August 19, 2017

Duchaine’s Sixth Sense

“Duchaine’s Sixth Sense” was posted (pseudonymously) by Richard Underwood on the internet newsgroup misc.fitness.weights on January 27, 1998:

It was a beautiful September afternoon when my flight landed in San Diego. At first I didn’t even know if I would make it. I’d heard the horror stories about the notoriously difficult appraoch into Lindburgh Field, this compounded with my manic fear of flying and the fact that this was going to be my last assignment before I retreated for a four week sabbatical made me unusually jumpy. At every “thud” or “bump” my pulse quickened and I felt that rush of adrenaline not unlike that felt when one is in a near auto accident. Perhaps my distress was visible, because the old bag flight attendant approached more than once to ask if she could bring me anything. I have to admit, three vodka and tonics later my fear of flying was greatly alleviated and I was feeling pleasantly buzzed. In fact, the old bag started to appear more attractive after all, I thought perhaps I had rushed to judgment.

I was revieving a file which I had compiled over the past three weeks on the man which the bodybuilding community affectionately calls the “guru.” I had begun compiling all the info I could after my editor informed me that the SOUTH FLORIDA TIMES (the small publication at which I’m currently employed) would be doing an expose on the bodybuilding lifestyle. Apparently the mysterious figure known as the “guru” was responsible for many of the bizarre practices followed by physique enthusiasts to achieve, what is in their estimation, physical perfection.

What I discovered about the “guru,” a/k/a Dan Duchaine read like a novel. It truly read like a fiction story. The story of a misfit, loner, with a genius IQ, then the felony convictions, the stroke, and finally recent affluence and notoriety as the expert on all the nasty “tricks of the trade.”

In just a few short hours I was to meet and interview the guru for my piece and I was genuinely intrigued by this man. I had read numerous columns of his which were published since 1992 in a bodybuilding magazine called MUSCLE MEDIA 2000. MUSCLE MEDIA 2000, or MM2K as fans refer to it, is one of the leading periodicals for those interested in how to build bigger biceps and powerful pectorals. The magazine is typical of what one would expect, pumped-up guys and gals, scantily clad, in a variety of provocative poses, not the sort of thing you’d find while waiting in your dentist’s office. In between these exciting photos of healthy young bodies are evoacative ads for products such as HMB, PHOSPHAGAIN, ULTIMATE ORANGE and NEUROGAIN–a product which promises enhanced cognitive skills.

My research revealed that Dan Duchaine has a vested interest in a company known as NEXT NUTRITION, a company which markets several bodybuilding supplements. These products intrigued me, after all, I’d heard of designer jeans, but never had I heard of a “Designer Protein” and I was interested in having the guru enlighten me. NEXT NUTRITION also markets ULTIMATE ORANGE, a pre-workout drink which promises some quite extraordinary gains in strength. I couldn’t help but smile when I read the rather cartoonish ad copy for ULTIMATE ORANGE, it simply evoked an image of Bill Bixby consuming a serving and turning into the muscle bound hulk, Lou Ferrigno.

I jotted down some preliminary notes that I simply must ask the guru about these products and how he seems to have knowledge about building muscle and burning fat that no one else possesses.

At this point, my flight had arrived and I was in the limo and on my way to meet the guru at, what I thought was an unlikely location, a HOOTERS restaurant. I had read that the guru enjoyed his solitude and appeared in public as little as possible, which was apparently just the way he liked it, thank you very much.

I arrived at the restaurant at a little past noon, and I recognized the guru from the magazine ads in which he appears for ULTIMATE ORANGE (the Incredible Hulk formula). The guru was busily chatting with a busty young HOOTERS waitress with long red hair, and who looked like she was at least half his age.

After the initial introductions, I got down to business immediately. I asked the guru how he seemed to be omniscient, to possess an innate knowledge about which compounds can produce dramatic effetcs in muscle size and strength. The guru began, “well, that’s really not something I feel comfortable discussing here, perhaps we should go somewhere more private.” I agreed, he began to reach for his wallet, but I insisted on paying the tab, expressing that it was the least I could do in return for the insight which he might impart on me.

We headed out to the parking lot, under an absolutely beautiful Southern California sky, and the guru gestured toward his car. I expected perhaps a Mercedes Benz or a Cadillac, but instead the guru had well-used mini-van with over 150,000 miles on the odometer. After a little prodding, the motor started and we were on our way.

We arrived at an absolutely beautiful condominium complex right on the beach, with access to some great bike paths. It turns out that the gurus real interest lies in bicycles, not bodybuilding.

In the guru’s rather spartan condo, decorated with photos of past and current bodybuilding champions who were all essentially thanking the guru for his part in their success in achieving bulging biceps and striated gluteas maximus.

In one corner stood a drafting table with what appeared to be plans for some revolutionary new bicycle. The guru immediately noticed that I was stealing glances at his designs, and without saying a word he obscured his plans with a few dog-eared and possibly cum stained copies of JUGGS and BUSTY BEAUTIES magazine. “It’s a never before seen design,” the guru stated, “so you can understand my concern.” I replied that of course I understood and had no intention of peeking into that which did not concern me. Then he continued, “these bikes take a little getting used to at first, but those who have tried them swear that they’ve reduced commute times while avoiding the sexual disfunction which is common with ordinary bike seats, that’s all I can tell you right now.” “Fair enough,” I said, “I’m really more interested in how you’ve been instrumental in designing these bodybuilding products.”

“Right,” the guru stated, as if his memory had just been jogged back from his thoughts about his innovations within the bicycle industry. “You’re interested in how I arrive at these particular formulations and how I have a knack for being right most of the time,” I nodded in response.

The guru invited me to have a seat, the he started, “please call me Dan, the moniker ‘guru’ was given to me by the New York sports writers, and to be quite honest, I’m not particularly fond of it.” “Alright, Dan it is.

At this point, Dan began rummaging about his kitchen as he spoke, in one hand he had a plastic jar containing DESIGNER WHEY PTROTEIN, in the other a container of QUAKER INSTANT OATMEAL. He began mixing the two together in a microwaveable ceramic bowl. “Richard, you’ve heard of the ZONE, haven’t you?” I nodded in agreement. “Well, it’s kind of like that. You see, I can ‘see’ things that other people can’t see.” “Precognition,” I asked. “Yes, perhaps you could call it that, but there’s something more. I can actually SEE what works and what doesn’t. I can instantly tell you if an athlete is in an anabolic or a catabolic state, I can tell you when proteolysis is occurring or if an athlete is in positive or negative nitirgen balance.”

“How,” I asked.

“Well, that’s the thing. I don’t really know HOW or WHY, it just happens. Mostly involuntarily, but recently I’ve found that there are factors which seem to precipitate an episode of ‘higher awareness’ as I like to call it.”

“Like what?”

“Sometimes, I can just close my eyes and concentrate on that inner voice, I reach a state of bodybuilding nirvanna. Hah, I like that term, be sure to use that in your article.”

“I sure will!”

“Anyway, these ideas seem to come to me from some area of my subconscious, and when I awake I often find the formulation for some new bodybuilding discovery scrawled on a piece of paper. But what’s most bizarre is that the words will be in an unrecognizable handwriting, one which is seemingly unaffected by the apoplexy due to my stroke.”

“That’s incredible,” I exclaimed.

“Yes, and It scared the shit out of me the first time it happened.”

“I’ll bet it did.”

DING! The bell rang on Dan’s microwave and his piping hot “Designer oatmeal” was ready to eat. Dan took the bowl and sat across from me at the breakfast nook in his kitchen. “Any chance you could try to reach ‘higher awareness’ while I’m here, it would be strictly for scientific purposes of course. Perhaps I could even witness the natural bodybuilding breakthrough which would replace steroids.”

“HAHA, that sounds too much like an ad for the latest EAS supplement, maybe you should try your hand at copywriting!” Dan stated with a sardonic smile.

“Really,” I urged, while Dan stirred the marzipan goop in his bowl which emitted a cinnamony aroma not unlike maple syrup. “Maybe you could tell me how I could improve my bench press,” I said in jest.

“Alright, but we have to first get a few thing out of the way.” Dan began clearing the kitchen table of all objects, he then placed a yellow legal pad and a pen in front of him on the table. “Oh yes,” he said, “one other thing,” he then went over to the window, closed the blinds, and turned the ringer off on the phone. He then turned to me, “you understand that I must have complete silence, and absolutely no distractions.” I nodded in agreement. “Alright, let’s give it a try.”

Dan sat very upright in his chair, his palms resting flat on his thighs, he closed his eyes and sat very still. I couln’t help but think, “this is a bunch of crockery, I bet this guy wants me to believe that he sits in the lotus position and levitates too.”

Then it started. His eyes opened wide, only his pupils had rolled-up, so only the white of his eyes was visible. I thought, “cute trick, any half-assed fortune teller can pull the same routine.” Then, he began to tremble violently, and he started to mumble. Spittle began to coagulate at the corners of his mouth, then he began mumbling in a voice which was foreign to that of his normal elocution.

Dan then grabbed the pencil and beagn scrawling studiously on the pad, his eyes continually staring straight ahead, and his whole body trembling as if it were a marionette being operated by an unskilled puppeteer. I glanced down at my watch to try to get some perspective on how long this episode might last, I was frightened, to say the least. However, my watch had stopped, I thought perhaps I forgot to wind it, when I looked about Dan’s kitchen and noticed that both the clock on his microwave and his oven were no longer working, same for the VCR, certainly there was some higher force at work.

Suddenly, there was a knock on the door, and Dan closed his eyes, when he opened tham again his pupils were visible, the trembling and muttering stopped and I knew he was back, and I was quite relieved at that.

“See,” Dan said, “I doesn’t always work.” What’s that I asked, gesturing toward the scribbling he had made on his pad. It appeared to be a diagram of a testosterone molecule with some other assorted notations. “Well, I’ll be damned,” he said, grinning from ear to ear like the Cheshire Cat from Alice In Wonderland, “I wonder what we have here.”

TO BE CONTINUED

Dan Duchaine and Next Nutrition Ultimate Orange

  • Horseshit

    What the hell is this horseshit?

  • Horseshit

    What the hell is this horseshit?