming from, but I sure felt happy that I could help someone.

Wow, that Helen sure sounds like one helpful old broad! Head on over to her insanely helpful advise column and feel free to send ol' Helen any questions you may have regarding whatever the hell concerns you in your horrible, horrible life! I think Helen intends to make this a weekly column, so be sure to send her a few emails and ask for her invaluable advice!

– Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka (@lowtax)

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