Colony of Losers- Fuck Stigma and Mental Illness, I'm like 25

Surviving your Quarter Life Crisis and becoming an adult

Herman Dagwood Saga#2: Acid Helps You Time Travel

Posted on | May 17, 2010 | 1 Comment

"Music Program" by Patrick Campbell

"Music Program" by Patrick Campbell

Time travel with me, back to 1996.  Herman is 17 years old, and the glory days of his Colony of Losers is about to pass.

We are not the only ones time traveling.  Musician and madman Eel has become unstuck in time.  In an apartment lit by a lava lamp, he walks in circles – through the kitchen past the dining room, through the bathroom – alternating between walking and crawling.  His friends find this amusing but say nothing.

Eel begins to explain his discovery.

What he is trying to say is that with the help of acid, he has successfully freed himself from the boundaries of time.  To his friends it sounds more like, “Wememwwhdede”. He wishes his friends could understand, but they seem completely unaware of what is happening in the apartment and its fantastic implications.

Time travel happens in circles.  He just has to keep moving in them for the answers to come to him.

Each time he makes a circuit, his friends change chairs and conversation topics. With the only light provided by the lava lamp, days may have passed, maybe years.  Herman is on the sofa and Powderman is sitting on the chair.  Gig is playing the drums.  And switch.  Hermit has the drums, Gig the Guitar, and Powderman is having a drink of beer.

The glass is full.  The glass is empty.  Eel wonders how this could be happening.  What is God trying to tell him?

People come in and out of the apartment caught in this curious blip in the time space continuum.  Friends that Eel hasn’t seen for months are drinking beer and eating pretzels on his couch.  He tells them his discovery,  “Wememwwhdede…”  but suddenly, they’re all gone.  A friend of Herman’s and his new girlfriend arrive.  They too eat the pretzels.

He must be back in the present.  He must keep circling.

Time is a game of musical chairs, and the music is about to come to an end.

Herman Dagwood is 17 years old, beardless, and gigantic.  He spends most of his time watching Beverly Hills Cop in his basement room, smoking pot, writing shitty poetry, and squandering his potential.

His childhood friends have little interest in Herman’s newfound musical interests.  Their relationships were mostly based on egging houses, breaking windows, and building Molotov cocktails.  As Herman sang along with the Beatles Help! and taught himself to play, they cheered the Chicago Bulls and told him to shut the fuck up.

Herman is not your normal teen.  As puberty missiles attacked his body, he worked on strange projects.  Rejected at Saint Pat’s High School for his love of African medallions and his disconcerting familiarity with gangster rappers like Spice 1 and South Central Cartel, Herman began to dig through the roots of the music he’s loved since he was a kid. Finding new obsessions with each newfound sample.  Wearing his Malcolm X cap, he writes a 120 page biography of George Clinton.  And then came the poetry…

His poetry was terrible, ripping-off Jim Morrison, talking about shamans and the truths that lie in psychedelic posters.  He would bind books of the stuff and hand them out to friends to treasure for life.

Over taters and dirty bird at the IGA, he and a friend composed a song based on his father’s observations of 20 monkeys.  According to literature, in a million years they would produce Shakespeare.  In his father’s limited experience they jerked off a lot, which Herman says is a fair allegory for his musical efforts at the time.

While his friends watched Sports Center and killed brain cells over barbecue, Herman was slowly falling in love with music.  He found people who enjoyed his shaman poetry and was in heaven.

In an apartment in Highfield, surrounded by much older friends, the awkward giant found friends that became family.

They all sported names no parent would give a child.  There was Powderman, nicknamed for his love of Ritalin and his pale skin tone.  ADD had recently become a national fad and “any kid with a twitching leg had a prescription.”   At the apartment in Highfield, conversation was fuelled by these corrective amphetamines and chilled to a crawl with marijuana and liquor.  There were two guitarists and a drummer with no drums.  The drummer created insane rhythms on the sides of guitar cases.  After school on Friday, Herman would get picked up.  He’d be dropped off at home at 7 in the morning on Monday, frazzled and sleepless, ready for another week of school.

Music became a priority. Attending school became a rarity.

Weekends were spent chasing snowmobiles in his underwear with raised fists and making song after song with his new band.  There were interims of sitting in the dark, on acid, staring into his hands. With no phone and windows blocked by heavy curtains, days passed without notice.  Powderman was the remote control, telling his friends which instruments to pick up, which songs to play, and when to stop. They played cards, talked about religion, and tried to figure out the world one tab at a time.  And it was great. Whatever else they were doing they were making music, and Herman was happier than he had ever been.

Until the day Powderman was buried in the floor by a time traveler with little understanding of space and time.

Unaware that his friend has become Marty McFly, Powderman is going heavy on the Ritalin, acid, and shrooms.  Booze is guzzled and disappears in fast-forward as Eel makes his way around the room, cycling through time.  Powderman begins to feel woozy and his heart starts to beat a little too fast.

Eel tries to communicate with his friends, he is slowly approaching a place where he can actually form words.  How should he tell them they have become unstuck in time?  The acid is peaking and revelation is on the tip of his tongue.

As Eel makes his last circuit, Powderman stands up, legs wobbling, heart beating a million miles a minute.  He experiences an insanely powerful head rush.  His legs give out. He falls down, flat on his back, catching the edge of the table with his head.  Powderman gazes at his shaking limbs, completely unable to control it, and says, “That’s not good.”

“Fuck,” says Herman.

Things are going too quickly for Eel.  While Herman sees Powderman get to his feet and shake it off, Eel is in a world of his own.  In this world, Powderman didn’t get up.  He hit the ground, his face took on the shape of Brooklyn from Gargoyles, and his chest exploded on impact. As this was his apartment, Eel knew he was responsible to clean up this mess. Taking a deep breath he decided to protect the best friends he ever had.

“Alright you fuckers, every body get the fuck out,” screams Eel.

Herman’s friend and girlfriend stare at him in confusion.  Nothing in their straight-laced lives had ever prepared them for a scene like this.  Herman opens his mouth to ask what the hell is going on.  Powderman tries to get the room to stop spinning.

“Get the fuck out.  I’ll handle this.”

Eel begins jumping on the couch and screaming his head off.

“Everybody get the fuck out.  I will take care of the body. You need to get out of here!”

Things weren’t the same after that.  Eel gave up drugs and found God.  Gig got a new roommate, this Wiccan hacker with a kill switch on his computer in case of emergency. The virtual warlock eventually introduced Gig to the woman destined to become his wife.  Herman and Powderman tried to disrupt the ceremony and save their friend from a tortured existence.  Unfortunately they stopped to smoke a joint and arrived just in time to see Gig and his girlfriend pronounced man and wife.  Gig’s girlfriend would introduce Herman to a mysterious lady who could deep throat a beer bottle and would eventually take Herman’s innocence.  But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.  This is long before he went to audio school, before he got married, before he became Hermitofthewoods.

Tune in next time and meet Herman when he was a child, shit disturbing his way through Clayton Park like a little OG.

Welcome to the Colony of Losers, a world of quarter life crises, anxiety, depression and the friends and the failures on the way to your future. This is the story of Michael Kimber’s panicked fall into adulthood.



One Response to “Herman Dagwood Saga#2: Acid Helps You Time Travel”

  1. Josue Kynard
    May 19th, 2010 @ 11:46 pm

    Great, thanks for sharing this post.Really thank you! Will read on…

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  • About

    Michael Kimber is a 26-year-old journalist who suffered a nervous breakdown on November 3rd, 2009. On March 28th, 2010 when he recovered from mental illness, he began writing a blog called Colony-of-losers. About falling on your face to figure out who you are and the hilarious antics of a blond jew. What began with a few friends and his mother reading has become a cult phenomenon, averaging 10,000 views a week, receiving praise from Commonwealth Award Winner Shandi Mitchell and many others. On, November 3rd, 2010, the one year anniversary of his mental breakdown he signed with Anne McDermid and Associates, the largest literary agency in Canada. In a year he went from wearing pajamas, making his couch depression HQ to leaving his hometown for the Toronto, where he exclusively wears business suits and the armor of ancient Greeks. Don't worry, he's still choking on the feet he contently sticks in his mouth and making moments awkward just by being part of them. During these struggles he met other talented bastards and drew them into his circle. Peter Diamond became his illustrator. Patrick Campbell his video editor and part time photographer. He recently added the incredibly talented John Packman as Colony of Losers Toronto photographer. Without the support of the Colony of Losers, Michael Kimber would be nothing. Welcome to the losers and the success that comes from utter and complete failure. You aren’t alone. Follow him on If you’d like to hire him for a public speaking engagement for mental health events in Toronto, like to arrange an interview, offer millions to publish his book or for another reason contact Michael please email him. And join his facebook Colony of Losers.

    Really obvious disclaimer:
    I’m not a trained psychologist. Just a fellow traveler. If you need help seek it from the professionals. The Canadian Mental Health Association provides a help locator. You can find crisis resources provided by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. If you are in the states check here. It will give you services by zip code. I’d also recommend checking out I think they do great work and have been a help to me personally.

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