Jeremy Clarke Jeremy Clarke

Out of this world

After chucking-out time a few of us went round to Trev’s to smoke crack through a water-pipe

Image: iStock

After chucking-out time a few of us went round to Trev’s to smoke crack through a water-pipe. Water-pipes can be tricky and when it was my go I sensibly asked for assistance. Step forward an unusually introspective Trev, who held the pipe for me and diligently put a flame over the drug, leaving me free to concentrate on drawing the smoke that accumulated above the waterline steadily into my lungs. Then I retired from the mouthpiece, taking my lungful of Class-A smoke with me, and went and sat down on the sofa beside the others, feeling immediately warm and open-hearted.

At this point my phone rang. I fished it out of my pocket and looked at the screen. No name. A number I didn’t recognise. Normally if I don’t recognise the number I don’t answer, but I was feeling more beneficent, nay, left-liberal, by the minute, and I decided to take a chance and answer it. ‘Hi!’ I said.

It was a bright young lady calling from the Church of Scientology. A few months ago I’d taken the stress test advertised in a Scientology-centre window. They connected me to a thought-measuring machine called an ‘emeter’ and an attractive young lady in a low-cut blouse leaned towards me and asked me a succession of searching questions about myself. The needle on the machine was going like a windscreen wiper.

There was no doubt about it, she said, eyeing the needle, I was stressed. The cause, she said, could be located at birth or even in a previous life. But not to worry. All I needed to do was take a basic course in Scientology, then get myself ‘audited’ — which is to say treated — using innovative talking therapy designed by the late L. Ron Hubbard to identify those hard-to-get-at pre-incarnation sources of stress and erase them.

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