“Oh, go on! Try it!” his friends taunted. “We always knew you were a blockhead but, we never knew you were a chicken — bawk bawk bah-gawk!” they clucked with their hands in their armpits.

“Aww, I’m not a chicken,” the luckless boy said sheepishly.

That was nothin’, he thought a short time later. I feel fine. Eventually, though, the luckless boy found himself staring at his hand. Four fingers. He had four fingers? That seemed wrong. Had he always had four fingers? He couldn’t remember. His brain felt heavy somehow, like it was weighing his head down.

He put his bizarre hand on the back of his perfectly round, bald noggin and began twirling his one wiry black hair around his finger. And twirling. And twirling. He looked at his finger, at the one hair wrapped around his finger a dozen times, an endless strand being pulled out of his head like a retractable vacuum cord. The boy continued wrapping the hair around his finger, curious to find the end of it, then was suddenly overcome by the fear that he was unraveling himself. The boy rubbed his thumb over the hair coiled on his finger only to find that it crumbled and smeared like… what was that? Charcoal? Graphite? He looked up from his finger to notice his dog staring at him patronizingly.

“The materialism of existence only occurs within the gap of reality where transcendence has been excluded,” his dog said in a deep, wizened voice.

“Good grief!” the boy exclaimed.

He squeezed his eyes shut and pressed his palms against them. Shapes started swimming around in his mind, and all of them images of footballs. Footballs! Every day he ran and kicked his foot out… and there never was any football. Was there ever such a thing as a football?

His friends, watching his blunder, pointed and began to laugh, but he heard only the cacophony of honking trombones emitting from their gaping maws. Womp womp womp womp womp. They threw their heads back and their mouths split wide open, widening until they became the brass mouths of trombones.

The boy panicked as the trombones surrounded him. He backed away, stumbled, and fell on his back. The discordant cackling of the trombones filled his basketball-shaped cranium. Everything was closing in.

The last thing he saw before he passed out was a flying doghouse pulling a banner that read: YOU’RE HAVING A BAD TRIP, CHARLIE BROWN!.