A highly effective sedative, the effects of GK were first observed in the early 1960s in small test runs at the University of Minnesota, until alcoholic beverage industry lobbyists successfully had it re-classified as a controlled substance. They were able to establish GK's damaging effects to campus social life, including spontaneous loss of consciousness, premature bedtimes, increased hours of sleep, and dangerously low blood-alcohol levels in co-eds.
GK was also implicated as the cause of recurring bouts of poetry which plagued the campus during that decade, though it was later deemed impossible to determine how many were infected by GK compared to other homegrown substances that were circulating concurrently.
With its anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, sedative, skeletal muscle relaxant and amnestic characteristics, GK is an effective treatment for anxiety, insomnia, and curing certain common addictions, most notably country music listening, singing fish collecting, and stock car racing appreciation.
Over the years, psychiatrists, radio program directors, and military strategists have discovered many new off-label uses for GK, including:
- As a post-invoice "chaser" to soothe irritated customers.
- Cheap and palatable "filler material" to consume airtime where no commercial spots were sold.
- As a mass-hypnosis device, broadcast from mobile audio vehicles to lull the enemy into a state of placidity.
Physical Properties and Pharmacokinetics
GK is most commonly dispensed aurally. Recipients describe the sensation after ingestion as one of initial relaxation, followed by increasing confusion and lethargy ("like walking in a fog"). High or prolonged doses are generally not lethal, though they inevitably cause subjects to pass out.
Aurally, GK is rapidly absorbed and has a fast onset of action. Most are subdued within 1-5 minutes, which accounts for the specially-designed dosage of concentrated variants like Writersalmanacium®.
GK is also available in tablet form, though it is quite large and most characterize it as "a tough pill to swallow". In solid form, rectal delivery of GK in suppository form is preferred.
GK has a range of side effects, confirmed through longitudinal studies. The most common ones include:
- A depressed affect, with long-term users often speaking in a monotone drone.
- The development of female characteristics (in males), including heightened need to express feelings, and enlarged breasts (possibly water retention, but possibly not).
- Susceptibility to bouts of poetry, including the especially virulent blank verse strain (BVP). Illness is usually acute, but sometimes terminal, with the worst cases given to emoting publicly at bookstores and open mic nights at cafes.
- The desire to write (and often self-publish) prose, regardless of ability.
- A tendency to hijack conversations containing the mere mention of any given cultural reference, with a long and ponderous story. Extreme cases of this are often separately diagnosed as sufferers of "Paul Harvey's Disease".
- A strong desire to sing, despite an obvious lack of musical talent.
Like other sedatives, routine users of GK (especially for insomnia) may find themselves with physiological tolerance or psychological dependence. At particularly high risk for GK misuse, abuse, and dependence are:
- Patients with a history of literature abuse or dependence, especially "bathroom readers".
- Shut-ins, or other socially isolated people.
- Frustrated writers and poets, desperately hoping to hear their name or works mentioned.
Users of Lakewobegonium® or Prairiehomecompanium® should try to cut down usage to bimonthly, then monthly, while using Writersalmanacium® daily, only as needed.