The Weather


Hey Sara! Sorry I’m late. You look great.

What smell? Oh that’s probably sulfur from all the alchemy I’ve been getting into. I hardly even notice it any more.

Oh no, if anything, alchemy is bigger than ever. I got into it from a Dr. Oz’s special about balancing the humors, but way better celebrities are doing it too. Jennifer Lawrence just launched her own line of mortars and pistols. Taylor Swift won’t even go on stage if they don’t provide a mini fridge full of phlogiston.

Completely discredited? Don’t be one of those people Sara. Science is so dismissive of things it thinks it has repeatedly disproven. Besides, Isaac Newton practiced alchemy, and probably would have transmuted all kinds of base metals if he hadn’t wasted all that time on those laws of motion we barely use.

Science takes all the mystery out of things anyways. If I don’t want to know what kinds of fumes are filling my house, well that’s my choice isn’t it?

Did you know alchemy predates corn, Sara? What’s science have to say to that?

Besides, science is so confining with its method and repeatable results. It’s like classical music, and alchemy is like jazz. I let my feelings tell me which chemicals to throw together. Just last night I got inspired and mixed together scarab shell, paprika and cumin. I was going for gold, but it ended up being more of a steak rub than anything else. But it was a particularly mystic rub if I do say so.

You wouldn’t believe how much better my life’s gotten since I got into alching (that’s what we in the community call it.) Remember how I used to have no readers on my blog? Well since I started writing about alchemy, I’ve been cited as a source in over ten articles about how to make genies. I’ve never been an expert before!

I’ve even started to sell my creations at the farmer’s market. This one gay couple said mine was the best elixir of life they had ever tasted, and they were really gay.

It’s also been great for the kids. I’ve been letting them run wild with my substances and symbols and tubes and they just love it. Plus, I think I read that children today aren’t getting enough mercury.

Sara, you’ve already done alchemy without even realizing it. Remember that time you spilled your wine in the bonfire at Bonnie’s wedding? Well, for all we know, that could have been the secret to creating the Philosopher’s Stone. You just need a little follow through.

If you’re interested, I know this great alchemy studio around the corner. The instructor is very arcane, and you can buy alchemy pants there, so it will save you a trip.

Anyways, I’ve got to dash. I left a whole mess of stuff in the crucible, and it tends to explode if I leave it too long. But here’s a panacea I cooked up. Let me know how it works. Just don’t drink it near an open flame. Bye!

John McNamee is a writer and cartoonist living in Los Angeles whose work has been featured by the Onion, McSweeney's, & Devastator Magazine. He is also the creator of @80sDonDraper, and the cartoonist behind He goes best with either a dry red wine or straight grain alcohol.