AUSTIN, TX—Area stoner Clyde "Duane" Fontaine, a self-described "part-time mop guy and full-time connoisseur of el primo cheeba cheeba," had a transcendent, mind-blowing moment of insight during a mystical out-of-Cheetos experience Monday.
According to Fontaine, the experience—which reportedly took place on, around and above his living-room sofa between 9:45 and 10:30 p.m. as he watched re-runs of The Bionic Woman and The Gong Show—was triggered by a sudden, catastrophic end of Cheeto availability. The experience is believed to be drug-related.
None of Fontaine's four roommates were able to verify his claim, as they were attending a Laserium light show at the time of the mind-expanding event. Nevertheless, Fontaine maintained that his story, however fantastic it may sound, is true.
Fontaine said he was "just loungin' and chillin' in front of the TV after a particularly hassle-filled day of mop-head-replacement difficulties" when the out-of-Cheetos experience occurred. During a commercial break, he remembered that he'd left a bag of Cheetos on the floor next to the coffee table. Fontaine said he had expected the bag to be nearly full, as he had just purchased it Saturday night and only managed to consume a few handfuls before passing out that evening.
Upon closer inspection of the Cheetos bag, however, Fontaine discovered that a significant portion of its contents were missing.
"It was then that I realized my roommates must have gotten their hands on it and helped themselves to a sizable quantity of the cheesy goodness contained therein," he said. "Such duplicitous behavior on their part was, to say the least, a real drag."
"A wiser man would have known right then that crisis-level Cheeto shortages lay ahead," Fontaine said. "But I was too short-sighted to grasp the full impact of the rapidly unfolding Cheeto-supply-depletion scenario until it was, alas, too late."
Fontaine said he felt the first otherworldly sensations of the paranormal experience at approximately 9:45 p.m., when, shortly after consuming the second-to-last Cheeto, he realized that only one Cheeto stood between himself and Total Cheeto Nothingness.
"I said to myself, 'As long as this final Cheeto remains, I am not out of Cheetos. But if I eat it, I will become One Who Has Cheetos No Longer,'" he said. "I knew I was standing on the precipice of a great Void. Did I dare chow down this final snack-food pellet, my last remaining anchor to the world I knew? I steeled all my courage and jumped over the edge. Swallowing the last Cheeto, I hurled myself into a vast realm of New Awareness."
Fontaine then recalled how he felt a warm, tingling sensation envelop his entire body as he stared into the once full but now empty void of the Cheeto bag.
"The sudden sensation of total emptiness was overwhelming. I was no longer on the couch at all. There was no couch. There was no Bionic Woman. There was no Gong Show. There was no me. The only thing that remained was That Which Had Once Been Cheetos And Was No Longer. I felt myself floating high above the couch, gazing down at the open, yawning maw of that empty Cheetos bag," he said. "And within that bag was a Void so all-encompassing, it seemed as if the entire material plane could be swallowed whole by that gaping, blank expanse."
At that point, Fontaine said, the empty Cheetos bag had become a pulsating, bottomless vortex leading into infinity.
"The Void was so total, it consumed all. And I knew it wanted to consume me, as well. At that moment, I understood, for the first time, what it was like to be a Cheeto. As I looked into the empty bag of Cheetos, the bag also looked into me. My heart was filled with terror. I then plunged into the bag, shooting through the infinite Cheetoless vortex at superhuman speeds."
"As the bag sucked me in, I became one with the Void," Fontaine said. "Secrets previously occluded from my vision became known to me in a burst of clarity. I could see that not only is any given quantity of Substance counterbalanced by an equal and opposite potential for Nothingness, but that Substance is, in fact, defined by the very Nothingness it is not. As Understanding arose within me, I realized that my very lack of Cheetos was the only thing that could ever give me true insight into any future Cheetos I might one day possess."
Continued Fontaine: "I could hear voices calling out, voices that I later determined must have been Arte Johnson, Jaye P. Morgan and Rip Taylor providing comic-relief banter between Gong Show acts. I saw that Cheetos are, by their very nature, meant to be negated: In other words, in negating Cheetos, we fulfill them, for the uneaten Cheeto brings no joy. I saw that Truth can be many things, kind of like how my name is Clyde, but everybody calls me Duane because it sounds kind of funny and rhymes with my last name. And Truth, in the Nothingness, embraced me."
Fontaine said that when he returned to the material plane, he found himself lying on the floor next to the couch. From his prone position, he was shocked to discover a brand-new, unopened bag of Cheetos underneath the couch, previously hidden from view.
"Thus, the cycle came full circle," he said. "I knew, at that moment, that I was in the presence of mighty, unseen forces."
Fontaine has no plans to return to the Anti-Cheeto Shadow Realm any time soon. "In great wisdom, there is always great danger," he said. "From now on, I'll make sure always to have plenty of back-up Cheetos on hand."
"Cheeto depletion is nothing to trifle with," Fontaine said, warning other stoners who may foolishly attempt to duplicate his mystical journey in their own living rooms. "It is an intense, deeply personal, once-in-a-lifetime experience that leaves one utterly transformed."